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Clause 2—(The Building Materials And Housing Fund)

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 12 April 1945

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

3.35 p.m.

I beg to move, in page 3, line 1, after "be," insert:

"laid before Parliament and a copy thereof."
In moving this Amendment I think it is desirable, at the outset, to recall the position left as a result of the decision taken by the Committee last night. The Amendment which I moved yesterday, to the effect that the Minister should prepare his accounts within three months and not within a maximum of eight months, was rejected by the Committee. What, then, is the position arising at the stage which we have now reached? It is that the Minister of Works, going into this business of production and distribution in a big way as he has indicated, is under no obligation, as the Bill is at present drawn, to present or prepare any account except by 30th November following the end of any financial year in the five years during which he will be operating. That is a long period to ask Parliament to wait. Let us see what the Minister has to do. On or before 30th November following the expiration of the financial year all he has to do is to transmit his accounts to the Comptroller and Auditor General, who shall examine and certify the accounts and lay copies, together with his report thereon, before Parliament. There have been examples during the war and, no doubt, earlier, when this process has been an exceedingly long one.

It appears to my hon. Friends and myself that the Bill, as drawn, gives every likelihood that Parliament will be de- prived of any knowledge of the extent of the success or failure of this operation for a grossly unreasonable time. Accordingly, this Amendment and the next Amendment on the Paper—in line 3, leave out "copies thereof together with"—are intended to secure that after the termination of the eight months, during which the Minister has been drawing up his accounts, Parliament shall see the result. I can see no solid ground of objection to such a proposal. The accounts, we hope, will be correctly and intelligibly drawn up and in a fit state to be submitted to the Comptroller and Auditor-General. Ought we not to see them at the same time as the Comptroller and Auditor-General? Ought we not to see them within eight months of the termination of the year's financial and other transactions? We suggest that this simultaneous presentation is desirable and that the accounts prepared under the subsection should be laid before Parliament and a copy thereof submitted to the Comptroller and Auditor General who would then proceed to examine and certify them and make his report.

In the case of the earlier Amendment, which proposed that the Minister should draw up his accounts within three months and not eight months, the only argument that was used to justify the refusal to accept the proposal was that it had never been done before. It is very difficult to check a negative statement of that kind, but apart from the difficulty of checking, an argument based on what is alleged to be precedent is most unsatisfactory. These operations are going to be extremely important. They may involve great loss to the community, to the taxpayers. All of us—I am sure I can include the right hon. Gentleman—are gravely disturbed about the cost of the operations which were conducted and, as far as I know are still being conducted by the right hon. Gentleman who was Minister of Aircraft Production, and is now President of the Board of Trade. I refer, of course, to the aluminium temporary houses of which about 55,000, I understand, are going to be made, each having an area of 600 square feet, at a cost very considerably in excess of the figure at which private enterprise is going to be allowed to build houses with 1,000 square feet floor area. If such things can take place under the encouragement of a Socialist Minister it is surely right that this House should see the effect of this trading and production function, which the Minister of Works is being given under this Bill. I have thought carefully about it and I can see no possible reason why the Minister's accounts should not be laid before Parliament at the same time as a copy is transmitted to the Comptroller and Auditor General? If that is done, we shall see in December of any year the effect of the Minister's operations during the 12 months ended in the preceding April. What reason can there be for asking Parliament to wait for an indefinite period, which, if previous experience is a guide, might well mean another 12 months, before seeing the result of the operations.

I am sorry to have to begin again today, by saying "No" to an Amendment. It may surprise the right hon. and learned Gentleman if 1 use the same argument—though I do not see any reason why it should not be used as an argument—that that which was thought good enough by Parliament for a score of years before I came here, should remain in operation. It is not the only argument by any means, but if you are going to make a change there should be some very good reason for making it. What the right hon. and learned Gentleman asks the Committee to do is to depart from accepted Parliamentary procedure for all accounts of this kind. Once again I want to draw attention to the fact that this is not the first time the Government has done business, whether in a big way or a little way, and all Government accounts of this kind come before the Comptroller and Auditor-General. The question was raised yesterday whether or not the Treasury could be expected to live tip to its reputation when dealing with Ministry of Works accounts of this kind, and there now seems to be doubt as to the efficiency, or effectiveness, or purposefulness of the Comptroller and Auditor-General.

345 p.m.

I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will give some grounds for that statement.

I hope that the right hon. and learned Gentleman will let me finish my argument before he begins to question it. The Comptroller and Auditor General is an officer of Parliament, whose duty is to examine accounts, and to draw the attention of Parliament to any item requiring special attention. Yesterday, in the Committee we were told that no accounts would ever be submitted by a company, which could be taken as exemplary in this matter, until they had been audited. What the right hon. and learned Gentleman is asking is that before the auditor has seen the accounts and has gone through them, they should be presented to Parliament. If it is difficult sometimes, as hon. Members confessed yesterday, to understand Government finance, and if the Opposition were in earnest in wanting to spell out line by line the way in which we should make out the accounts of this particular Government undertaking, then I suggest that they would be ready to wait a little longer until the Comptroller and Auditor General, with his specific knowledge, had gone through the accounts. They could then confine themselves to things that needed special attention, and as a result the Committee would probably learn more from the accounts than if they had been presented to Parliament earlier. Whatever may be said, it does seem to me that it would be quite inappropriate for accounts to be presented to the House unaudited, at the same time as they are sent to the auditor. I do not know of a company in any part of the country which does that, and I do not see why the Government should be asked to depart from normal procedure simply because they are themselves undertaking a job.

If the right hon. Gentleman had not so ruthlessly destroyed the previous Amendment, which sought to reduce the period in which accounts are submitted, there might be a case for the argument he has now put forward. But I cannot accept his argument that because it was never done before, we are never to improve our ways. I thought that the right hon. Gentleman was open to suggestions which led to progress and to improvement in machinery, and that he would give such a proposal careful thought. It seems to me that if the Government are going in for business in a big way, and if that business is going to be efficient, there is nothing for them to fear in the early publication of the accounts. If the right hon. Gentleman had only seen his way to be a little more friendly to the Amendment of my right hon and learned Friend, it might have done something to allay the great disturbance which now exists in the minds of many people who would otherwise not have suspected anything else inside this Bill. [Hon. Members: "What do you suspect now?"] I am only speaking for myself, but I do not see any desire on the part of the right hon. Gentleman to disclose to Parliament whether his actions have been successful or a failure, and whether they have led to efficiency or inefficiency in the conduct of the business. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not adopt a similar attitude towards every consideration put forward by hon. Members on this side of the Committee.

I would not have intervened in this matter had it not been for the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Penrith and Cocker-mouth (Lieut.-Colonel Dower). He put forward no argument in justification of this Amendment. What, in effect, he told the Committee was that if the Minister had been a little more kindly and considerate, in all probability this absurd Amendment would not have been on the Order Paper at all. What the right hon. and learned Gentleman who moved this Amendment said was this: Assuming that these accounts come before this House before they have been examined, audited and certified as correct by the Auditor-General, what would the real value of these accounts be to them? The first thing the right hon. and learned Gentleman would put to the Minister would be "Are you sure that these accounts are correct? Have they been properly audited, and have they been certified by the Department and by the officer who invariably issues a certificate of this kind before they are presented to the House?'' The right hon. and learned Gentleman did not give the remotest hint of the utter absurdity of piling figures of this kind on to the House, when nobody in the House would be in a position to say whether they were correct or incorrect. It looks as if this Amendment has been inspired more by a spirit of sheer cussed-ness, than by any intention of improving the Bill. I am forced to that conclusion by the completely negative contribution made by the right hon. and learned Gentleman who moved it.

If I may address myself to the point made by the Minister and by the hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. S. O. Davies), I would point out that the right hon. Gentleman relies upon a precedent suited to a more leisurely age than the present. The procedure on which he relies may have been suitable for the time in which it was fashioned, but those were not times in which this dynamic procedure of bulk purchase and State manufacture had been introduced. No one on this side of the Committee suggests that we should do away with the audit and examination by the Comptroller and Auditor General. Of course it is true that the Comptroller and Auditor General is an officer of Parliament, but what is suggested by this Amendment is that two processes should go on simultaneously: There should be an opportunity for, if you like, the amateur examination of these accounts quickly by the House, and also for the professional examination of these accounts by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The hon. Member for Merthyr suggested that these accounts could be of no value until they had been audited and certified by the Comptroller and Auditor General. It may well be that the Member knows his own Minister and the Government better than I do, but I would be the last to suggest that an account prepared by the Minister under the terms of Subsection (5) of this Clause would be of no value to the House until it had gone through the Comptroller and Auditor General. What we want is an early opportunity for the House to inspect these accounts and take exception to any patent matters of error, or whatever it may be. There will then be, concurrently, the professional examination by the Comptroller and Auditor General and a subsequent opportunity for the House to comment on any latent errors which this examination might bring to light. I submit that that is an eminently practical and democratic procedure which ought to be followed.

I am surprised at the argument put forward by the Minister of Works, on two grounds. The first is that he omitted to describe this as a wrecking Amendment, and the second, that he put forward an argument which, if it had come from the benches behind me, would have been met with howls of derision from the benches behind the right hon. Gentleman—the argument that we could not do this because it had never been done before— [Interruption.] The right hon. Gentleman's words arc recorded in Hansard and if I have not given the facts accurately, that will be clearly apparent in Hansard. But I listened with care to what he said, and I think that I am stating correctly its effect. He went on to say that the present practice should remain in operation. I suggest that that is a most unsatisfactory argument. I want to deal quite shortly with each of the arguments which the right hon. Gentleman put forward, because this is a point of some substance. He said that this was not the first time that the Government had done business. With that we entirely agree, but it is the first time that the Government have said that they are going to engage in big business of this sort. We have—I am speaking from memory—some instances within our knowledge of the laying of accounts before Parliament, where a Government have been to some extent concerned in the conduct of business. We can look back and see whether the procedure which previously existed can really continue with regard to this big business. It is true that all accounts go before the Comptroller and Auditor General for his report and certificate; but are not these accounts correct when they are sent out by the Minister of Works to the Auditor General? Does the Auditor General fulfil the ordinary role of an accountant for a company?

Is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that the purpose of an accountant of a company is to twist the figures?

I am not suggesting anything of the sort, and the right hon. Gentleman knows that I am not. I am suggesting that the analogy between the accounts of a company, and sending the accounts of Government business to the Auditor General is not quite correct, because surely the accounts are gone through by gentlemen with good qualifications before they leave the Ministry of Works. Surely the right hon. Gentleman is not going to say that his accounts are not fit for inspection by him or anyone else, before they have been seen by the Auditor General? The right hon. Gentleman will correct me if I am wrong, but in the case of the accounts of the British Overseas Airways Corporation has not something like—I am speaking from memory—eighteen months elapsed between the end of the financial year and the laying of these accounts before Parliament?

We on this side of the Committee are interested in this matter, and interested to see how it gets on. 1 should have thought that the right hon. Gentleman—I do not want to cast any aspersions upon his efficiency—thinks this is going to be wonderful big business. We, on our side, have some doubts. We say that the matter should be put to the proof of these accounts and that we ought to see these accounts at the earliest possible moment. If the right hon. Gentleman thinks that he is right, why should not these accounts be laid, before they go to the Auditor-General, with the knowledge that we can see and judge from these accounts what the position is, and with the knowledge that within a few months we shall have the report of the Auditor-General to confirm our views, or otherwise or to draw different points to our attention?

Why should not we see the figures when the accounts are completed? We may have to wait a full year before we get the accounts of the previous year's operation. Does that happen with a limited company? [Hon. Members: "Yes."] In war time it may be. I am under the impression that in peace time certain steps are taken with regard to delay in presentation of accounts. I ask the right hon. Gentleman not to deal with this point in a cursory manner. If he brushes it on one side and says our proposal is a departure from precedent, and that it would be better to keep this matter quiet until some time has elapsed, that may give rise to suspicions that this Government enterprise is not in fact being so well conducted, as we on this side of the Committee hope it will be.

4.0 p.m.

I would invite the mover of the Amendment to answer one question. When will there be laid before Parliament the accounts for the very large Government expenditure incurred under his jurisdiction at the Ministry of Health in the development of the Portal house?

The answer is that no money was spent on that account by the Ministry of Health.

It may be that the amount spent on the development of the Portal house did not fall upon the Vote of the Ministry of Health, but the development of that project was very largely in the joint hands of the right hon. and learned Gentleman who was then the Minister of Health, and of the Minister of Works.

The hon. and gallant Member was not, if I remember aright, a Member of this House at the time of the Portal house. If he was he is under a complete misapprehension, because at the beginning the development of the Portal house was not within the joint jurisdiction of the Departments at all. If questions are raised about it now, I would like to know why questions were not raised at the time, or shortly afterwards. The gross abuse of the present Minister of Health in regard to this matter has no parallel, and was not anticipated during the last I8 months of the last Parliament after the original showing of the Portal house.

I would suggest that these observations are becoming rather irrelevant.

I will not keep this point under discussion much longer, but I should like to examine it in this way. The Amendment has been put forward with the utmost seriousness and plausibility from the other side, but what it amounts to is that in connection with this particular business Parliament is to have the opportunity to do everything twice. In the first place hon. Members opposite want the accounts unaudited and uncertified, and I think it is only right to suppose that they want them for some purpose. The purpose must be to examine them and ask questions upon them in this House. Then, when they have had a few months of that, the Comptroller and Auditor General will come forward with the audited accounts, and they will start all over again and do it twice. As a contribution to Parliamentary ups-and-downs I can understand it, but as an aid to building I cannot.

One hon. and gallant Member opposite saw the folly of it, and so he developed it rather neatly by saying, although it is not in the words of the Amendment, that it would be understood that the first examination was to discover patent errors, and the second to discover latent errors, and then, I presume, after that they will want a Parliamentary inquiry to discover which were patent and which were latent. The whole thing is absurd. Why do they want this? Because they know the mess they made over the Portal house and think the present Government are as stupid as they were, or else it is because they want to waste time. Then they say that it is no argument for the right hon. Gentleman to claim that his method has worked perfectly well in the past. We on this side know that you can often do good by changes based upon previous experience, but they want a change from one single examination, to the lunatic business of two examinations, one for the patent errors and the other for those which are latent.

No doubt the hon. and learned Gentleman has made the case extremely clear to himself, though not to anybody else, by his method of digesting other people's arguments and then regurgitating them in a slightly different form and in a rather offensive manner. I want to put this point seriously to the right hon. Gentleman. We have never suggested that our Amendment proposes something entirely new which is never practised in private enterprise, and which it would be improper to introduce into our general form of procedure. I ask him whether it is not the case with every company, that its accounts are submitted to the directors before they are audited. After they have been submitted to the directors and examined and checked, then they are audited.

If that is the case, and it is the case, it raises the whole question of the part which Parliament is to play in State enterprises. Now that the Government as a whole are indulging in State enterprise in production and distribution I am not sure whether the present structure for the Parliamentary control of expenditure is anything like equal to keeping pace with the activities of the Government. It may be that this Amendment does not go nearly far enough, and that we may have to consider at a later stage whether we ought not to sketch out some form of Special Committee procedure to examine the trading activities of the Government. It may be that the Parliamentary structure, which was designed at a time when Government activities in production were not in the picture at all, is not now sufficient, but during this intermediate period, until Parliament has designed some form of machinery, some form of consultative body, would it not be better to adopt this Amendment, because the Minister may find that method a particular protection to himself and his Department as the work goes on?

1 would like to answer one pointmade by the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare (Mr. Orr-Ewing). He said, rightly, that draft accounts are submitted to a board of directors prior to going to the auditor, but that is by no means analogous to the present situation, for the board of directors in this House of Commons will be sitting on the Government Front Bench. The Members on the other side will not be directors.

:In point of fact the responsibility for every order will rest on the Government Front Bench, in exactly the same way as responsibility for the direction of a firm is with the directors. The directors, after the accounts have been audited, submit them to a general meeting of the shareholders.

Does not the final responsibility for every act of this House rest on this House?

I am quite prepared to admit that as a good House of Commons man, but the responsibility for what the Government do must rest on the Government. After the auditors had examined the accounts, they would then be submitted to the whole of the House, and the House must take responsibility for what it does in the same way as the mass of shareholders in a company will accept or reject their audited accounts.

The hon. Member is asking too much in asking that draft accounts should be submitted to us. What would be the argument used by hon. Members opposite? It would be, "How do we know that these figures are not hiding something? How do we know that these accounts are correct? They have not been examined by anybody who is independent." Then the Government would get up and say, in the words of the hon. Member opposite, "We have on the staff of the Ministry of Works and the Ministry of Health civil servants who are quite capable of submitting these accounts.'' But obviously they have an interest in things. Auditors must be those who have no such interest. The Auditor-General is independent. He would not be affected by what a Minister might say, as would be a civil servant who was auditing the accounts of his own Department. The Department would prepare the accounts and the House has a right to consider them when they have been certified as correct.

I wish to refer to the illustration which the hon. Member for South Tottenham (Mr. Messer) has just given us. His analogy is not accurate. The Members of this House are not like the shareholders of a company. We have not put up the money. We have put up a reasonable proportion of it, but the money for this speculation—I do not think it is quite right to call it an investment—is put up by the community at large. Parliament are the board of directors, and the Government Front Bench is the collective managing director of the concern. The hon. Member has introduced into the picture a new building baron. The right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Works will, no doubt, go down to history as one of the new building barons of the City of London.

There is something far more serious than these illustrations, and that is the question of the responsibility of Parliament for the expenditure of this vast sum of money. The hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. S. O. Davies) was anxious to know-why these accounts were wanted. I have no hesitation, speaking for myself, in answering him. Why I want to see the accounts of this speculation at the earliest possible time is because I am one of those who are responsible for the voting of this vast sum of money, even though I may not wish it to be voted. It is the money of the taxpayers, and I want to know as quickly as possible how it is being spent, and I say that the House has a right to see these accounts as speedily as they can be prepared at the expiration of the year referred to in the Clause. Their auditing and their subsequent production in a final form is a different matter. In a speculation of this sort the very least that is due to us, having regard to our responsibilities, is that we should be able to examine the accounts as early as possible. The right hon. Gentleman said that it was by no means novel, not a new thing, for the Government to embark upon enterprise in industry. That may be so, but when in the past the Governments have sought to compete with public or private enterprise the results have been by no means such as to establish confidence in one's mind, and when the Government are embarking on such a wide undertaking as this the House has every right to an early presentation of the accounts.

The hon. and learned Member for North Hammersmith (Mr. Pritt) made a good deal of fun about our wishing to see two different sets of accounts. As a matter of fact I hope he will not see two different sets of accounts. I have never known it to be the duty of an auditor to change the figures in an account. That is not his business at all.

If the hon. and gallant Member does not give way, the hon. and learned Member cannot speak.

On a point of Order. Is it not a rule of this House that when an hon. Member has been directly named in connection with something that he has said, and he wishes to say that he has been misrepresented, that the hon. Member who is speaking will give way to him?

No, it is entirely within the discretion of the hon. and gallant Member himself.

I will withdraw the statement that he was not telling the truth about me, and say that he was making a wholly inaccurate statement.

I do not flunk there is any need for all this heat on the part of the hon. and learned Member. All I said was that I understood him to make considerable play—and hon. Members can say whether I was right or wrong—about our examining two sets of accounts. [Interruption.]

On a point of Order. Is it right for an hon. Member to describe the hon. and gallant Member as a stubborn little fool?

I did not hear it either, but if the hon. and learned Member wishes to describe me in that way—

As the remark was not heard, may I suggest that the hon. and gallant Member now deals with the Amendment which is before the Committee?

I am not attributing blame to anyone. I simply asked the hon. and gallant Member if he would now confine himself to the Amendment.

I should never have departed from the Amendment had I not been interrupted, and rather rudely interrupted. I was saying that it is not an auditor's duty to alter figures in any account. His duty is to certify either that the account is correct, or otherwise. Therefore the accounts presented to us direct from the Department, will be exactly the same as the accounts we have had from the Auditor-General, but we will have a report with the second lot of accounts. It will be perfectly reasonable for us to comment on the first set of accounts, if there was anything in the report which drew our attention to other matters. We would be perfectly in order in dealing with that when it arose. All that we are asking is that we should have the result at the earliest possible moment. Surely the Minister wants to show how skilful his negotiations and operations have been? I think we have a right to know them. The analogy drawn between this House and a board of directors is not entirely correct. In this case the House are not the directors; they are the managers.

May I try to bring a gentle zephyr into the Committee on this rather turbulent afternoon? I welcome the presence of the Minister of Health. I feel grateful to him today, because he has recently helped me to dig the First Lord of the Admiralty out of the U.S. naval base at Exeter. Nevertheless, I must say this. Surely it must occur to Members on the other side of the Committee that to resist this Amendment is very foolish. I will tell the Committee why. Let us see whether there is not some reason. The Subsection says:

"Any account prepared under this Subsection shall, on or before the thirtieth day of November next following the expiration of the financial year in question …"
Where have we got to there? We have got to November next year. From remarks made by the President of the Board of Trade it can be seen that he is clearly aware of the extreme urgency of the national interest in trade in general. It is of vital importance that we should do our best in every direction, within the next three years. If, in fact, the two right hon. Gentlemen make a success of this—excellent. The nation will be pleased and delighted. But why should not hon. Members on all sides have the opportunity of watching, at the earliest possible moment, their success? I am assuming for one moment for the purposes of the argument that they succeed, that they have a tremendous success: Why on earth should the Minister not come with his accounts at the earliest reasonable moment, which will be about a year from now, instead of after another delay of a considerable period—because there will be a considerable delay after that date, before the accounts would reach Parliament?

The impression I am trying to give is that if nothing of this nature is done, and if refuge is taken behind arguments such as have been given today and in that way a very considerable delay is achieved, it is open to any reasonable man of any or of no political persuasion, to say, "Why on earth will they not give way on a small matter like this? The Opposition have taken a chance. They will not be able to come down to the House and say 'We do not know whether these figures are right or wrong; you probably cooked them.' They begged for the figures themselves. Why not come down with the figures?" There can be no reason for resisting this Amendment unless there is a lurking feeling at the back of the right hon. Gentleman's mind, first of all that it is very much better not to bother about money at all. That I conceive to be wholly wrong, and it would not stand the test of argument or debate. If it is decided that the matter should be carefully controlled from a financial point of view, why not let us have the figures at the earliest possible opportunity?

As far as precedent is concerned in such a matter as this, what happens in this House and in this country in the next three years will be without any precedent whatever. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Hon. Members opposite should cheer immediately at that. They are determined, and we have heard again and again that they have come with a mandate, to do something epoch making. Is their silence now because, at the back of their minds there are a thousand and one things that are worrying them and their supporters? The right hon. Gentlemen opposite may laugh, but I can assure hon. Members that all their supporters are not laughing. Every Member of this Committee knows quite well that the future prosperity of this country is by no means assured, and it is absolutely necessary, in the view of this side of the Committee, that proper steps should be taken to get into the mind of the right hon. Gentleman that accounting, and the rapid disclosure of figures which would show the progress of a vast experiment, should be his first consideration. I believe it sincerely and if others believe it, I cannot conceive why this thing should not be done? If the reasons advanced are the only two reasons, they are not sufficient, in these exceptional times. If there are other reasons let us have them. It is becoming a habit here for hon. Members, not merely on this side of the Committee, but Members on all sides, to ask right hon. Gentlemen many questions, to which there is no sort of answer whatever.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

Division No. 45.]


[4.25 p.m.

Aitken, Hon. M.Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley)Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Armagh)Harvey, Air Comdre. A. V.Osborne, C.
Amory, D. HeathcoatHeadlam, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C.Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R.Hinchingbrooke, ViscountPeto, Brig. C. H. M.
Astor, Hon. M.Hogg, Hon. Q.Pickthorn, K.
Baldwin, A. E.Holmes, Sir J. StanleyPoole, Col. O. B. S. (Oswestry)
Barlow, Sir J.Howard, Hon. A.Price-White, Lt.-Col. D.
Baxter, A. B.Hurd, A.Raikes, H. V.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H.Hutchison, Lt.-Cdr. Clark (Edin'gh, W.)Ramsay, Maj. S.
Beattie, F. (Cathcart)Hutchison, Lt.-Col. J. R. (G'gow, C.)Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)
Birch, Lt.-Col. NigelJeffreys, General Sir G.Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Boothby, R.Jennings, R.Robinson, Wing-Comdr. J. R.
Bossom, A. C.Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Cdr. Hon. L. W.Ross, Sir R.
Bower, N.Keeling, E. H.Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.
Boyd-Carpenter, Maj. J. A.Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.Sanderson, Sir F.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cmdr. J. G.Lancaster, Col. C. G.Scott, Lord W.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W.Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.Shephard, S. (Newark)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Shepherd, Lt. W. S. (Bucklow)
Bullock, Capt. M.Lindsay, Lt.-Col. M. (Solihull)Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Carson, E.Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)Smith, E. P. (Ashford)
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G.Low, Brig. A. R. W.Snadden, W. M.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E.Lucas, Major Sir J.Spearman, A. C. M.
Cooper-Key, Maj. E. M.Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.Spence, Maj. H. R.
Corbett, Lieut. Col. U. (Ludlow)MacAndrew, Col. Sir C.Stanley, Col. Rt. Hon. O.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. CMcCallum, Maj. D.Stoddart-Scott, Lt.-Col. M.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Mackeson, Lt.-Col. H. R.Stuart, Rt. Hon. J.
Crowder, Capt. J. F. E.McKie, J. H. (Galloway)Sutcliffe, H.
Cuthbert, W. N.Maclean, Brig. F. H. R. (Lancaster)Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Darling, Sir W. Y.Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries)Teeling, Flt.-Lieut. W.
Davidson, ViscountessMaitland, Comdr. J. W.Thomson, Sir D. (Aberdeen, S.)
Digby, Maj. S. WingfieldManningham-Buller, R. E.Thorneycroft, G. E. P.
Dodds-Parker, Col. A. D.Marlowe, A. A. H.Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N
Donner, Sqn.-Ldr. P. W.Marples, Capt. A. E.Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.
Dower, Lt.-Col. A. V. G. (Penrith)Marsden, Comdr. A.Turton, R. H.
Drayson, Capt. G. B.Marshall, Comdr. D. (Bodmin)Vane, Lt.-Col. W. M. T.
Drewe, C.Marshall, S. H. (Sutton)Wakefield, Sir W. W.
Duthie, W. S.Maude, j. C.Walker-Smith, Lt.-Col. D.
Eccles, D. M.Mellor, Sir J.Ward, Hon. G. R.
Eden, Rt. Hon. A.Molson, A. H. E.Wheatley, Lt.-Col. M. J.
Erroll, Col. F. J.Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)White, Maj. J. B. (Canterbury
Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L.Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)Williams, C. (Torquay)
Fletcher, W. (Bury)Mott-Radclyffe, Maj. C. E.Willink, Rt. Hon. H. U.
Fox, Sqn.-Ldr. Sir G.Neven-Spence, Major Sir B.York, C.
Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone)Nicholson, G.Young, Maj. Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D.Nield, B. (Chester)
Glyn, Sir R.Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.


Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G.Nutting, AnthonyCommander Agnew and Mr. Studholme.


Adams, Capt. H. R. (Balham)Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'p'l, Exch'ge)Daggar, G.
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South)Braddock, T. (Mitcham)Daines, P.
Adamson, Mrs. J. L.Brook, D. (Halifax)Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)Davies, Clement (Montgomery)
Allighan, GarryBrown, T. J. (Ince)Davies, Ernest (Enfield)
Alpass, J. H.Bruce, Maj. D. W. T.Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.)
Anderson, A. (Motherwell)Buchanan, G.Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)
Attewell, H. C.Burden, T. W.Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)
Austin, H. L.Byers, Lt.-Col. Freitas, Geoffrey
Awbery, S. S.Callaghan, JamesDiamond, J,
Ayles, W. H.Chamberlain, R. A.Dobbie, W.
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B.Chater, D.Dodds, N. N.
Bacon, Miss A.Chetwynd, Capt. G. R.Douglas, F, C. R.
Barstow, P. G.Clitherow, R.Driberg, T. E. N.
Bartlett, V.Cluse, W. S.Dumpleton, C. W.
Barton, C.Cobb, F. A.Durbin, E. F. M.
Beattie, J. (Belfast W.)Cocks, F. S.Dye, S.
Bechervaise, A, E.Coldrick, W.Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Benson, G.Collick, P.Edelman, M.
Berry, H.Collindridge, F.Edwards, A. (Middesbrough, E.)
Beswick, Flt.-Lieut. F.Collins, V. J.Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)Colman, Miss G. M.Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)
Binns, J.Cook, T. F.Farthing, W. J.
Blackburn, Capt. A. R.Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G.Foot, M. M.
Blyton, W. R.Corlett, Dr. J.Forman, J. C.
Bottomley, A. G.Corvedale, ViscountFraser, T. (Hamiton)
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.Cove, W. G.Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford)
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)Crawley, Flt.-Lieut. AFreeman, P. (Newport)

The Committee divided: Ayes, 138; Noes, 277.

Gaitskell, H. T. NMacMillan, M. K.Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Gallacher, W.Mainwaring, W. H.Simmons, C. J.
Ganley, Mrs. C. S.Mallalieu, J. P. W.Skinnard, F. W.
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)Mann, Mrs. J.Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Gilzean, A.Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)
Gooch, E. G.Mathers, G.Smith, T. (Normanton)
Goodrich, H. E.Maxton, J.Snow, Capt. J. W.
Gordon-Walker, P. C.Mayhew, Maj. C. P.Solley, L. J.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.Medland, H. M.Sorensen, R. W.
Grenfell, D. R.Messer, F.Soskice, Maj. Sir F.
Grey, C. F.Middleton, Mrs. L.Sparks, J. A.
Grierson, E.Mikardo, IanStanford, W.
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)Mitchison, Maj. G. RSteele, T.
Griffiths, Capt. W. D. (Moss Side)Monslow, W.Stewart, Capt. M. (Fulham)
Gunter, Capt. R. J.Montague, F.Stokes, R. R.
Haire, Flt.-Lieut. J. (Wycombe)Morgan, Dr. H. B.Strauss, G. R.
Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley)Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.)Stubbs, A. E.
Hamilton, Lt.-Col. R.Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)Symonds, Maj. A. L.
Hannan, W. (Maryhill)Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Hardy, E. A.Mort, D. L.Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Hastings, Dr. SomervilleMoyle, A.Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Haworth, J.Murray, J. D.Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Henderson, J. (Ardwick)Nally, W.Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Hicks, G.Naylor, T. E.Thomson, Rt. Hon. G. R. (E'b'g'h, E.)
Hobson, C. R.Neal, H. (Claycross)Thorneycroft, H.
Holman, P.Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)Thurtle, E.
Horabin, T. L.Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)Tiffany, S.
House, G.Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)Tolley, L.
Hoy, J.Noel-Buxton, LadyTomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.
Hubbard, T.Oldfield, W. H.Turner-Samuels, M.
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)Paget, R. T.Usborne, Henry
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Parker, J.Vernon, Maj. W. F.
Janner, B.Parkin, Flt.-Lieut. B. T.Viant, S. P.
John, W.Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)Walker, G. H.
Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)Paton, J. (Norwich)Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Jones, J. H. (Bolton)Pearson, A.Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)
Jones, Maj. P. Asterley (Hitchin)Peart, Capt. T. F. Watkins, T. E.
Keenan, W.Perrins, W.Watson, W. M.
Kenyon, C.Platts-Mills, J. F. F.Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)
Key, C. W.Poole, Major C. C. (Lichfield)Weitzman, D.
Kinley, J.Popplewell, E.Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Kirby, B. V.Porter, E. (Warrington)White, G. F. (Derbyshire, W.)
Kirkwood, D.Porter, G. (Leeds)White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Lang, G.Pritt, D. N.Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Lavers, S.Proctor, W. T.Wigg, Col. G. E. C.
Lee, F. (Hulme)Pryde,D. J.Wilkins, W. A.
Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)Pursey, Cmdr. H.Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Leonard, W.Randall, H. E.Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Lever, Flying-Officer N. H.Ranger, J.Williams, Rt. Hon. E. J. (Ogmore)
Levy, B. W.Rankin, J.Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)Rees-Williams, Lt,-Col. D. R.Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Lewis, T. (Southampton)Reeves, J.Williamson, T.
Lipson, D. L.Reid, T. (Swindon)Willis, E.
Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.Rhodes, H.Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Logan, D. G.Richards, R.Wilson, J. H.
Longden, F.Ridealgh, Mrs. M.Wise, Major F. J.
Lyne, A. W.Robens, A.Woods, G. S.
McAdam, W.Roberts, Sqn.-Ldr. E. O. (Merioneth)Wyatt, Maj. W.
McAllister, G.Roberts, G. O. (Caernarvonshire)Yates, V. F.
McEntee, V. La T.Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Mack, J. D.Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)Zilliacus, K.
McKay, J. (Wallsend)Rogers, G. H. R.
Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.)Royle, C.


McKinlay, A. S.Scott-Elliot, W.Mr. R. J. Taylor and Captain Blenkinsop.
Maclean, N. (Govan)Segal, Sq.-Ldr. S.
McLeavy, F.Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.