Mr Robert Mellish: asked the Minister of Labour the number of persons who have now been released from the operation of the Essential Work Orders, or similar statutory provisions; the numbers now remaining under such Orders; and what classes of workers are likely to be released in the near future.
Mr Robert Mellish: asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider making all mortgage interest charges on owner-occupied houses totally destroyed by enemy action, a national charge during the period that they are uninhabitable.
Mr Robert Mellish: Will the Chancellor of the Exchequer bear in mind that the Co-operative Building Society and the Halifax Building Society have reduced their interest charges in such cases to 2½per cent.? Will he ask the other building societies to follow this very splendid lead?
Mr Robert Mellish: asked the Minister of Labour whether he is satisfied with the results achieved by the recent exhibition in Oxford Street, which showed the disabled at work.
Mr Robert Mellish: Will the Minister indicate whether it is the intention to extend this exhibition to the provinces?
Mr Robert Mellish: Is it not out of Order, Sir, that an hon. Member should make a statement of that description when we have in the Gallery representatives of the Russian Government?
Mr Robert Mellish: I do not propose to follow the argument of the hon. and gallant Member for South Blackpool (Wing-Commander Robinson). The House will be interested to learn that, for the first time in its history, the Conservative Party are interested in the entertainment of the working class. I can claim 20 years' association with the working class movement, and I have never known such interest as displayed...
Mr Robert Mellish: It has not been a notable effort of the Conservative Party, and I have known the Conservative Party for over 20 years. I am critical of this Bill, and I do not think that this introduction will help to curb gambling, save fuel or prevent absenteeism. It has not been proved today that absenteeism is caused by dog racing, and no evidence has been produced to justify this Bill in any way. I...
Mr Robert Mellish: Is not my right hon. Friend aware that 95 per cent. of the Amendments put down by hon. Members opposite are designed to wreck the Transport Bill?
Mr Robert Mellish: Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that in the prewar years the road passenger transport industry's private monopoly confiscated and knocked the small man out of business, and that nothing was said about that by the party opposite?
Mr Robert Mellish: asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take powers to compel building societies to reduce their interest charges on enemy-destroyed houses to 2½ per cent.; and if he is aware that the Halifax Building Society and Cooperative Building Society have already reduced their charges to 2½ per cent.
Mr Robert Mellish: I fought a by-election recently, when I told my people that the Government would nationalise all forms of transport. In that by-election the Tory candidate lost his deposit.
Mr Robert Mellish: There are many hon. Members in this House who do not belong to the pressure group and yet who welcome the Government's change of plan, and that fact should be pointed out to the hon. Member.
Mr Robert Mellish: Does the hon. Member intend this Amendment to apply to unofficial strikes as well?
Mr Robert Mellish: Let us get this clear. He was not given the rank he was entitled to after serving the 21 days, because he spent these 21 days in captivity through no fault of his own?
Mr Robert Mellish: I welcome the speech made by the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson) as a refreshing change to many of the speeches from the other side of the House, which have dealt with stocks, shares, debentures and money generally. Almost every speech which has been made since 3·30—and I have been here all the time—has been connected with stocks and shares. I know nothing about manipulations on...
Mr Robert Mellish: I was pointing out to the Chancellor that there are hundreds of thousands of people in this country who are badly affected by this tax—disabled people, those suffering from tuberculosis, and the blind. I do not know whether I am in time to do anything for those people before the Chancellor's statement tonight, but I would like him to recognise that they have been badly hit by this tax, and...
Mr Robert Mellish: Would the right hon. Gentleman allow me? I would like to make it clear that perhaps the reason why the Conservative Party cheered the Tobacco Duty was the fact that it was the only piece of bad news in the Bill.
Mr Robert Mellish: asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he will make a statement on the operation of the late night transport scheme for Members and others.
Mr Robert Mellish: When will the Financial Secretary be in a position to let us know when this alternative scheme will be available, as there are still a number of Members, particularly on this side of the House, who require this alternative transport in the early morning?