I beg to move,
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Temporary Restrictions on Pay Increases (20th July 1966 Levels) (No. 1) Order 1966 (S.I. 1966, No. 1365), dated 1st November 1966, a copy of which was laid before this House on 1st November, be annulled.
I had been endeavouring to fill in the noisy interval by reading slowly the formal part of the Motion, Mr. Speaker.
This debate may well be somewhat of an anti-climax after the important and dramatic events which has just taken place, but it is, nevertheless, a topic of considerable importance for the internal and economic organisation of our affairs. This is the very first Prayer against an Order affecting wages made by the Secretary of State under Part IV of the Prices and Incomes Act.
The Order vividly illustrates the pettiness and absurdity of the system which the Government have devised for the control of wages. Everyone in this country is under the impression that we now have a system under which all prices and all wages are controlled by law. Any hon. Member has only to look at his postbag to see that the general idea of most citizens is that Parliament and the Government have provided for a system under which everybody's wages and everybody's prices are subject to the rule of law. Even law societies and law students are under this general impression, and when one addresses them and tells them that it is not so, they look at one with amazement.
The view is absurdly wrong, because there are almost no wages at all which are at present limited by law other than those of the 120 supervisors of Thorn Electrical Industries Ltd., whose case we are discussing this evening, those who are employed in the newspaper industry, in printing and distribution, both in London and the provinces, and, I believe, about 200 or more hot blast furnacemen, in respect of whom an Order has been made.
This is, of course, a minute proportion of the total working population of 23 million people. One might ask why have these three groups only so far been been picked out. Are they the only ones to be subject to a direction in law that their wages are not to be increased, or at least are to be restrained to the level at which they were on 20th July? The answer is because they attracted public notice. It was their intention to break the freeze that attracted the attention of the Minister, and that alone is the reason why they have been singled out for control by law and why 99·99 per cent. of their colleagues are not subject to any such control.
Naturally, in the case of Thorn Electrical Industries, it was the publicity attracted to the county court action in September of this year which brought down this Order upon a freely negotiated contract which had been made—before the announcement of additional measures—on 12th July, the very day after some inspired guidance which led the Financial Times to say that no further measures of restraint of any sort were needed. One may suspect that if that litigation had not ensued—if they had kept very quiet indeed—we should not have heard very much more about the supervisors at Thorn's.
Is it not a corrollary of this method of government that if both employer and employee keep quiet and say very little—if they are not members of a large organisation, and do not get involved in much publicity, or are not members of the newspapers, whose private affairs are printed on the front of them—the chances of an Order being made, such as this one, will be very small indeed?
What machinery is there for finding out what increases ought to be controlled and will take place, large and small? I know that Part II of the Act may very well draw the attention of the Minister to some proposed increases, but what proportion of the 23 million employed people in this country are subject to any direct attention under Part II which would attract to the notice of the Minister information that an increase was contemplated, because it would seem that, for anybody to whom Part II has not been applied, there is not, so far as I can see, any machinery that would draw to the attention of the responsible Minister the fact that an increase was proposed; that is, unless there happens to be some publicity about it or unless, by accident in some other way, it is drawn to his attention.
There is another question about this system of detailed control by separate and individual orders. How small a number does the Secretary of State intend to deal with in these particular and specialised orders? As I said, in this case we are dealing with about 120 people, 120 members of A.S.S.E.T. and a few members of the other union concerned. Is the Minister prepared to make Orders in respect of one or two individuals? For example, what about the gravedigger at Stow-on-the-Wold, if it is proposed to give him an increase in his wages? Does he get away with it because he is not a member of a large union or organisation, whereas those who are members of very large trade unions, whose affairs are bound to be the subject of pubicity, come to the notice of the Minister?
Unless the application of this power is to be universal and is to bite not only on large blocks of men but on quite small caucuses of employees, its application is bound to be unfair and will be seen increasingly to be unfair by those who, because of the accidental way in which these matters are brought to the Minister's notice, have the right hon. Gentleman's powers exercised against them.
There is another question, about the persons concerned at Thorn's Electrical Industries. I understand—I may be wrong, but the information I have obtained is—that this is not wholly a union shop. Are there any non-unionists employed at Thorn Electrical Industries who are in a position similar to that of those who are members of one or the other of the two unions mentioned in the Schedule to the Order who will be free of this Order, whereas those who are members of the union will not?
I know, of course, that the Schedule to the Order provides that if the agreement between the employers and the unions of 12th July is expressly or by implication incorporated into the contract of employment of any individual he is controlled, but does the Minister know, and can he tell us, whether it is the fact that all people in a supervisory position at Thorn Electrical Industries have such terms in their contracts? Particularly, is it not the position if any new person is taken into employment in that grade he will be enirely free of control if the employers are willing to make with him a new agreement which expressly excludes the agreement of 12th July?
Is that not a very absurd position? When one makes an Order in a form which does not attract particularly the people at a particular type of work but—I am devoting this argument to the form of the Order—which is directed only at such persons as have a particular form of term of employment, is it not then possible for any new employees to be entirely free of the Order simply by the form in which their new contract of employment is drawn?
I think that I ought to say something to the House about the history of this matter. From October, 1965, manual workers at Thorn's got two sets of increases which they had the benefit of drawing immediately and which they are still drawing today, which is still being paid and is subject to no control. Administrative grades did not reach agreement quite so quickly, but it was agreed, long before 20th July—and, as I have said, before the new intention of the Government to introduce extreme measures and the actual measures were announced.
It was agreed on 12th July between Thorn Electrical Industries and A.S.S.E.T., representing, I think, the supervisory staff, that there should be a rise from 4th April in the wages of such persons from £20 to £21, an extra £1 a week, and I understand that there was no term at all in that agreement postponing the date of payment of either the extra sum due or the sums due retrospectively. Therefore, as I understand the position, they did become payable from the making of the agreement: £1 a week from 4th April to 12th April; and from 12th July to the next pay day, an increase of £1 became due.
As we know there was in mid-August a test case in the county court by one supervisor to recover £1 a week for 21 weeks, and in September there was judgment for him for £21, which he has been paid. I understand that now the Order has been made Thorn Electrical Industries have paid to all their 119 other supervisors £1 a week for the period from 4th April to 2nd November. So they have had their increase for all that period. Now the impact of this Order will be to put back the level of wages to what it was on 20th July of this year.
Can the Minister confirm whether or not it is the position that a further action is now pending in the county court claiming that the material level for the purposes of the Act and the Order at 20th July is the amount lawfully due on that date, and not the amount actually paid? Is it right that that action is due for hearing on 18th January next? Will not the Secretary of State look rather foolish if the contention of the union, of A.S.S.E.T., in those proceedings turns out to be right? Because was not the Secretary of State notified, before making this Order, of this very point that the union intended to take?
Therefore, in making this Order, is he not supporting the view that if an employer, on 20th July, was neglecting to pay the full wages due to his employees, or was withholding an increase in breach of contract, that neglect or default by the employer extends the powers of the Secretary of State to reduce the wages still further than he otherwise could have done, to a lower level than if the employer had not been in breach of his contract or failed in fulfilling his duties? Is it not disgraceful of the Government to rely on neglect and breach of contract by an employer to extend their powers to depress wages?
This is what they are doing by making this Order on the basis that that is exactly what they can do. If they cannot do that, there is no point in making the Order. The whole basis of this Order must be that all that the employee can now get is the level of £20, which is less than he was entitled to under the contract as existed at that time. Is it not an extraordinary attitude for the Government to adopt, that they should make an Order which depends for its validity upon a breach of contract and failure to pay full wages by an employer to the people in his employment?
There is another question that I would like to ask about the Order. Would the Minister explain the effect of this Order upon the contract of employment and the legal right to recover remuneration by each supervisor who is affected by it? This point was raised in the debate of 25th October by my right hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, West (Mr. lain Macleod) and was never answered. There seem to be two perfectly possible views of the impact of this Order on individual contracts of employment. First, the payment of the agreed wage of £21 becomes illegal and is, therefore, unenforceable in law, because the Order operates to prevent the payment of the agreed figure of £21. It becomes an illegal payment. Neither the Order nor the Act nor any contract gives any right of any other remuneration for each supervisor.
Therefore, each supervisor affected by this Order is unable to sue in a court of law for an agreed amount of his wage, namely £21, and nobody has provided—neither do the Act on the Order provide—for him to recover any other sum of money as his wages. Perhaps he will get it. Nevertheless, there may be occasions of dispute, and there may be occasions when he might want to have a legal right of action to recover his wages. That is a rather serious thing for the Government to have removed—the right of a man to recover an agreed sum of wages. He would be left with no other right than to sue upon what is known as a quantum meruit, which is to recover wages for the work that he has done as the court may think reasonable. The court might think that £20 is quite unreasonable for the work which some employees had done. It is a serious matter to leave employees with no other claim than to sue upon a quantum meruit.
The alternative view—and I think this is the correct one—is that the Order post-pones the payment of the increase only during the period when the Order is in force but will not prevent each supervisor from suing for the £1 increase after the Order has ceased to operate. In other words, if this Order ceases on the expiration of the Measure, say on 12th August next, each supervisor will be entitled to get his £21 a week—the agreed extra figure—as from that day forward and he can also claim £40 in respect of the £1 a week which he has been kept from getting between 2nd November, 1966 and 12th August, 1967.
That is provided that the employer has not served a notice under Section 30. If he has, it would seem that he can escape liability, but if he refuses to serve a notice under Section 30 I think that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is quite right in saying that the effect of that Section will be null and void.
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. That may arise on another Order, but Section 30 does not apply to that contract because that section deals only with a contract of employment made
before the date of the coming into force of this Part of this Act"—
that is, before 6th October, and therefore that contract qualifies—
under which any person who has worked for the employer since before that date is to receive remuneration for the same kind of work for any period after that date which is at a higher rate …
I should have thought that that was limited to contracts which began to operate before, but provided for increases after 6th October. I always read that as applying to contracts made before 6th October to operate after 6th October. There may be other cases where that argument of the right hon. Gentleman would be valid, but the Thorn Electrical Industries contract was made on 12th July to operate on 12th July.
I do not know whether Thorn's want to deprive people of that increase, but if I am right in thinking that Section 30 does not apply to the Thorn case, the supervisors will get their £21 a week on 12th August next year and will have a pent-up accumulated claim for the increase of which they have been deprived, namely £40, and Thorn's will have to put that aside. There will be a quite substantial accumulation in this case, and every time the Minister makes an Order of that sort in the future he will not be taking out purchasing power, but only pinning back purchasing power to the time the Order expires.
Suddenly, the pent-up accumulated increases which employees might otherwise have had will all be released together in a flood upon the economy, at a time when it may very well not be convenient for the Government to release that additional purchasing power. If, as we hope, they do not make many of these Orders, the problem will not arise. However, if they have increasingly to make them, pinning back people's increases, and if my view of the law is correct, they will be merely postponing an excessive release of purchasing power into the economy.
I do not think that my view or the Minister's view will matter, but it will be interesting for the Government to tell us which interpretation they think is right. The courts will decide, and I do not suppose that any employer would be very safe not to put money aside for increases which are affected by the Order unless he is absolutely certain that there is no possibility of a claim on this basis. Whichever way one looks at it this either deprives employees of their right to sue for remuneration other than on a quantum meruit basis, or payment of the increases is simply postponed to the expiration of the Order. It may be less convenient to release the accumulation then than to let it out weekly over the intervening period. Either of those views produces a thoroughly unsatisfactory result.
We therefore think that the Order is based on the unsound principle that the Government can control in detail individual wage negotiations between employers, whether big or small, and employees, and that everybody should be subject to the risk of being discovered in an unsatisfactory increase in wages and that the Minister may make an individual Order in respect of them, whereas large numbers of other people may take an increase and the Government may never hear about it. There is no control, and what they do is lawful. Either, if there is control, it should be done generally or we should allow the pressure of the economy, as no doubt it is doing and will do, to keep down the general demand in the economy.
This is a thoroughly bad Order in examining the use of this power, because it proceeds on the entirely false premise that the Minister can rely on the breach of contract or neglect of the employer to pay an amount of wages at a particular date. It is thoroughly unsatisfactory that an Order should be made on the basis that, although the men were entitled as of 20th July to one figure, just because, by accident, it had not been put into operation and had not begun to be payable, the Minister will use his powers to press them back to the figure which they should have had on 20th July.
I shall ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to do all that they can to ensure that this Prayer is passed by the House.
After listening to the right hon. and learned Member for Warwick and Leamington (Sir John Hobson), I am beginning to understand why lawyers are so suspect in this Chamber. Surely the words in Section 29(4), to which he has drawn attention, are clear. If he is arguing for his latter assumption, namely, that the increase is deferred by the Order until the Order expires, and that on the expiry all the accumulated credit would have to be paid by the employer, surely the word "for" in the second line of the subsection, should "during".
The implication of the word "for" must be that the increase is not payable in respect of work done during the period while the Order is in force. I should have thought that the words of the subsection were perfectly plain. We must wait to see whether the county court judges take my view. I should have thought that this was a case in which common sense would prevail.
County court judges will decide the right level at which the wages should be fixed. When the Order expires there will be the different and separate question which I have raised as to what is the effect of creating illegality in the performance of the contract. The county court judge will not decide that question.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman is correct in saying that the county court judge will not have to decide that question in the pending case to which he referred, but if the decision is to be made it must be made by some tribunal, and presumably it would be made by a county court.
I turn to the wider question. The Order indicates in an enlightening way the kind of control which is being exercised by the Government under Part IV of the Act. The right hon. and learned Gentleman rightly said that the Orders which have been made under Part IV affect only a very small minority of the working community. They are only the sensitive portions of the community in the sense that these are the areas in which people have decided to be completely irresponsible, although 99 pr cent. of the community have decided that in the national interest they should be responsible and accept the lead given by the Government.
In other words, this is not the kind of statutory compulsion in respect of wages, or, indeed, of prices, which would justify any suggestion that these are draconion measures by the Government. This is an overall control, it is true, but it is an overall control which is limited to dealing only with the mavericks in industry.
I come back, in relation to this Order, to a point which I made in the economic debate last week, that it is this kind of Order which gives the outer limits for negotiations in respect of wages, and similar Orders in respect of prices, for industry during this period of freeze. The same kind of Order will be applied during the period of standstill, and all that is being done is to set the limits. If the limits have been set, after the period of standstill there could be a situation in which there could be free negotiation within those limits.
I therefore welcome this Order, because it is to me the kind of control which is required in all our future negotiations about wages, and, indeed, about prices. I would only suggest that in so far as this kind of control has been successful during the period of the wage freeze it could be equally successful in the period after the period of standstill, of severe restraint, has expired. It might be that the Government should look again at the whole question of whether there ought not to be a continuance of permanent statutory control.
I rise only to inquire whether the hon. Gentleman made a slip of the tongue. He said, "after the freeze period" and then "during the period of standstill". Was he thinking, in saying "after the freeze", of the period of severe restraint?
Yes. The point to which I was directing my attention was after the expiry of Part IV of the Act, which would be after the period of severe restraint. It was a slip of the tongue.
As the right hon. and learned Gentleman has pointed out, this restraint which has been used under the powers conferred on the Government by Part IV has had to be used only in relation to a very limited area of the working population. Nevertheless, the figures show that it has been eminently successful. I suggest that in so far as it has been successful now in a period of freeze, it could be equally successful after the expiry of the Act.
The facts speak for themselves. If one takes the figures which have been given for the increases in wage rates—I grant that the figures for earnings may be different when one has the full facts—and in so far as one has any figures to compare, the increase has been very limited indeed during the period of wage freeze.
I accept that during the period of severe restraint the problems will be very much more acute, and that if one were to continue thereafter with some kind of statutory control the problems would become even greater as the years went on. But I think that the country is prepared to accept that some kind of permanent overall statutory control which does not impinge on detailed wage negotiations, or, indeed, price negotiations—something that provides an umbrella beyond which the negotiations cannot go—is required in this area.
I therefore welcome the Order, and only hope that the Government will think again about the continuance of this power.
It is encouraging to know that we are to have the modulated, careful Fabian, barrister, middle-class thinking of the hon. Member for York (Mr. Alexander W. Lyon) when- ever we discuss workers' wages, and that we shall have a continuing elaboration of the thesis which he adumbrated in the recent economic debate—that we need pervasive and continuing control. All that will be noted.
The hon. Gentleman's argument is that this was an act of enlightenment, to which I respond, "If this be enlightenment, send for more candles." His claim that the figures show that it has been eminently successful must be a triumph of hope over evidence. Certainly it discounts, purposely, I suspect, the effects of the squeeze.
Is the hon. Gentleman telling all those who now complain about the economic conditions which flow from the squeeze, that the stand-still in earnings, the inability to get more overtime and the inability to secure higher rates are not due to the squeeze, it is a highly successful wage planning machinery—the first real tangible evidence of which is in the Statutory Instrument which we are discussing?
I would follow that point, but for the fact that I might run into difficulties of order.
None the less, I would make this one further observation on the hon. Gentleman's remarks. He talked about wages and prices. That is more than a Freudian slip. It omits the question of salaries. It is precisely the insubstantial quality of information available to the Ministries when making their Statutory Instruments—that lack of knowledge affecting salaries—which makes it so important that, every time the incomes of employees are discussed, we discuss them in terms of wages and salaries and demand parity of treatment and parity of information.
My objection to the Statutory Instrument arises largely from the description contained in the Schedule, where it says that it is to affect remuneration for work
… by or on behalf of Thorn Electrical Industries Limited, the Association of Supervisory Staffs, Executives and Technicians…
The cardinal feature of the Order is that it affects the earnings of those employees who are organised into a trade union. That is what distinguishes it particularly, because no one doubts that there must be many other incomes increases taking place which are not the result of any union presence, about which the Government know nothing or are pleased to know nothing.
Indeed, the Government have indicated in their latest White Paper on severe restraint that there are fairly wide areas where they are rather anxious to know nothing. Paragraph 38 of the White Paper says that where increases affect employees numbering less than 200, there is no moral requirement upon the employer to notify the Government; though I agree that it goes on to say "unless" and so forth.
Therefore, under that very term, as my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Sir J. Hobson) mentioned, the 120 employees would not be covered by the moral requirements of paragraph 38 of the latest White Paper of the Government's economic policy. The fact is that this is a piece of selective wage restraint, or selective income restraint, which is designed particularly against the activities of the Association of Supervisory Staffs, Executives and Technicians because of the well-known and widely-publicised fact that the general secretary of that union is determined that the Government's incomes policy shall rest on law and not on blandishments.
This is the reason why the Thorn workers have been selected. It cannot be because of their importance or their significance to the community. It cannot be because they established, as it were, some parameters, in the words of the hon. Member for York, in which the rest of the employers may take note. It is because it would have been extremely difficult for the Government to have turned aside from a direct challenge which was presented to them by Mr. Clive Jenkins.
It is true that this was a test case of the responsibility of a large section of the community. No one can believe that, even with all the statutory power that is available, if the overwhelming mass of workers had rejected the wage freeze, and had decided as Mr. Clive Jenkins apparently decided, to oppose the Government, they would not have been successful in wrecking the wage freeze. Whatever the hon. Gentleman says about the figures, the only figures which we have show that so far, at any rate, it has been eminently successful.
There is no question whatsoever but that under the existing conditions of credit squeeze any substantial or even significant rise in rates would be wholly unexpected. The evidence is there to be quoted, in the previous experience after the 1958 measures, and after the 1961 measures. It is broadly similar to the pattern that we see today.
When the hon. Gentleman talks about responsibility, the challenge of responsibility was of one man who said, "We shall accept the rule of law, and not the rule of White Paper". If this is something which the hon. Gentleman, in his good-natured barrister fashion, dismisses as an irresponsible action on the part of Mr. Clive Jenkins, then he can keep, cherish, and exhort that view of trade union activities, and that view of the rule of law, as characteristic of the thinking of the new Labour élite, and I am glad that it will be kept on that side of the House.
It seems to me that one lesson which one learns from this is that if an employer is confronted with employees who wish to have rises in earnings or rates, either at this time or in the future, and the alternative to not paying those rates is that he will lose the services of those employees, not perhaps just to another British employer, but to a North American employer—and this is a real issue when discussing the services of many of the members of A.S.S.E.T.—the thing to do is to keep as quiet as possible about it.
After all, silence might even be encouraged by the Government. I remember that when we discussed the Prices and Incomes Bill, which has given rise to this Order, there was much talk about the productivity agreement of British Oxygen. Suddenly, silence has descended on that difficulty for the prices and incomes policy. I suspect that this is because, under a cloak of good natured and general looking on the other side of the street, the productivity agreement is going ahead. I hope so. This is what I have assumed. I have not sought to make any noises about it which might cause embarrassment to either British Oxygen or the Government.
On the basis of this Order, I am certain that the lesson which we shall learn from it, which the House will learn from it, which employers will learn from it, and which the workers will learn from it, is that the less the Government know about the movement of earnings the better, unless we are to have a continuation of this kind of arbitrary and curiously selective legislation.
This is the first opportunity we have had to discuss in the House the effect upon incomes of the Prices and Incomes Act, and I am happy to have the opportunity of registering my vote in opposition to it.
Mr. Bob Brown (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West):
I rise to support the Government on taking the action proposed in respect of Thorn Electrical Industries Ltd. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary—then the First Secretary—speaking in the proceedings in Committee on the Prices and Incomes Bill, at 8 o'clock in the morning on 4th August, said, in moving new Clause 5:
This is a substantial power, but these powers, as I have said all the way through, will be used only if the period of standstill has broken down on a voluntary basis. It would be a complete nonsense to say that the standstill should be observed but then to have no power if, in fact, there are substantial breaches. We think it proper to take this power, but only if the voluntary system has broken down and only if we invoke Part IV of the Bill."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. Standing Committee B, 4th August, 1966, cc. 711–2.]
I submit that the great majority of our workers—organised or otherwise—have accepted the need for the wage freeze. They have respected the decisions taken by the Government.
The reserve powers having been debated at length in the Committee and on the Floor of the House it would be quite wrong for the Government to allow any selfish minority to undermine the efforts of the great mass of workers who have willingly accepted the need to put the national well-being before personal profit. The fact that these reserve powers have been used on only two occasions underlines my point about the loyalty of our workers to the Government in the national interest. The right hon. and learned Member for Warwick and Leamington (Sir J. Hobson) said that in this case 120 people might seek back payment for 10 months, and then we should have this flood of people, with disastrous effects on our economy, in August, when all 120 of them, with their 10 months' back pay, would create a balance of payments crisis. That is what the right hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to suggest.
At Thorn Electrical Industries we have an organisation which, through its general secretary, has declared war on this legislation from the word "off". In fact, long before the legislation ever reached the stage of being debated in Committee the individual concerned had declared war on the legislation and on the Government. It may be that the leaders of this organisation are concerned purely and simply with their own membership, or, I suggest, not with their own membership but only with a very small percentage of it.
I am not suggesting now, nor have I ever suggested, that Clive Jenkins, or A.S.S.E.T. as an organisation, has broken the law. But they have most certainly challenged the law. From the "off" they have said that they will not accept this legislation. This was long before they knew what form it would take. Clive Jenkins made that perfectly clear.
I submit that it would be almost immoral for the Government to pull the carpet from under the feet of the many very responsible trade union leaders who have accepted this legislation on behalf of their members—the very many responsible trade unionists and trade union leaders who see, in giving support to the measures taken in the national interest, a clear policy of supporting their own membership in total.
This, in itself, is a most important reason for supporting the Government on this issue at this time, for let no hon. Member forget that the goodwill of organised labour is a most important need for any Government, of whatever political colour they may be.
When Part IV of the Prices and Incomes Act was introduced, it was clear that the Government had in mind a game of bluff with the trade unionists, and I suppose that when they introduced it there was a reasonable prospect of their getting away with that bluff. In fact, the bluff was called. When it was called, the Government got into a panic. As a result, we now have legislation that is absolutely discriminatory.
I took the view of the Prices and Incomes Bill from the very beginning that as long as the Government kept to a voluntary policy, with a certain amount of power given to the members of the Prices and Incomes Board to secure from unions and employers advance notice of possible wage claims, it will be all right, but that once they got into the sphere of compulsion they would get into trouble. The Government are in trouble and difficulty because of the foghorn voice of Mr. Clive Jenkins, who said from the start that he would have nothing to do with this policy.
If the Government had not brought in Part IV, it is more than likely that instead of the Minister and themselves being in trouble Mr. Clive Jenkins would have been in trouble. He has been able to carry his members very easily with him against Part IV—compulsion—and this kind of Order but he would have been in a rather difficult position if he had had to say to his members, "Everyone else is supporting the Government voluntarily, but I want you to go against the Government. I want you, in complete isolation in the country, to refuse to support the voluntary effort that is being made by everyone else on the wages and salaries front."
The matter was not allowed to take its normal course. The Government brought in the Order before allowing Mr. Clive Jenkins to get into conflict with his members, as he might well have done——
It is within the bounds of possibility that Mr. Clive Jenkins would not have received support from his members in going against the Government's voluntary appeal.
The hon. Member for York (Mr. Alexander W. Lyon) has just said that this was a test case for the Government, but the basis of any test case is that once the case is proved it is used to influence things right across the board and down the line. That is what the Government are not doing. For them it is a test case, but they are then saying to every employer with fewer than 200 employees, "You do not need to do this. You can increase wages and salaries—we do not want to look at you." It is a case of blinking the eye, so that a very large section of the employed population can get increases without the Prices and Incomes Board knowing anything about it.
If what the hon. Member says is true, it would be reflected in the statistics, but it is not; and if it is not reflected in the statistics, the hon. Member has no evidence for saying what he has just said.
In the first place, we have not had time yet to get statistics. We do not know. Secondly, across this front total statistics are not available—on salaries, for instance, as my hon. Friend has pointed out on numerous occasions. A case was brought to my notice in my constituency the other week, when I was asked whether it was possible to increase a groundsman's salary——
Mr. Bob Brown:
The hon. Member must surely accept that when we have a quarter of a million local government officers and 72,000 British Rail staff in the same position as these 120 supervisors, it would be morally wrong to allow these 120 to get away with it when these others are observing the conditions.
I do not suggest that it is right that they should be allowed to get away with it.
The Thorn Company took a view on this. It had a contract. It decided to put the onus entirely on the Government. It was forced into this position by Mr. Clive Jenkins. The Thorn Company was entirely right. I believe that the Government could have got a situation of wage and salary control and a limit of increases under the voluntary system without bringing in Part IV and that by bringing in Part IV they destroyed much of the voluntary effort for which they had asked and which previously they were getting.
The worst feature about the Order is the possibilities that it creates for the future. It is extraordinary what enthusiasm there is now by hon. Members opposite, including the hon. Member for York and others, including, indeed, the Chairman of the Prices and Incomes Board, for keeping this control permanently.
A number of us on this side made it clear that we believed that a prices and incomes policy was desirable on a voluntary basis and that the Board should have certain responsibilities and be encouraged to influence. We draw the line on the downward slope towards permanent compulsion. The trade unions as a whole will, I believe, very soon come to the view that their support of the Labour Party will be less enthusiastic in the future if this is the road on which hon. Members opposite are going.
If the Labour Party and the Government decide, following the next 12 months, to have some form of compulsion permanently in this way, one should ask the Minister this question. There will then be many Orders of this kind which come before the House. Is it to be compulsion that is restricted——
I will return to the Order, Mr. Deputy Speaker.
Will we in future be in the position of having to argue many Orders of this kind late at night? I ask the Government to be very careful where they are going. It is one thing to bring in Part IV of the Bill in an emergency situation. It is another thing to have a voluntary incomes policy, and it is quite another thing, which would be completely unacceptable to us, to have compulsion permanently imposed in this field.
I should declare my interest, as I am a member of Mr. Clive Jenkins' union, though I do not see eye to eye with Mr. Jenkins on his policy on wages, or, for that matter, on the standstill.
When Part IV of the Act was adopted by the House, I expressed my reservations upon this Order, which I cannot support tonight. One of the reasons is this. It is said by my hon. Friends that if this sort of increase were allowed it would wreck the whole of the standstill. But this is very far from being the truth, because we are dealing tonight not with all wages or all prices, but with a small section of wages where a legally enforceable agreement was entered into before 20th July and where people are able to claim what is theirs in law. We are not discussing the whole question of the standstill.
It would have been quite possible for the Government to have drawn the line on the standstill so that it applied only to agreements entered into after 20th July. In my view they have drawn the line at the wrong date by interfering with legally enforceable agreements.
Does my hon. Friend realise, when he talks about a small section of people, that this affects 6 million workers who had agreements already signed and with the amount determined before 20th July? If this section had been allowed to slip through, so would 6 million other workers.
I do not accept that there are 6 million. I know that there have been a large number of agreements, but I am talking of contractual, legally binding obligations, effective before 20th July. There are certainly not 6 million people who could have taken their case to court. This is a very small section indeed.
How can it make sense. Supposing that Thorn Electrics had paid this increase one or two days after their agreement. They would not then have come under Part IV. How can an Order such as this be justified when it is based on the accidental fact that this firm did not pay the increase until 20th July? If another firm had entered into a similar agreement and paid up the first week's wages before 20th July it would have escaped this Order. It does not make sense. It is illogical and irrational, and I do not see how it is justifiable.
The right hon. and learned Member for Warwick and Leamington (Sir J. Hobson) said that in his view it was very likely that these men could claim their wage increase when the Order expires in twelve months time. I would ask my hon. Friend this—and I put a point to the right hon. and learned Member for Warwick and Leamington which I do not think he entirely followed. Suppose that a notice is given under Section 28. Then one gets Section 30, which provides a mechanism by which the employer can defeat his liability. There is no similar mechanism in the case of an Order under Section 29 which would seem to indicate that this Order really will not amount to anything anyhow because the employer could not give notice under Section 30 to dispose of his liability. If the employer cannot dispose of his liability, his liability must be met when the Order expires, so what is the point of this Order anyway?
I hope that the Government will not persist in Orders of this character. I do not think that they do any credit to the wage freeze or to the standstill when they are interfering with legal obligations which have been entered into, but which, by sheer accident, have not yet been executed. I believe that the White Paper dealing with the period of severe restraint provides that contracts such as these—where a contract was completed before 20th July—should be released during the period of severe restraint. How does that apply to these members of A.S.S.E.T. and the clerical workers under this Order?
How can my hon. Friend justify, under this Order, the discrimination between trade unionists and non-trade unionists? That is one of the least justifiable features of the Order. Is this an action taken against one union with whom the Government ate in conflict and who have had the impertinence to question the Govern- ment's legislation in a court of law? If that is so, this is not very commendable behaviour. I should like the Minister's answers to all those questions.
Tonight, we are not discussing the broad question of the prices and incomes policy or the Prices and Incomes Act which received Royal Assent in August, or for that matter Part IV, which we discussed on 25th October. We are discussing the narrow point whether the Government were right to make a Section 29 Order in the case of Thorn Electrical Industries Ltd. at the beginning of November.
I greatly respect the legal expertise of the right hon. and learned Member for Warwick and Leamington (Sir J. Hobson), and in so far as I am unable to give him a wholly satisfactory reply to any of his questions, I hope that he will not assume that I have not taken note of them, and that they will not receive the closest consideration. If it is his wish, I shall be happy in correspondence to deal with any points which I do not cover satisfactorily tonight.
Having said that, there were times when listening to him I felt that his ingenious legal arguments were somewhat remote from the realities of making a prices and incomes policy work. I was glad to hear the speeches of my hon. Friends the Members for York (Mr. Alexander W. Lyon) and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West (Mr. Bob Brown), who brought a sense of proportion to a discussion which sometimes had been removed from the need, having decided upon a policy, to see that it is satisfactorily carried out.
One of the points of substance argued at the beginning, and returned to, among others, by the hon. Member for Oswestry (Mr. Biffen), was the suggestion that there had been a conspiracy of silence between employers and employees about breaches of the standstill. I have a rather higher opinion of the parties involved than has the right hon. and learned Gentleman or others who have suggested that breaches have occurred. There is every reason for believing that the great majority of those who were covered by the White Paper, and in particular those who already had commitments, have respected the standstill, and certainly we have no evidence to suggest the contrary.
It is true that we are considering, as we must, any other breaches that have been brought to our attention, but I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Aston (Mr. Julius Silverman) that we do not want to have to use Part IV and Section 29 if we can avoid doing so. The remedy lies not in our hands but in the hands of those who, if they wish to do so, as the majority do, will respect the standstill rather than provoke us into what we believe to be necessary action in defence, not simply of those others who have respected the standstill, but of all those who will benefit from the success of the prices and incomes policy. Public opinion shows that the overwhelming majority of people endorse the measures which we took last July in regard to the standstill and the period of severe restraint.
I will repeat, for the benefit of hon. Members who may not know the exact sequence of events, how this matter first arose. The account of the right hon. and learned Member for Warwick and Leamington was substantially accurate, but perhaps I should fill it out a little. On 12th April last A.S.S.E.T., the Association of Supervisory Staffs, Executives and Technicians and the other union, the National Association of Clerical and Supervisory Staffs, N.A.C.S.S., opened negotiations with Thorn Electrical Industries Limited for an agreement for an increase in pay for certain of their members—I will return to this later—about 120 in all, employed in a supervisory capacity by Thorns.
The position at the time was that the supervisors concerned were on a basic rate of £20 a week and the claim, for a 5 per cent. increase, represented an additional £1. With overtime, most of them would have had total weekly earnings, before deductions, of between £23 and £24. These negotiations were concluded on 12th July, and the position then was that Thorns had agreed to pay certain members of A.S.S.E.T. and N.A.C.S.S. an increase of 5 per cent. as from 4th April of this year, and a further increase of 5 per cent. as from 3rd April, 1967.
That was the position at 12th July and, for that reason, the position at 20th July, when my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced the pay standstill.
My hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Aston, suggested that it was illogical because only some people were caught. He implied that there was an anomaly in the standstill, as it was applied after 20th July, in that they were caught only because the money had not been passed over whereas if it had been paid they would not have been. I am not saying tonight that there were not some anomalies or even some injustices in the introduction of the standstill. Let us be frank and admit that it was inevitable that there would be some. But we could not have made the standstill work unless we had determined a date and had been quite rigid about it. Having formulated the rules, we had to apply them honestly and fairly to all the groups affected by them.
The next stage in the sequence of events was on 18th August, when the solicitors for A.S.S.E.T. gave notice to the solicitors for Thorns that one of its members proposed to bring an action to secure payment of the 5 per cent. increase which had been agreed on 12th July. On 26th August, the solicitor for Mr. L. A. Allen, the member in question, served a county court summons on Thorns for payment of the increase as from 4th April. Then, when the case came up in the Edmonton County Court on 29th September, Judge Granville Smith found for Mr. Allen. The firm consulted with its solicitors and, after consideration, decided not to appeal.
The formal notice of the proposal to make the Order under Section 29 was given to the parties on 14th October. I think, in view of previous discussions in the House about consultation, including the one last Monday, it would be right if very quickly I referred to the consultation which took place. On 12th October the C.B.I. consulted the D.E.A. about the proposal to make an Order against Thorn's employees. They accepted, after discussion, that it was important to make clear that the workers concerned should be no better off at the end of the day as a result of the court action than other workers who were observing the standstill.
The T.U.C. was also consulted in the same week, and the T.U.C.'s attitude was similar to that of the C.B.I., and I think that this bears on what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West. They did not want a particular group to get away with it at a time when the great majority of people were in fact respecting the standstill, although they had outstanding commitments at 20th July. At the beginning of the previous week the First Secretary consulted both the T.U.C. and the C.B.I. about the need to bring in Part IV of the Act in the light of Edmonton County Court's decision. The Order in Council was made on 5th October, to come into effect the following day. That is the course of events up to the beginning of October.
In view of the consultations which we have had with the C.B.I. and the T.U.C., at the end of the day, although the decision was, rightly, the Government's, we decided to serve formal notice on 14th October to the parties concerned of our proposal to make an Order, allowing, as the Act requires, an opportunity for representations. We received representations, which were most carefully considered by my right hon. Friend the First Secretary, but he took the view that there were no new facts, no new arguments, in the representations which would justify him in failing to make the Order. The Order was made, and came into force on 2nd November.
One of the arguments which we have heard both within the Chamber and outside is that in making this Order, which had the effect of neutralising the effect of the judgment of the county court, the Government were in some way showing disrespect for the processes of the law, but I think that the right hon. and learned Gentleman himself answered this point in dealing with what has happened since the county court decision.
The county court found in favour of Mr. Allen on the facts of the case and in accordance with his contractual rights. At that time, Part IV was not in force, although it had been passed into law. Parliament had given the Government power to override existing contracts by further action if payments threatened to undermine the voluntary standstill.
The Order made against Thorn's did not set aside the county court decision. The sum of £21 which the court awarded to Mr. Allen has in fact been paid. The object of the Order made on 1st November is to ensure that Mr. Allen and his colleagues as a result of their successful court action are no better off than the great majority of the workers who are voluntarily observing the standstill.
There is a further argument which I think I should touch upon, and that is that remuneration means the rate of pay to which the employee is legally entitled rather than money which he actually received. I do not think, however, that this argument has been pursued much tonight, and I hope that it has now been accepted that remuneration means money actually paid and not simply money due.
I hope the hon. Gentleman will not misunderstand me. I did not pursue it because it is sub judice; but it does not matter what we say here. Certainly I should not like it to be thought that I accepted that there was not a great deal to be put forward in court.
I am glad that the right hon. and learned Gentleman has made his view plain, but I think I ought to say quite clearly that, having considered all the facts available to us, in the opinion of the Government remuneration does mean money which has passed and not money which is due. Of course, it is right to add that any difference of legal opinion—and there can be difference of legal opinion on this question—is one which, in the last resort, only the courts can decide.
Could the Under-Secretary tell the House whether it is the belief and the intention of the Government that should A.S.S.E.T. be successful in its appeal on the grounds that he has been talking about, the Act will give the Government further powers which would enable them to set aside the decisions of the court?
It would be wrong to consider a wholly hypothetical situation. We do not know what A.S.S.E.T.'s next move might be. We all hope that this may be the end of the road on this matter. It would be wrong for me to prejudge what course of events might follow.
A point which was raised, properly, on both sides of the House was the suggestion that the Act discriminates against trade unions. This is not at all the case. Section 29 can be used to restrict the pay of any workers who have a contract of employment whether or not they belong to a trade union. In the case of Thorns, the company treated all its supervisors in the same way. It deferred the increase agreed with A.S.S.E.T. and the N.A.C.S.S. from all—and I think it would be true to say that it does not necessarily know who amongst its workers are members of the unions concerned and who are not.
The firm then paid the extra money, following the Edmonton decision, to all its employees within this category and not simply to Mr. Allen. It stopped paying the extra money in all cases with effect from 2nd November. Therefore, I think it is clear that Thorns has not discriminated, and this Order does not discriminate, against trade unionists.
Two other points have been raised on which I can touch briefly. One concerned the question of the revival of rights after the expiry of Part IV of the Act. In our view, after 12th August no rights arise again if they have been stopped by the Order. I am advised that the Order takes away the contractual rights. It does not just suspend them.
I think my hon. Friend is wrong in saying that the relationship of Section 30 to Section 29 is the same as the relationship of Section 30 to Section 28. As I say, I am advised that the effect of this Order—that is the point that we are discussing—is such that after 12th August it will not be possible to claim the money that has not been paid during the period in which Part IV of the Act has been applicable.
I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but he has said that the effect and the view was that the workman has his contractual rights taken away. What is put in their place, and what is the situation of the workmen who have had their contractual rights taken away?
The right hon. and learned Gentleman draws a rather wider conclusion from what is a fairly narrow power. I made clear that in this specific case the effect of Section 29, dealing only with the settlement which was reached on 12th July last, is such that the money cannot be paid after the end of the period. I do not think that in other respects contractual rights are affected in the way which the right hon. and learned Gentleman anticipates. I agree that the point about the consequences after Part IV of the Act expires was important and powerful. It is not for me this evening to enter the interesting arguments of my hon. Friends the Members for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West and York about the need to continue statutory powers after 11th August. That is not the Government's view, and we very much hope that the period of standstill and severe restraint during which we have Part IV powers will be sufficient to produce an atmosphere from which we can again go forward to a policy which is wholly voluntary.
Whether or not we can do so depends on the attitude of those who want to see the policy work, and whether they are prepared to make the effort and respect the decisions once they are made. I hope that we shall not have to make many Orders. But the plain fact which hon. Members sometimes seem to have forgotten is that despite all the forebodings—I remember how many there were during the long nights when the Bill was in Committee—the voluntary standstill has been respected by the great majority of those workers for whom commitments had been entered into for increases between 20th July and the end of the year.
They have accepted the hardship and inconvenience involved and I pay tribute now, as I and my right hon. Friends have done on other occasions, to what they have done. The earnings of many of them were less than the earnings of the supervisors employed by Thorn's, as my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West said. If it had been a matter of staking a just claim to their increases they could have done so at least as readily and with as much cause. In a sense it would have been less anomalous in the terms of what my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Aston said for them to have pressed their claims than it was for the supervisor employed by Thorn's. The fact that they did not do so was an illustration of the widespread understanding of the circumstances which led the Government to declare a standstill.
Listening to the right hon. and learned Member for Warwick and Leamington, and trying to follow him through the intricacy of his arguments, I felt that the Opposition remained obscure to the end in their attitude. Most of them know that a policy for productivity, prices and incomes is
essential and that in the circumstances of July it was necessary to take the powers we did in Part IV of the Act. On the other hand, they are very reluctant to admit it in public; nor are they prepared to see the Government use the remedies which are essential to ensure that the policy is faithfully carried out. They have not told the House on any previous occasion what alternative course they would recommend and they have not done so tonight.
|Division No. 221.]||AYES||[11.29 p.m.|
|Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n)||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Nott, John|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Biffen, John||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Percival, Ian|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Hawkins, Paul||Pounder, Rafton|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Heseltine, Michael||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Hill, J. E. B.||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Burden, F. A.||Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Holland, Philip||Sharples, Richard|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Hunt, John||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Cooke, Robert||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Stainton, Keith|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)|
|Costain, A. P.||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Tapsell, Peter|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Sir Oliver||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Davidson, James(Aberdeenshire,W.)||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Thorpe, Jeremy|
|Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)||Longden, Gilbert||Tilney, John|
|Deedes, Rt Hn. W. F. (Ashford)||Loveys, W. H.||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John|
|Doughty, Charles||Lubbock, Eric||Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Elliott, R.W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Maude, Angus||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Farr, John||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Whitelaw, William|
|Fisher, Nigel||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Foster, Sir John||Miscampbell, Norman||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Worsley, Marcus|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||More, Jasper|
|Glyn, Sir Richard||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Grant, Anthony||Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Mr. Peter Blaker and|
|Grant-Ferris, R.||Murton, Oscar||Mr. Reginald Eyre.|
|Grieve, Percy||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Abse, Leo||Concannon, J. D.||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)|
|Allen, Scholefield||Conlan, Bernard||Foley, Maurice|
|Archer, Peter||Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Ford, Ben|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Fowler, Gerry|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Fraser John (Norwood)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Dalyell, Tam||Freeson, Reginald|
|Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton)||Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Gardner, Tony|
|Binns, John||Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Garrett, W. E.|
|Bishop, E. S.||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Garrow, Alex|
|Blackburn, F.||Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Gordon Walker, Rt, Hn. P. C.|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Davies, Robert (Cambridge)||Gourlay, Harry|
|Boardman, H.||Dempsey, James||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Diamond, Rt. Hn. John||Hannan, William|
|Bradley, Tom||Dobson, Ray||Haseldine, Norman|
|Brooks, Edwin||Doig, Peter||Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b's)||Hobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town)|
|Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper)||Eadie, Alex||Hooley, Frank|
|Brown,Bob(N'c'tle-upon-Tyrre,W)||English, Michael||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)|
|Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Ennals, David||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)|
|Buchan, Norman||Ensor, David||Howie, W.|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Faulds Andrew||Hoy, James|
|Carmichael, Neil||Fernyhough, E.||Hynd, John|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)|
|Coe, Denis||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Janner, Sir Barnett|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Ross, Rt. Hn. William|
|Judd, Frank||Moyle, Roland||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)|
|Kenyon, Clifford||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Lawson, George||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Leadbitter, Ted||Norwood, Christopher||Slater, Joseph|
|Lestor, Miss Joan||Oakes, Gordon||Small, William|
|Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Ogden, Eric||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Loughlin, Charles||O'Malley, Brian||Swingler, Stephen|
|Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Oswald, Thomas||Taverne, Dick|
|Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth S'tn)||Urwin, T. W.|
|McBride, Neil||Owen, Will (Morpeth)||Walden, Brian (All Saints)|
|MacColl, James||Pavitt, Laurence||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Macdonald, A. H.||Pentland, Norman||Wallace, George|
|Mackenzie, Gregor (Ruthergien)||Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E.||Wellbeloved, James|
|Mackintosh, John P.||Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Maclennan, Robert||Price, William (Rugby)||Whitaker, Ben|
|MacPherson, Malcolm||Redhead, Edward||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Manuel, Archie||Rees, Meriyn||Whitlock, William|
|Mapp, Charles||Richard, Ivor||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Marquand, David||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Mason, Roy||Roberta, Goronwy (Gaernarvon)||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)|
|Mellish, Robert||Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Millan, Bruce||Robertson, John (Paisley)||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)||Woof, Robert|
|Mitchell R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Moonman, Eric||Roebuck, Roy||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Rose, Paul||Mr. Charles Grey and|
|Mr. Ioan L. Evans.|