Mr Henry Hynd: May I say, in justice to Dr. Beeching, that in a letter only last month he said that the matter would be kept under sympathetic review. But I must insist on this point, that these old superannuitants do not qualify for retirement pension. None of these supplements was given to any superannuitant. That must be borne in mind.
Mr Henry Hynd: On a point of order. Is it not a fact that, when a request is made for a Motion to be withdrawn, if it is not immediately accepted, or if there is any opposition at all, it falls and cannot subsequently be withdrawn? The hon. and gallant Member for Eye (Sir H. Harrison), by continuing the debate—
Mr Henry Hynd: My right hon. Friend said that on Thursday there might be opportunity for hon. Members to raise other subjects on the Consolidated Fund Bill. Would it be in order for me to raise the question of the plight of railway superannuitants?
Mr Henry Hynd: Which Secretary of State is referred to?
Mr Henry Hynd: Of what?
Mr Henry Hynd: I would still like to know which Secretary of State is referred to.
Mr Henry Hynd: It states that one person shall be appointed by the Secretary of State and I am only asking which Secretary of State.
Mr Henry Hynd: Would that apply to the individual who is carrying on business at that time?
Mr Henry Hynd: I applaud the desire of the hon. and learned Member for Surrey, East (Mr. Doughty) to do something to deal with the kind of incident which has happened once or twice in the past, but I cannot support the Bill because I do not believe that it will achieve the object which he has in view, at least not in a way which I would support. Before I go any further, I have a small interest to declare in...
Mr Henry Hynd: I was pleased to hear the hon. and learned Member say that, but there is the additional point, as the hon. Member has just mentioned, that there may be perfectly reputable travel agents who are not members of an association. When we come to the definition of a travel agent in the Bill, how far does it go? What about the club secretary who organises a trip for a church organisation or any...
Mr Henry Hynd: A great deal of this work is done direct. A lot of it goes on in clubs and in all kinds of organisations. A person can easily arrange through a railway for seats, or through an air company to charter a plane, without going direct to a travel agent. I assure the hon. and learned Member that a great deal of that is done. The hon. and learned Member said that the heart of the Bill was the...
Mr Henry Hynd: I do not know whether they come under the Bill. It is for the hon. and learned Member for Surrey, East to explain that, and not for me. I come now to what I regard as the fundamental part of the Bill and the greatest fault in it. I am sorry that the hon. and learned Member for Surrey, East did not mention it in any detail. I refer to the disciplinary court. This seems to me an extraordinary...
Mr Henry Hynd: Oh, yes. Let the hon. and learned Member look at Clause 14(2) which says that A person who contravenes this section shall be liable on conviction on indictment or on summary conviction to a fine, but a fine on summary conviction under this section shall not exceed one hundred pounds. If it is on indictment it might be more than £100, but having suffered this penalty in the criminal courts,...
Mr Henry Hynd: That is exactly what I am pointing out.
Mr Henry Hynd: The short answer is that when they start they have none. They acquire a great deal of "know how." Any hon. Member who deals with a certain office in the basement of this building will realise just how much "know how" they have to acquire, particularly if they are going to deal with hon. Members. It is rather like asking what qualifications an hon. Member must have. The answer is none. No...
Mr Henry Hynd: Would the hon. Gentleman be good enough to tell me one trade union with a court which is allowed by law to inflict these sort of fines?
Mr Henry Hynd: I trust that the hon. Gentleman is aware that the object of the Measure is, apparently, to protect the public and not the travel agents.
Mr Henry Hynd: Is the hon. Member overlooking the fact that Mr. Thomas Cook once started in a very small way?
Mr Henry Hynd: Hear, hear.
Mr Henry Hynd: The hon. Gentleman will notice that the maximum penalty of £100 can be imposed only in a magistrates' court. If the company concerned were unfortunate enough to be brought before the hon. and learned Member for Surrey, East it might cost it a lot more.