Prices and Incomes (Limb-Fitters)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th March 1967.

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10.21 p.m.

Photo of Mr Maurice Macmillan Mr Maurice Macmillan , Farnham

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 1967 (S.I, 1967, No. 98), dated 30th January 1967, a copy of which was laid before this House on 30th January, be annulled. This matter was first raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond, Surrey (Mr. A. Royle) in an Early Day Motion taken up in an Adjournment debate on 18th November, which was replied to by the then Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health, the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Loughlin). At Question Time on 5th December, in reply to a Question from my hon. Friend, the Minister of Health said: An agreement has been reached between the employers and the union, and the limb fitters have today resumed normal working."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th December, 1966; Vol.737, c.926.] Again in reply to my hon. Friend, after the Order which we are debating was made, the Minister said: Work is proceeding normally at Roehampton and no special measures are necessary."—OFFICIAL REPORT, 6th February, 1967; Vol.740, c.200.] I think that the fact that that is so is due only to the restraint of the limb-fitters and their union, A.S.S.E.T. In the previous Adjournment debate, criticism—perhaps regret would be a more accurate word—was expressed on both sides of the House about the go-slow of the limb-fitters. My right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) perhaps expressed the view of the whole House when he said: I have the greatest sympathy with the union over having what I understand was very nearly a firm agreement frustrated by the accident of a few days".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th November, 1966; Vol.736. c.902.] In this debate, both sides of the House will have even more sympathy with the union and the limb-fitters because they have been frustrated not by an accident but by the deliberate policy of the Government, using the D.E.A. and the Prices and Incomes Act to over-rule what amounted to a firm undertaking given to the union by the Minister of Health and the Government, preventing the employers honouring their undertaking to the union concerned.

I must express the admiration of this side of the House for the restraint being shown by the union and the limb-fitters in the face of extreme provocation. Perhaps it would be for the convenience of the House if I briefly recapitulate the events and the facts in this distressing case.

In all, about 180 limb-fitters are concerned. They are all members of A.S.S.E.T., which has been negotiating wages and conditions on their behalf for over 20 years. Out of the total, 170 fitters are concerned with fitting artificial legs and 10 deal with arms and hands, and 60 per cent. of them are employed by Messrs. J.E. Hanger and Co. Ltd., which is the largest of some eight firms working for the Ministry under contract.

It is extremely skilled work. Their job is to translate the doctors' prescriptions into artificial limbs, and it requires considerable personal qualities as well as great technical skill. I understand that the normal apprenticeship for the manufacture of artificial limbs is five years and that it takes six years or more after completing the apprenticeship to acquire sufficient skill to become a fitter.

So great is the contribution made by the limb-fitters to the well-being of their patients that many of the private patients who go to them do not, I understand, obey the rules imposed on the National Health Service of necessarily seeing a doctor first except for purely mechanical repairs. The fitters had a rise of £50 a year in March, 1964, and again in March, 1965, which brought them to the present level of £1,368 a year, or just over £26 for a 37-hour week. I come now to the melancholy chronicle of this dispute, not between the union and the employers, but between the limb-fitters and the Government.

On 15th March, 1966, A.S.S.E.T. approached Messrs. J. E. Hanger and Co. Ltd., as the major employer whose lead is followed by the other firms in the industry, and submitted a claim for £250 a year rise. The first meeting between the union and the management took place on 18th April, 1966, leading to an offer by the firm in June to negotiate increases if A.S.S.E.T. accepted the proposals for increased efficiency. Finally, an agreement was reached on 9th August, 1966, for an interim rise of £100 a year, to be paid retrospectively to 1st May, 1966. I quote a letter written by the union to the management: I am writing to confirm the understanding we reached today on the desirability of taking whatever steps are open to both of us to improve productivity, efficiency, and economic work within your establishments…Accordingly, we propose to recommend to our members, in line with the theme of our talks, that they become party with you to a special Working Party on Efficiency and Productivity. We thus had, on 9th August, an agreement for an interim rise of £100 a year and an agreement to enter into a special working party on efficiency and productivity.

It was this agreement that the company was initially prevented from honouring because of its voluntary adherence to the Government's prices and incomes policy. On 24th August, there was a meeting at which the company stuck to its position that no payment could be made until 1st January, 1967, when the standstill period became the period of severe retraint. As a result, on 2nd September, 1966, the limb-fitters started to work to rule. During the course of this dispute there were various meetings, in which A.S.S.E.T. produced a formula for a six-months' pause between May and November, 1966, which was unacceptable.

Finally, on 2nd December, 1966, agreement was reached on the firm offer to pay the £100 increase from 2nd January, 1967, and to hold further discussions on methods of improving efficiency. It was the formal acceptance of this agreement on 5th December, 1966, that enabled the Minister of Health to make an announcement to the House that normal working had been resumed. It was at this point that the Minister, having welcomed this agreement as a fairy godmother and given his blessing, was replaced by the demon king in the person of the D.E.A., who on 9th January, 1967, referred the agreement to the Prices and Incomes Board.

This was too much for the patience even of the firm, who rightly rejected the Government's request and began pay- ing the £100 a year increase from 1st January, 1967. On 13th January, 1967, the Secretary of State gave notice of his intention to make an Order under Section 29 of the Prices and Incomes Act. Despite representations from the union and from the firm, that Order was made on 29th January and came into force the next day.

It is this Order that we are praying against tonight, and I hope that we shall have the support of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen in all parts of the House for I cannot find any valid reason why this Order should not be annulled. On an examination of the conduct of the union, the firm and of the Government, any sane judgment of the events must lead those of us who feel this way into the Lobby against this Order.

I can find no valid reason why this Order should be supported, but I can anticipate some of the arguments which the hon. Gentleman the Parliamentary Secretary will put forward. No doubt we shall hear of the importance of maintaining the integrity of the prices and incomes policy. This surely comes within the terms of one of the two White Papers, either on the stand-still, or the period of severe restraint. It is surely reasonable to regard this as a special case. It concerns very few people, 180 of them, and a rise of £100 a year—£18,000 less tax. Surely this is something which can hardly create a precedent and which can hardly lead even this Government into difficulties.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

It would be a convenience to the House if, when he says that the claim comes within the terms of the White Paper, the hon. Gentleman would draw the attention of the House to which part of the White Paper he means.

Photo of Mr Maurice Macmillan Mr Maurice Macmillan , Farnham

If the hon. Gentleman will wait for me to develop my argument, he will find that he has plenty to answer.

I would refer the House to the remarks of my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames, who referred to this in an Adjournment debate and said: …we are within six months…of the period of absolute freeze, and we then begin the period of what is called severe restraint. If I understood it aright, that is a period in which advances may be made in some cases. It is my plea to the House that this is a case in which an advance should be made. If it is the worry and concern of the Government to maintain the prices and incomes policy, they should think a little about the integrity of their own statements and of the implications of what they have said in this House. The then Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health, in the previous debate on the Adjournment, said: …the only thing we can hope for is that, as a result of the debate today, the appeals which I shall make before I finish will evoke a response."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th November, 1966; Vol.736, c.895–902.] They did evoke a response, and the Minister welcomed the settlement and the end of the work-to-rule.

But what happened then? No hint had been given by the Minister to this House nor by the Ministry to the firm that the agreement was not acceptable to the Government. Very suddenly, the Department of Economic Affairs stepped in, and I am rather sorry for the Minister of Labour and the Parliamentary Secretary, who have been landed with the task of defending this dishonourable and arrogant disregard of the spirit, if not the letter, of the implied pledge given by the Minister.

Another argument which may well be brought forward is that there would be unfairness to others who have been affected by similar Orders. I have a list of one or two. Laundry and dry-cleaning charges were frozen. An Order banning any pay increase in the case of Thorn Electrical Industries was in force on 2nd November. Then there were the newspaper, printing and distribution workers, the Metropolitan Police draughtsmen, the Rockware Glass workers and a lot more. I cannot believe that the unions or the people affected by those Orders would resent in any way an exception being made in the case of 180 limb-fitters who have been treated so shabbily.

There are those who have had a rise, some without a productivity agreement and some with. There are the senior bank staffs, bakery workers, wholesale grocery and provision workers, local authority white-collar workers, railway- men, municipal busmen, gas workers, doctors and a whole range of others. If these can get a rise sanctioned, it is going too far to make an example almost of the limb-fitters.

I understand that 284 proposals for increases in pay to take account of increases in productivity, and which were to take effect in the period of severe restraint, had been submitted to the Ministry of Labour by 16th February. I understand, further, that 89 cases had been examined up to 16th February this year and that 73 of these had been allowed as complying with the provisions of the White Paper and 16 were stopped. The case of 180 limb-fitters is one of those which has been stopped.

The question of productivity is of particular importance, because it is not only concerned with output or economy or the more efficient use of resources. The words "productivity" and "increased efficiency" take on a new meaning, because the case in question is concerned with the well-being, the happiness and the efficient and effective treatment of the disabled.

It is fair to say that part of the reason why the limb-fitters, members of A.S.S.E.T., are so dissatisfied with the treatment which they have been given is that they are not happy with the treatment which they are able to give and with the circumstances that surround their working conditions and the organisation under which they work. They treat 400 patients a week, which means that each fitter has very often to deal with more than one patient at a time. It is a factor which did not matter so much when most of the patients were ex-Servicemen, but it is one which is becoming more important now that there are more amputees among elderly people who have lost limbs as a result of disease rather than accident and who perhaps are a little more sensitive about group treatment.

Photo of Mr Eric Ogden Mr Eric Ogden , Liverpool, West Derby

Is the hon. Gentleman saying that ex-Servicemen should be treated differently from civilian amputees?

Photo of Mr Maurice Macmillan Mr Maurice Macmillan , Farnham

The hon. Gentleman has misunderstood me. I was saying that a number of youngish ex-Servicemen of the same age are less likely to mind having their lower limbs exposed when other people are present than middle aged or elderly ladies. It is a very simple argument and not one carrying the connotation which the hon. Gentleman is seeking to give it.

Photo of Mr Maurice Macmillan Mr Maurice Macmillan , Farnham

Other difficulties which they are facing but which I need not develop tonight concern the division of responsibility, the whole question of procedure, the amount of time spent waiting, the difficulty of dealing with the ambulance services, and so on.

It is widely admitted by the Ministry, by Messrs. Hanger and the other firms concerned, by the medical authorities and by the limb-fitters and their union, that there is much room for improvement to remove these somewhat difficult and, in some cases, unpleasant conditions for all concerned. It is that as much as a wage increase which is being threatened by the Government.

The wages index is up by one point only between December, 1966, and January, 1967, largely due to an increase in the minimum earnings of the engineering industry. The Government, quite rightly have allowed that increase and others, but they are not allowing this one to a numerically insignificant, tiny group of technicians, and they have chosen this one on which to stand firm. It is one which, on any commonsense judgment, could have been an exception to any rule, however rigid in other ways. It is the rigidity which they are showing which is arrogant and cynical. Not only does it affect the reward of a small number of devoted and skilful men, but, by ignoring the improvements which will come with the increase in the salaries of the limb-fitters—improvements which both sides have undertaken to negotiate—it is refusing to ease the burden on the disabled and to increase the comfort with which they and the injured are treated.

Photo of Mr Anthony Royle Mr Anthony Royle , Richmond (Surrey)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. In view of the fact that much of this debate affects in great detail the running and management of the National Health Service, is it not a disgraceful contempt of the House that there is no Minister on the Front Bench representing the Ministry of Health?

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

Order. This is for the Government and is not a point of order for the Chair.

10.43 p.m.

Photo of Mr Hugh Jenkins Mr Hugh Jenkins , Wandsworth Putney

Seldom have we seen a more dramatic conversion than has taken place this evening in the attitude of hon. Gentlemen opposite to trades unions and their members. Nothing so dramatic has taken place since Saul became Paul on the road to Damascus. It is new to hear from hon. Gentlemen opposite a record of what has occurred here. I hope that my hon. Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary has taken note of it, because it was an entirely accurate record, taken in large part from a hand-out issued by A.S.S.E.T.

Photo of Mr Maurice Macmillan Mr Maurice Macmillan , Farnham

That is true, but I checked it with a speech made by the then Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health, and it tallied in every detail, except for a minor point about when the dispute started. I wish that the hon. Gentleman or some other representative of the Ministry were here to listen to the debate.

Photo of Mr Hugh Jenkins Mr Hugh Jenkins , Wandsworth Putney

I am not criticising the hon. Gentleman for taking note of a trade union publication—I am praising him for doing it. I am certainly saying that this is an unusual development, but of course it is a welcome development because conversion, however belated, must always be welcomed. We must give thanks for this.

But I would not have known, to listen to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Farnham (Mr. Maurice Macmillan), that the Motion to which he referred—the Early Day Motion put down by his hon. Friend the Member for Richmond, Surrey (Mr. A. Royle)—was not exactly in the highly encouraging terms which he has been able to use tonight. I am delighted that the situation has now changed, and that hon. Members opposite see that there has occurred here something which in my view is a miscarriage of justice.

Many of the 180 limb-fitters live in my constituency. They work at the limb-fitting centre attached to Queen Mary's Hospital at Roehampton. They are of the finest type of British craftsmen, and they are a great deal more than that, as I shall show. I will say something of their work in a moment, but I should also like to say that these responsible men also contribute to the community in their leisure time. Some serve on local authorities as aldermen or councillors; some serve in other ways, such as youth leaders. One of the chief fitters recently received an honour which was recognised as a tribute to the group as a whole. So we are dealing here not with a bunch of irresponsible persons but with a very responsible group of people.

To lose a limb is a disaster which only the strongest of personalities can survive undamaged, and many of those who undergo this loss remain in a state of great distress. This is why the limb-fitter is more than a craftsman, even more than a technician. He has to be a psychologist of great delicacy and skill, for he is handling men, women and children; he is literally handling the maimed. Let me ask the hon. Gentleman who is going to reply to the debate what more responsible work is there than that? Who deserves higher esteem, and who should be more richly rewarded?

There are, of course, rich rewards in this field, but they do not go to these men. They go to their employers who are contractors to the Ministry of Health and most of whom are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the International Vokes Engineering Group. But the cost of increases in these men's wages does not fall on their wealthy employers; it falls on the Ministry of Health.

The employers have negotiated the sort of agreement that any contractor might envy, in which, if they increase wages they get the increase back from the Ministry of Health. It might be thought that this would work to the advantage of the men, but it has not because the Ministry has influenced the employers to the contrary.

What these men—and their union—say is this. Their skill and the duties which they perform are under-valued both in status and remuneration. The reasons for that are to be found in the ambivalent attitude which the community brings to those who are maimed.

At one time doctors were butchers, dentists were barbers and opticians were quacks. All these have succeeded in making the jump into professional status because they treat the community as a whole. The limb-fitters have failed to do so because their skill is confined to an area which, on the whole, the community does not want to know about.

If we all needed the attention of limb-fitters they would be the highest paid and most esteemed professional people in the community. They would not be employed by contractors, nor forced to work in factory-line conditions. The limb-fitter—or prosthetist as they would like to be called-receives a doctor's prescription, examines the patient, measures, discusses, orders the limb and then keeps with the patient until there is satisfaction, or if there is no satisfaction he still stays with him because there is no where else to go. This is an important factor, because the limb-fitters and the limbless men form, together, a community of interest and a strong bond. Many limbless people signed petitions in support of the claims of the limb-fitters.

The attempt made in the Press to drive a wedge between the limbless people and these men was thoroughly discreditable.

Photo of Sir Harmar Nicholls Sir Harmar Nicholls , Peterborough

This is an occasion when my hon. Friends and I agree with the hon. Member. Will he suggest that the Government Whip tries to get a Member representing the Ministry of Health here? The hon. Member has referred to the Ministry of Health twice, and to the part that it has played. He ought to ask for a Minister from that Ministry to be present.

Photo of Mr Hugh Jenkins Mr Hugh Jenkins , Wandsworth Putney

I hope to persuade my hon. Friends on the Front Bench not to oppose the Prayer, or at least to give some undertakings in connection with it. They are capable of listening to what I am saying and also, if not of changing their minds themselves at least of advising their right hon. Friends to change theirs.

As I have said, the relationship between the limb-fitters and the limbless is akin to that between a doctor and his patient. These men must be highly qualified not only in the technique of their job but also in anatomy, and must be able to translate their skills into forms acceptable to a crippled old person. a deformed child, or a young woman who may feel that life is no longer worth living. This is a very high quality of skill. Some of these men have been abroad to lecture, and people from other countries come to Roehampton to learn how this job is done.

This is a sphere in which this country stands high, but the conditions in which these men have to work in Roehampton leave much to be desired. There are the children crippled by thalidomide, whose limbs have constantly to be changed as they grow up. New responsibilities are constantly being required of these men by our times. At present each man is required to handle far too many patients. This has led to a situation in which each one tries to deal with several patients at once—as though a dentist had six chairs and had to run from one to the other. That is a fair comparison with what occurs at Roehampton.

In March last year the men decided, through A.S.S.E.T., to make an endeavour to achieve a substantial improvement in their position and status. If they are compared with skilled technicians and engineers they are underpaid by at least £250 a year, and the extra qualities and skills they require are not required by technicians in other fields.

There are about 700 craftsmen at Roehampton, and 50 limb-fitters. The 50 limb-fitters are the most skilled of all. They are the top of the pyramid. This claim is not on behalf of the 700 craftsmen; it is only on behalf of the 50 limb-fitters at Roehampton, or the 180 in the whole country. The freeze was not on when this claim was made. The increase of £100 a year was an interim settlement, instead of the substantial settlement which the men wanted, but the freeze went on and the management did not honour the agreement. After a further abortive meeting the men started to work to rule on 2nd September.

To understand this decision is not to approve it, but it can be easily understood when one considers the objections the men have made for years about the conditions under which they have to serve patients at Roehampton. They rightly object to the Ministry of Health's appointments system, which subjects patients to long waits and forces the men to deal with as many as six patients at a time and sometimes more. Their disappointment over the claim was the last straw. Some hon. Members will have seen an article in the New Statesman by a limbless man objecting to the abuse that had been poured on the limb-fitters, and pointing out that they were protesting not only on their own behalf but on behalf of their patients, who are subjected to scandalous conditions at Roehampton.

I warmly endorse the conclusion of that article, which is that the men should be employed by the Ministry of Health and not by a private contracting firm, and should be given the status and pay which their skills justify. In all other advanced countries, the conditions which the Roehampton men enforced by working to rule are the normal practice. Some patients welcomed the individual attention which they received for the first time, while others naturally resented the long waits, some even having to go home and return on another day.

A further meeting with the union took place and eventually a settlement was agreed of £2 a week from 1st January, 1967. The settlement was announced in the House by the Minister of Health, with no suggestion that it would not be honoured. That was on 5th December, and the agreement was honoured, but, in January, the Minister of Labour referred this completed agreement to the Prices and Incomes Board, and the First Secretary topped the whole thing off by making an Order preventing the further payments of the increase, after they had received it for four or five weeks. This is the Order now before the House.

These men are being subjected, if not to victimisation, at least to gross mistreatment by the Government. The reason that the Government have acted in this deplorable manner is threefold. First, they are affected by the hostile propaganda against these men by the Press. They have allowed their proper sympathy with the limbless to be channelled into hostility against the limb-fitters. Some hon. Members have been similarly affected.

Second, the case is seen as a challenge to the prices and incomes policy. Third, they resent the non-co-operation of A.S.S.E.T. and its General Secretary, Clive Jenkins, and are determined to show him who is boss. I know this to be the case because the question of whether or not the limb-fitters deserve the increase is the last thing which Members of the Government refer to in speaking of this matter. They are not concerned with justice, but just want to win.

I am not content that my constituents should be treated in this way. The case illustrates that the Government do not have the mechanism to run a fair wages policy. These men have been selected for this treatment because the case came to public notice. Meanwhile, other unions—and indeed A.S.S.E.T. itself—have negotiated increases which are currently being paid. At least 41 negotiated by the same union as in this case are being paid. In many cases, I am sure, these increases are no better or more socially justified than this increase, but simply have not been noticed. The machinery is not there to notice them.

But there is no justice or reason in penalising those whose work is in the more important and sensitive areas and allowing those who do less publicly important work to receive increases. This case illustrates that the Government do not know what they are doing. My right hon. Friends the Ministers of Labour and Health and the First Secretary are like three bulls thrashing about in the delicate, complex and multifarious china shop of industrial negotiations. They are doing infinite harm.

They are not motivated by a determination to make drastic readjustments. In the remuneration of the various sections of the community in a fairer and more Socialist direction. If they were, they would get full support and incidental injustices would be tolerated. But they are not doing that. They are doing the opposite. The tendency seems to be that the more wealthy are becoming wealthier, whereas those who deserve most from the community are not getting their desserts. The "spivs" are thriving.

This is not what the Government should be doing. It is because I know that these men should not be further harassed but should be allowed to receive the increase which their employers are willing to pay that I shall not be able to support the Government in the Lobby tonight. I urge my hon. Friend to throw his brief away and to recognise that it is not always the back benchers and the trade unionists who are wrong. The Government, too, can make mistakes. Let my hon. Friend have the grace to recognise that this is one of them and announce that the Order will be withdrawn.

It would be a great day not only for the limb-fitters but for the Government if they could but say that. But if they persist in their error, it would be wrong for those of us who see that they are mistaken to emulate their myopia by supporting it in the House. If we tolerate small injustices like this—which is easy—we shall encourage the Government to larger errors; if we do that we shall do them a great disservice. For their own good, it is desirable that my right hon. Friend should be prevented from inflicting this injustice on a very long-suffering group of people as well as on the limbless. I fear that if the Government are obdurate, there will be art explosion of righteous indignation at Roehampton in which the chief sufferers will be those who have suffered too much already.

I therefore appeal to the Minister to have the courage to change his mind. I do not necessarily urge any of my hon. Friends to do what I feel that I must do tonight. I shall take this action because I know these men personally, because I know their case personally and because they are my constituents. I strongly believe in their case. However, each hon. Member must use his own judgment. For my part, I urge my hon. Friend to change his mind and concede to the limb-fitters this belated and inadequate recognition of their true worth to the community. But if he will not do that, then I regret that I will not be able to follow him into the Division Lobby tonight.

11.1 p.m.

Photo of Mr Anthony Royle Mr Anthony Royle , Richmond (Surrey)

I congratulate the hon. Member for Putney (Mr. Hugh Jenkins) on having made an excellent speech. He is showing great courage and the whole House admires the support which he is giving to his constituents. I hope that he will go a step further and not just abstain but vote with us against the Government. My hon. Friend the Member for Farnham (Mr. Maurice Macmillan) skilfully detailed the background to this Order, as did the hon. Member for Putney, so that there is no need for me, at this late hour, to go into the history from the beginning. I first became involved, and raised the matter in an Adjournment debate on 18th November last, after my local newspaper in Richmond had been asked, at an early stage in the affair, not to print the details of the dispute that was then taking place in view of the damage that the publicity might do. As a result of that request, I became involved. The limb-fitters were working to rule at that time. They had started working to rule on 2nd September and that had caused a great deal of distress to many disabled people, as the House already knows.

It has also been pointed out that very few people were involved in the actual dispute. At the limb-fitting centre in Putney only about 28 men were involved and I believe that, with one exception, and he is a constituent of mine, all of them are constituents of the hon. Member for Putney. Only 170 to 180 men in total throughout the country were involved.

I shall never forget the appeal which was made by the then Minister at the conclusion of the Adjournment debate which I initiated. The then Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health stated: I would ask the general secretary of A.S.S.E.T., whose great humanity and understanding I know, to influence, in the name of humanity, the ending of this dispute. I would appeal to the fitters at the centre, whatever dispute they may have with the Government and their economic policy. 'Please see to it that the patients who rely on you and us do not suffer in the way in which they are suffering now'".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th November, 1966; Vol.736, c.901] That appeal was made by the then Parliamentary Secretary. I am glad to see that the present Parliamentary Secretary has joined us. I thought it strange that he was not in his place at the beginning of this debate, but I have no doubt that there is a certain amount of feeling between the Ministry of Health, the Department of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Labour regarding the handling of this case.

Photo of Mr Julian Snow Mr Julian Snow , Lichfield and Tamworth

I assure the hon. Gentleman that I am, neither physically nor temperamentally, a blushing violet. I had hoped that he would have done me the courtesy of understanding that I had other work to do. I thought that I was well within my duty in leaving this matter in the competent hands of my hon. Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour, who has the Departmental responsibility.

Photo of Mr Anthony Royle Mr Anthony Royle , Richmond (Surrey)

Far be it for me to argue with the hon. Gentleman. I am sure that he is aware that his duty to the House of Commons comes before all other duties. At any rate, I am glad to see him in his place now. Following the Parliamentary Secretary's appeal, a settlement in this case was finally agreed on 2nd December, and a great deal of work was done by the present Minister of Health to bring about that settlement.

The settlement was for an increase of £2 a week to take effect from 2nd January of this year. The employers were willing to backdate that award to 1st May, 1966. I well remember the Minister of Health announcing this to the House, and the cheers with which that announcement was greeted, and which greeted the success of the Ministry of Health and the forbearance and cooperation which the limb-fitters and A.S.S.E.T. displayed in reaching that agreement with Messrs. Hanger and the Ministry.

Then what happened? The Department of Economic Affairs immediately started to meddle. The matter was first referred to the Prices and Incomes Board, and then the Secretary of State produced his freeze Order, which we are now discussing. Why have Ministers in the Department of Economic Affairs been so dogged in dealing with this dispute in such a cruel and unnecessary way? Only 180 men are involved in the whole of the country—28 at the limb-fitting centre at Roehampton. The cost, as already mentioned by my hon. Friend, is small—£360 a week or about £18,000 a year. It is a very small amount.

On 9th February last my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter), in a supplementary question to the Secretary of State, asked: Is not the total amount involved absolutely trivial in terms of the national economy or in relation to the amounts at stake in respect of electrical contractors and the agricultural workers? As these men are specially skilled men, limited in number, who do a vital job of work for disabled people is it not very petty to invoke this great instrument with criminal penalties to stop the increase which their employers want to give them"?—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 9th February, 1967; Vol.740, c.1809.] I think my right hon. Friend summed up the situation very well.

Photo of Mr Alex Lyon Mr Alex Lyon , City of York

In the cases which the hon. Gentleman has mentioned there were references to the Prices and Incomes Board before the increases were announced. All that is being asked of the limb-fitters is that they should have awaited the report of the Prices and Incomes Board. Why is it so disgraceful to ask them to wait those few more weeks, perhaps, before the report comes out?

Photo of Mr Anthony Royle Mr Anthony Royle , Richmond (Surrey)

The hon. Member says that all that is being asked of these limb-fitters is that they should wait longer, but this case has been going on for eight or nine months. They have already been waiting eight or nine months because of the freeze. These men have been treated shabbily for months, and the hon. Member's attitude is typical of the attitude of the Government Front Bench.

I have spent a lot of my life in the insurance industry—in Lloyds of London—and one thing I have always been taught there is that one's word is one's bond. When a Minister on behalf of Her Majesty's Government gives his word in respect of an agreement that has been perfectly fairly reached round the table with the trade union and then goes back on it it is a disgraceful action. This is what has happened. It is a shabby and dishonourable action on the part of Her Majesty's Government.

We have already seen that the then Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health has now been switched to another Ministry. Otherwise, his personal position must have been very difficult. I wonder at the personal position of the Minister of Health. After all, his honour was committed in reaching that agreement with the limb-fitters, yet he still remains as Minister of Health. I think that in view of the action taken by his colleagues in the Department of Economic Affairs the right hon. Gentleman should look very carefully at his own position.

In the Adjournment debate last year, I attacked the behaviour of the limb-fitters in working to rule, and I gave details of the distress being caused to many disabled people as a result of that work-to-rule. I now consider that the limb-fitters have behaved with great restraint. I say that frankly tonight. In the early days, they should not, in my view, have worked to rule. However, they then reached agreement with the Ministry of Health, an honourable agreement, and they have now been let down by the Government. These skilled men have behaved with great restraint over the last few weeks since that agreement was reached.

There are few hon. Members on either side of the House who would not feel extremely bitter if, having reached a fair and honourable agreement with their employers round the table and having gone away thinking that that agreement had been finalised, they then found that, as a result of action taken by other Departments, the agreement which they thought had been achieved was whisked away from in front of them.

I shall not detain the House longer because I know that there are others wishing to speak. I hope that there will be many hon. Members opposite, apart from the hon. Member for Putney who has already shown his courage tonight by defying the Government Whips, who will do as they know they should and join us in the Lobby to vote down this disgraceful Order which should never have been put before the House of Commons.

11.11 p.m.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

In conformity with the precedent set by my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Aston (Mr. Julius Silverman) in a previous debate on one of these Orders, I begin by declaring my interest. I am a member of the Association of Supervisory Staffs, Executives and Technicians I hope that that declaration of interest, as well as clearing my position with the House, will give particular validity to my first insistence, namely, that it is monstrously wrong to suggest that the Government are in some way taking a special delight in pursuing prices and incomes Orders against that union.

The simple fact is that the Government are obliged by their policy to preserve the workings of prices and incomes policy. They are obliged by their policy to conform to the regulations in the White Paper. It is a statistical consequence that those unions which choose to breach those proposals most frequently are the ones against which most Orders are made. The relationship between the Government and A.S.S.E.T. is no more and no less than that.

What has been said this evening about the quality of workmanship, the importance of the job and the level of skill and training necessary before a man can become a qualified limb-fitter is not in dispute across the Floor. These things are not in question. There is no argument there in which it is appropriate for us to indulge. The Government accept entirely all that has been said about the men, all that has been insisted upon about their work, the special obligations they have to undertake and the special responsibilities with which they are charged. That is not what we are debating.

We are debating whether there should be a breach of the incomes policy, whether there should be a calculated breach, a capricious, random and arbitrary breach. It is no good—

Photo of Mr John Biffen Mr John Biffen , Oswestry

Will the hon. Gentleman reflect on the use of the words "calculated and capricious"? A.S.S.E.T. itself has proudly said that there are many other instances in which the policy has been infringed. Why have no Orders been made in those instances?

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

Not only A.S.S.E.T. but other people, the hon. Gentleman among them, often proudly say—though whether pride is the appropriate emotion is a matter for dispute—that the policy has been breached. They always state it in the general and never in the particular. On those occasions when hon. Members have announced in the House—Acrow was a case in point—that there has been a breach, examination has proved that in fact there was no breach. If A.S.S.E.T. has evidence about breaches on which it is prepared to give chapter and verse, not only is it its duty to give the evidence but it would make its case a good deal more convincing if it was prepared to do so.

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

The Minister is not giving way so the hon. Member must not persist.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

The hon. Gentleman the Member for Farnham (Mr. Maurice Macmillan), in his opening speech, suggested that this was acceptable under the Government's prices and incomes policy. He said that the White Paper would allow this to go forward. I interrupted him in the hope that he would give the House details of that contention. I felt that the debate would be conducted with dispatch and clarity were he prepared to point to the White Paper and say in which terms, paragraph, clause and line this increase, negotiated with the Roehampton workers, could be allowed under the terms of the Government's policy. Unfortunately, he was unable to give a specific example. Those hon. Members who have talked this evening about the necessity and propriety of allowing this increase have made no case at all for suggesting that it could go through under the terms of the White Paper or the Government's policy.

Photo of Sir Robert Cary Sir Robert Cary , Manchester, Withington

Although this might not be in line with the White Paper, for the most humane reasons such as this surely the Government have a discretionary power to breach the policy.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

I am obliged to the hon. Member. He has conceded my initial point.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

Not until I have answered this point. The argument is about whether there should be an arbitrary and capricious breach of policy. Hon. Members have been arguing that the policy would allow this to go through. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester, Withington (Sir R. Cary) is arguing that an exception should be made. This is what I want to discuss. Nobody has given chapter and verse under which the increase could be allowed under the incomes policy.

Photo of Mr Norman Atkinson Mr Norman Atkinson , Tottenham

On this question a breach was made for the medical profession with whom the limb-fitters work very closely. The medical profession had increases on 1st October, 1966, which was exactly midway through the freeze period. The Government took the decision to increase their rate, why is it not possible to do it for the ancillary workers?

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

If my hon. Friend will do me and the House the courtesy of reading the White Paper he will see that the Government will approve existing commitments and allow them to go forward. The doctors' increase was an existing commitment within the terms of the White Paper. This is not. This commitment was not entered into in any form or final sense until the last week of August. There is a distinction between those commitments entered into before 20th July and those entered into afterwards.

I can only say to hon. Members who want a special exception to be made in this case that the incomes policy as it stands would not allow it and I want to suggest why the Government believe that such an exception should not be made.

It is a monstrous misrepresentation to suggest that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health somehow announced that this payment could be made. The hon. Member for Richmond, Surrey (Mr. A. Royle) actually asked a question of my right hon. Friend and he has therefore a particular obligation to quote accurately and clearly the answer he got. On 5th December my right hon. Friend did no more than tell the House what the position was. He said that agreement had been reached and that normal work had been resumed. He did not say that the agreement was within the scope of the Government's policy. He merely made an announcement of the fact that agreement had been reached.

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

The hon. Member is not giving way.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

I will gladly give way to the hon. Member when I have finished the point I am making. The Minister of Health would be the first to say that he was in no way in a position to say that this agreement was in conformity with our economic policy.

Photo of Mr Anthony Royle Mr Anthony Royle , Richmond (Surrey)

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. I never said anything of the sort. I mentioned in my speech that his right hon. Friend the Minister of Health announced to the House that a settlement had been reached and the dispute was therefore finished. The settlement reached was the agreement to pay an extra £2 a week. The hon. Gentleman knows that as well as I do.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

But then the hon. Gentleman went on to say that since my right hon. Friend made that announcement he was in some strange way under an obligation to resign—because he had announced a fact, because he had told the House of the position as it was at Roehampton at that moment. In fact he did not give his blessing to it or say that it was in conformity with Government policy; he simply announced what the position was at that time.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

I must get on. I want to come on to some of the other points that were raised.

Photo of Mr Sydney Irving Mr Sydney Irving , Dartford

Order. If the House is to use the time to the best advantage it would be better if it listened quietly to the Minister.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

I now turn to some of the other things the hon. Gentleman said, such as the scorn he poured on the Order because it concerned only a small number of men. I disagree with that judgment, and agree much more with the point of view of the right hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod) when he discussed another Order in the House on 13th December. In his view it was immaterial whether the number of workers affected was 30,000, 120 or only one. The important point was whether it was right in terms of equity, justice and Government policy that it should go forward.

I am happy to discuss the equity and propriety of the Order, but I want to get it clear that some of the points made are totally extraneous to the considerations of Government policy. It may well be—and the Government in no way contend anything other—that in terms of equity and justice and all the criteria laid down by the hon. Gentleman that the limb fitters of Roehampton are underpaid. It may well be that the claim that A.S.S.E.T. initially made on their behalf for a pay increase of £250 a year is justified in all abstract terms.

Because the Government were not sure what payment was justified, and because they wanted a guide and yardstick, they properly referred the claim to the Prices and Incomes Board. That was the intention of that reference. Had the union been prepared to allow the reference to go through in the normal way the unhappy events that followed need not have been brought about. I can give an assurance that, even though the Order is now in force, if the Prices and Incomes Board produces a report which says that in terms of Government economic policy, in the terms of the prices and incomes policy, that award or part of it should go through, the Government will use their powers to withdraw the Order and allow the payment to go on.

The Government are committed to and bound by whatever recommendation the Board may make. It is a great pity that the union and men were not prepared to allow that reference to take its natural course and await the report. I reiterate and make clear to all those right hon. and hon. Gentlemen—

Photo of Mr Terence Higgins Mr Terence Higgins , Worthing

Do I understand that the Government will do whatever the Prices and Incomes Board recommends?

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

What I said was that if the Prices and Incomes Board tells the Government that the award, or part of it, or any aspect of it, is possible within the terms of Government prices and incomes policy we shall implement that recommendation.

Photo of Mr Terence Higgins Mr Terence Higgins , Worthing

Did the hon. Gentleman not say that the Government were bound by whatever the Prices and Incomes Board said?

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

I have given the assurance, and I give it again, that if the Prices and Incomes Board tell the Government that part or all of the award is acceptable within the prices and incomes policy then on this specific occasion we shall be bound by that recommendation. That is why the Government viewed with great regret the original refusal of the union to have its claim adjudicated in that fashion. That is why the Government so regret the undoubted suffering, hardship and friction which came about as a result of the work to rule. That is why we were forced to make this Order, which does not limit the remuneration for ever to the levels before 20th July, but simply imposes a standstill, a pause, a period for reflection during which the Prices and Incomes Board can deliberate.

Photo of Sir Harmar Nicholls Sir Harmar Nicholls , Peterborough

How can the hon. Gentleman suggest that the Government have no discretion in this sense while, at the same time, saying that, in this special case, they will bind themselves to what the Prices and Incomes Board says? If it is that they can make an exception in that sense, why cannot they use their discretion to withdraw the Order?

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

I will say it again because I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will want to quote it against me. It is worth saying a third time. If the Board says that this award or part of it is compatible with the prices and incomes policy, then of course we will allow it to be honoured. I have said no more and no less than that. It is not a matter of discretion but of interpretation, of holding the line, not breaking it. It is a matter of asking the Board to see where the line is and applying that line as the Board draws it.

Hon. Members who have spoken have said, and others no doubt feel, that compassion requires the Government to break all their rules in this case. But the Government have their obligations not to go forward in what I would describe as an arbitrary fashion. We have obligations to every section of the community in equally socially important industries with an equally high social content, but where the workers have been prepared voluntarily to co-operate with Government policy.

The hon. Member for Farnham is wrong in saying that the comparison is between this Order and others made to enforce our policy. The real comparison is between these men and those sections of the economy where no Order was necessary—between these men and the police, between these men and the firemen, between these men and the teachers of handicapped children, between these men and all who may have had wage limitations imposed in a sense and who have accepted the situation in a much more real sense.

We have a special obligation to such people, and compassion and social justice require us not to withdraw this Order and thereby break the line of the incomes policy. There is an even more important point. If the great social policies, in which we on this side believe, are to be put into operation, if we are to have the compassionate services of which my hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Mr. Hugh Jenkins) spoke so eloquently, we can only have them in a healthy economy and a prosperous society. It is the judgment of the Government that such a society in a sense is dependent on the prices and incomes policy.

Photo of Mr Maurice Macmillan Mr Maurice Macmillan , Farnham

What about the special relationship of the Minister of Health in this matter? The hon. Gentleman attempted to say that the Minister had given no sort of undertaking in this matter. Surely the whole role of the Ministry of Health over this

is totally different from other, similar cases because the Minister himself was, in some sense, a party to the agreement, since the employers are contractors for the Ministry and the Ministry and the Government have prevented the contractors from meeting the original claim and reaching agreement sooner.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Health is no more responsible for the actual level of remuneration and cost charges at Roehampton than any other enterprise is responsible for the costs and charges of its contractors. The prices and incomes policy is the collective responsibility of the Government. It is wrong to suggest that the Minister of Health commented or wished to comment on the validity and propriety of this award in terms of the Government's economic and prices and incomes policies.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 153, Noes 226.

Division No. 284.]AYES[11.29 p.m.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)Fortescue, TimMacmillan, Maurice (Farnham)
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)Foster, Sir JohnMaddan, Martin
Astor, JohnGibson-Watt, DavidMaginnis, John E.
Awdry, DanielGiles, Rear-Adm. MorganMarten, Neil
Baker, W. H. K.Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)Maude, Angus
Balniel, LordGoodhew, VictorMaxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Barber, Rt. Hn. AnthonyGower, RaymondMaydon, Lt.Cmdr. S. L. C.
Batsford, BrianGrant-Ferris, R.Mills, Peter (Torrington)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.Miscampbell, Norman
Biffen, JohnGurden, HaroldMitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Biggs-Davison, JohnHall-Davis, A. G. F.Monro, Hector
Birch, Rt. Hn. NigelHamilton, Michael (Salisbury)More, Jasper
Black, Sir CyrilHarris, Reader (Heston)Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)
Body, RichardHarrison, Brian (Maidon)Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. JohnHarvie Anderson, MissMott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir EdwardHastings, StephenMunro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Braine, BernardHeath, Rt. Hn. EdwardMurton, Oscar
Brinton, Sir TattonHeseltine, MichaelNeave, Airey
Bromley-Davenport,Lt.-Col.SirWalterHiggins, Terence L.Nicholls, Sir Harmar
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)Hirst, GeoffreyNott, John
Bruce-Gardyne J.Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir JohnOnslow, Cranley
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus,N&M)Hogg, Rt. Hn. QuintinOsborn, John (Hallam)
Campbell, GordonHolland, PhilipPage, Graham (Crosby)
Carlisle, MarkHooson, EmlynPage, John (Harrow, W.)
Cary, Sir RobertHordern, PeterPearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Chichester-Clark, R.Howell, David (Guildford)Peel, John
Clegg, WalterHunt, JohnPercival, Ian
Cooke, RobertHutchison, Michael ClarkPeyton, John
Cooper-Key, Sir NeillIrvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)Pounder, Rafton
Cordle, JohnJenkin, Patrick (Woodford)Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Crawley, AidanJopling, MichaelPrior J. M. L.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Sir OliverJoseph, Rt. Hn. Sir KeithQuennell, Miss J. M.
Crouch, DavidKing, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Crowder, F. P.Kirk, PeterRees-Davies, W. R.
Dalkeith, Earl ofKitson, TimothyRenton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Dance, JamesKnight, Mrs. JillRidley, Hn. Nicholas
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)Legge-Bourke, Sir HarryRodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)Roots, William
Doughty, CharlesLongden, GilbertRossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)Loveys, W. H.Royle, Anthony
Errington, Sir EricLubbock, EricRussell, Sir Ronald
Eyre, ReginaldMacArthur, IanScott, Nicholas
Farr, JohnMaclean, Sir FitzroySharples, Richard
Fisher, NigelMcMaster, StanleyShaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Smith, JohnVaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir JohnWinstanley, Dr. M. P.
Stodart, AnthonyWall, PatrickWolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)Walters, DennisWorsley, Marcus
Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)Weatherill, BernardWylie, N. R.
Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)Webster, DavidYounger, Hn. George
Teeling, Sir WilliamWells, John (Maidstone)
Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. WilliamTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
van Straubenzee, W. R.Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)Mr. Francis Pym and
Mr. Anthony Grant.
Abse LeoFreeson, ReginaldMurray, Albert
Alldritt, WalterGardner, TonyNeal, Harold
Allen, ScholefieldGarrett, W. E.Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)
Anderson, DonaldGordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.Noel-Baker,Rt.Hn.Philip(Derby,S.)
Archer, PeterGray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)Norwood, Christopher
Ashley, JackGrey, Charles (Durham)Oakes, Gordon
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.)Hamilton, James (Bothwell)Ogden, Eric
Bacon, Rt. Hn. AliceHamling, WilliamO'Malley, Brian
Barnett Gordon A. T.Harper, JosephOswald, Thomas
Barnett, JoelHarrison, Walter (Wakefield)Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony WedgwoodHart, Mrs. JudithPadley, Walter
Binns, JohnHaseldine, NormanPage, Derek (King's Lynn)
Bishop, E. S.Hattersley, RoyPalmer, Arthur
Blackburn, F.Hazell, BertParker, John (Dagenham)
Blenklnsop, ArthurHenig, StanleyParkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Boardman, H.Hooley, FrankPavitt, Laurence
Boston, TerenceHoughton, Rt. Hn. DouglasPearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Boyden, JamesHowell, Denis (Small Heath)Pentland, Norman
Braddock, Mrs. E. M.Hoy, JamesPerry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)
Bradley, TomHughes, Roy (Newport)Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)
Brooks, EdwinHunter, AdamPrice, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Hynd, JohnPrice, William (Rugby)
Brown,B0b(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W)Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenh'gh)Probert, Arthur
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)Randall, Harry
Buchan, NormanJohnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)Reynolds, G. W.
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)Rhodes, Geoffrey
Cant, R. B.Jones, Dan (Burnley)Richard, Ivor
Chapman, DonaldJones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.)Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Coe, DenisJudd, FrankRoberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Coleman, DonaldKelley, RichardRoberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Concannon, J. D.Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central)Robinson,Rt.Hn.Kenneth(St.P'c'as)
Corbel, Mrs. FredaLawson, GeorgeRobinson, W. 0. J. (Walth'stow, E.)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Leadbitter, TedRodgers, William (Stockton)
Crawshaw, RichardLedger, RonRogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. RichardLestor, Miss JoanRose, Paul
Cullen, Mrs. AliceLever, L. M. (Ardwick)Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Dalyell, TamLewis, Ron (Carlisle)Rowland, Christopher (Meriden)
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)Lomas, KennethRowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)Luard, EvanSheldon, Robert
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)Lyon, Alexander W. (York)Shore, Peter (Stepney)
Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway)Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)Short,Rt.Hn.Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Davies, Harold (Leek)McBride, NeilSilkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Davies, Ifor (Gower)McCann, JohnSilkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Davies, Robert (Cambridge)MacColl, JamesSlater, Joseph
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir GeoffreyMacDermot, NiallSmall, William
Dell, EdmundMacdonald, A. H.Snow, Julian
Dempsey, JamesMcGuire, MichaelSpriggs, Leslie
Dewar, DonaldMcKay, Mrs. MargaretSteele,Thomas (Dumbartonshire,W.)
Dobson, RayMackie, JohnSwingler, Stephen
Doig, PeterMackintosh, John P.Symonds, J. B.
Donnelly, DesmondMaclennan, RobertTaverne, Dick
Dunn, James A.McNamara, J. KevinThomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
Dunnett, JackMacPherson, MalcolmThornton, Ernest
Dunwoody, Mra. Gwyneth (Exeter)Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)Tinn, James
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)Mahon, Simon (Bootle)Tomney, Frank
Eadle, AlexMailalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Tuck, Raphael
Edelman, MauriceMallalieu,J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.)Urwin, T. W.
Edwards, Rt. Hn. Ness (Caerphilly)Manuel, ArchieVarley, Eric G.
Edwards, Robert (Bilston)Mapp, CharlesWainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Edwards, William (Merioneth)Marquand, DavidWalden, Brian (All Saints)
Ennals, DavidMayhew, ChristopherWalker, Harold (Doncaster)
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)Mellish, RobertWallace, George
Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)Millan, BruceWatkins, David (Consett)
Faulds, AndrewMiller, Dr. M. S.Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Fernyhough, E.Milne, Edward (Biyth)Weitzman, David
Finch, HaroldMitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)Wellbeloved, James
Fitch, Alan (Wigan)Molloy, WilliamWells, William (Walsall, N.)
Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.)Moonman, EricWhitaker, Ben
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)White, Mrs. Eirene
Ford, BenMorris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)Whitlock, William
Forrester, JohnMorris, John (Aberavon)Wilkins, W. A.
Fowlor, GerryMoyle, RonaldWilliams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Fraser, John (Norwood)Mulley, Rt. Hn. FrederickWilliams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Williams, Mrs. Shirey (Hitchin)Woof, RobertMr. Charles R. Morrison and
Winnick, DavidYates, VictorMr. Ernest Armstrong.
Winterbottom, R. E.
Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—[Mr. Harper.]
Adjourned accordingly at twenty minutes to Twelve o'clock.