The amount of tax credited to any taxpayer under the provisions of Section seven of the Finance Act, 1941, shall be repaid to that taxpayer on the thirty-first day of December, nineteen hundred and forty-five, provided always that he has attained the age of sixty years on or before that date—[ Lieut.Commander Clark Hutchison.]
Brought up, and read the First time.
On a point of Order. Before the Second Reading of this Clause is moved, Mr. Douglas, I would draw your attention to the fact that I have Amendments on the Order Paper in relation to it. I understand that you cannot call an Amendment to a proposed new Clause which has not yet been accepted. I therefore ask whether it would be in Order to discuss the points raised in the Amendments during the discussion on the Second Reading of the proposed new Clause.
:So long as the discussion is within the limits of the Clause, it will be in order to take the course which the hon. Member suggests.
:I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."For some time I have been very much impressed with the difficulties which older people, living on fixed incomes, are encountering owing to the increase in the cost of living. This is especially true of those who are old age pensioners or who are in recept of superannuation or retirement pensions. We have been talking of sport this afternoon, upon an earlier Amendment. It seems that a very large number of people are attending sporting events and that a fair amount of money must be in circulation in the world of entertainment. I am convinced from what I have seen and heard, and I am in very close touch with associations of old people, that the money is in the hands of the younger and the middle-aged people and that the old people have very little money with which to purchase anything except essentials. I feel that it is the duty of Parliament and of the Government to make provision for these old people. We ought to make a start by repaying to them at the earliest possible moment the, debt which is owed them by the State in the form of postwar credits. I put a Question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this matter on 11th October. I asked him if he would now authorise payment of these postwar credits to old age pensioners, and in reply the Chancellor referred me to the Budget statement which he was shortly going to make. The Chancellor of the Exchequer did refer to this matter in his Budget statement when he made a reference to the postwar credits and estimated that the total due to the taxpayer would be £800,00o,000. As far as repayment was concerned the Chancellor said this in his statement:
Later on in the Debate on the Budget Resolutions the Financial Secretary referred also to the matter of repayments as follows:"The repayment of the credits already created, either in whole or in part, cannot as yet be safely undertaken, until the supply of goods is increased and the risk of inflation is correspondingly diminished or lifted. So much for the postwar credit."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd October, 1945; Vol. 414, C. 1892.]
The position which we have arrived at is that these credits are to be repaid at some unspecified date in the future. At the same time it -was evident during the Second Reading Debate on the Finance Bill that a good many Members were not satisfied with the somewhat vague position in which this matter was left and it was referred to forcibly in an admirable maiden speech by the hon. and gallant Member for Tonbridge (Lieut.-Commander Williams). I think the argument put forward by him and other Members must have made some little impression on the Chancellor of the Exchequer because in his speech on the Second Reading of the FinanceBill he indicated that he would consider the matter further next April. I and my hon. Friends on this side of the House feel that they must get something more definite and try to get this money repaid at the earliesepossible moment. It is for that reason that we put down this Clause, which is drawn in fairly wide terms, to cover everybody from the age of 6o and over. I have selected the age of 6o because it is at that age that a woman, insured in her own right, is entitled to draw the old age pension. I would like to advance very briefly some cogent reasons why the repayment should be made to these old people. First there is the possibility that some of these old people will never live to receive the debt owed to them by the State. Secondly, there is, we understand, to be no increase in the basic rate of old age pensions this winter, and I think the least the Government could do therefore is to repay their debt to these old people. Thirdly, there is the question of the severe winter which is apparently coming upon us. I am no weather prophet but there are those experienced in weather matters who predict that the winter may be rather severe in the months after Christmas. This may bring with it a necessity for people to spend more money on fuel, if they can get it and also unfortunately a possible expenditure to meet illness, and it is the repayment of these credits which will go some little way to meet these possible and indeed probable contingencies. Another reason I advance for the almost immediate repayment of these credits is that the repayment will have to be made on the instalment system. The Chancellor himself said that, speaking on an Amendment yesterday, and I would suggest that we ought to start with the oldest age groups for this repayment for the justice of that will I think be agreed to by everybody. The Chancellor may raise objection to this repayment on the ground of the danger of inflation. I quite agree that this is a matter which must be treated with due respect, but I do not think that that argument would be entirely valid because as every Member of this Committee knows at the present moment negotiations are going on for an increase of wage rates in various industries, the effect of which will be to give extra purchasing power to certain sections of the community. If this is so, why should extra purchasing power be denied to the old people who are in such need at the present time? There is one other possible objection. The Chancellor may say that this repayment will involve complicated and large financial operations. Surely that is not a very impressive argument. Surely the repayment of the postwar credits to a limited section of the population would be a mere pin prick, or, if it is a permitted Parliamentary expression, a mere flea bite compared to the tremendous and intricate operations which my right hon. Friend contemplates in carrying through the Government's nationalisation proposals. I am sure this Committee will not be impressed by any argument that it will be difficult to arrange the necessary financial operations. I do not want to keep the Committee any further. I think I have made out a case for this matter to be tackled and I ask the Government to accept this Clause."Even today there are countless people who believe they will never get the postwar credits anyway. Nevertheless, they are there, and the Government have indicated that they mean to pay them at the proper moment." £[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th October, 1945; Vol. 414, c. 2097.]
I am afraid I cannot congratulate the hon. and gallant Member who has just spoken on any improvement in the technique of Opposition. He could of course—
All I have asked for is for the repayment of postwar credits to old people.
It has been done by legitimate Parliamentary method but I repeat I cannot congratulate him on any improvement in the Opposition technique. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nobody asked you."] I cannot do it whether they ask me or not. There was a way in which they could have embarrassed the Government and myself and my friends. They could have put down an Amendment which would have had some connection with or some relevance to the speech which the hon. and gallant Member has just made. In fact the speech he has made has no bearing whatever on the new Clause that he moved. Therefore I, for one, cannot support it. There are a great many people over 60in this country who are not in need at all, and this class would under this new Clause get a priority in the repayment of their postwar credits which there would be no reason to grant them. There is no limitation in the Clause which has been moved, no qualification, no attempt to include in the proposed legislation anything limiting it to the kind of case to which he limited his arguments. There are no old age pensioners of the age of 60. There may be some people in the enjoyment of superannuation benefit, and really hon. Members can hardly be unaware that it would be utterly impossible for my right hon. Friend to have accepted this Clause in itspresent form. I cannot suppose that the hon. and gallant Member was not aware of the meaning of this Clause and therefore what has he done? He has put down a Clause which he knew the Government could not accept, in order to make a speech of this kind which would secure him some credit in the country.
:: On a point of Order, Mr. Temporary Chairman, may I draw your attention to the fact that the hon. Member is imputing a motive to me which is untrue?
I would suggest to the hon. Member that he should keep strictly to the merits of the Clause under discussion.
I was not aware that it was unparliamentry to impute a motive. I am sure the hon. and gallant Member would not have complained if I had imputed a worthy motive, but in fact I was not imputing any motive at all. I was explaining the difference between the claim he made in his speech, and the claim which is covered by his Clause. That I am entitled to do and of that he cannot complain, It is true that I asserted a motive, and I will withdraw if he assures me that my assertion is incorrect which was that he knew what the Clause meant. Of course, if he did not know what it meant, then there is no ground for any charge against me. But if he did know, and I 'assume he did, that this Clause went far beyond the case he made out, then I assert that he must have known that he was moving a Clause which my right hon. Friend could not accept, and was doing so in order to make an emotional appeal which he knew would cost nobody nothing.
The Clause simply wants the repayment of these postwar credits.
I think there is a very, very strong case in favour not of the hon. Gentleman's Clause, but in favour of the argument in his speech, in other words in favour of the Clause as it would have been if it had been redrafted with the Amendment which was put on the Order Paper by other hon. Members and myself. I do suggest to my right hon. Friend that, although he cannot accept this Clause because of the way in which it is drafted, he ought between now and the Report stage to consider whether he cannot make a concession of this kind to one limited class of persons who are in need and whose need can be justifiably distinguished from the rest of the community, and from other people in the same age groups.
Does the hon. Member suggest that the means test should be applied strictly in these cases?
I have been in the Mouse with the hon. and- gallant Member long enough to know that when he makes the effort he is perfectly capable of following a connected argument and if he will kindly wait for me to finish mine, he will know exactly what I mean. I should think that I was entitled to his support on this and not to unintelligent interruptions. I feel that if there is a Division on this Clause the hon. and gallant Gentleman will vote for it. I am putting the case for at any rate some of the people who would be covered by the Clause if it were properly drafted and I hope to have his support in the Debate. I am putting a limited case, that of old age pensioners, people already in receipt of or entitled to old age pensions, not to receive something new from the Government, not to any increase of their pensions, not to any payment to them out of public funds, but of a repayment to them of their own loans to the State while they can still enjoy it. During the war, a very great number of old age pensioners, in response to the call of the State, came out of their well-earned retirement and engaged in very heavy labour all over the country, sometimes in dangerous as well as difficult circumstances. It is true they were paid wages for so doing, but they paid Income Tax upon those wages, and in a great many cases there was the result that they were paying, because they had come back to aid the community in its hour of need, Income Tax not merely upon the wages they earned, but upon their pensions as well. They did not complain of that, and I am not complaining of it on their behalf, but the State did promise that after the war part of what they paid would be treated as a compulsory loan to the State and would be repaid to them. It has been said time after time in the Debates in this Committee that we all accept that as an obligation of honour as well as an obligation of law.
How long are these people to wait? Everyone else can afford to wait. In the case of nearly all other people, if they wait a little while longer, ultimately they will get their money back, but there is one thing which distinguishes this class from all other classes, and that is their age. As an old lady wrote to me recently, "When you are 75 you cannot hope for anything beyond the present." Surely, that is something which does entitle these people to a special, exceptional consideration in this matter from a Labour Government. They cannot wait; they may never get it if they do. It is true that the money will be repaid some day. To whom will it be repaid? To their relatives, to their executors, to their personal representatives, to their estates? That may be all very well for people whose means are high; it does not much matter to them whether the money is paid back to them now or not if their income is high. If a person has nothing but the old age pension and his claim on the State for the return of money be lent to it, he is entitled to say; "Give it back to me now to relieve my present anxieties and necessities; do not make me wait, because I have not long to wait."
The general argument that has been used against repaying these credits now is an argument which we all understand and which is, I think, generally accepted—the argument against increasing purchasing power faster than goods become available. We must avoid an inflationary tendency. In the case of people whose means are not sufficient to give them a fair share of such goods as are being produced, it is not an argument that can be used fairly against them. I do not know what may be the amount involved. I cannot believe it can be very much, but I think no one would say that the sum involved in this special, limited class, as against the unlimited, unqualified class covered by the new Clause, can be such as to make any appreciable difference to the balance of money in circulation and goods in production. I think this is something which the right hon. Gentleman ought to consider sympathetically. I shall not vote for this new Clause. I do not see how anyone can vote for it.
Are we going to have a chance to vote on the Amendment?
If there were an opportunity I would move it and vote for it without hesitation, and invite my hon. Friends to support me, but as I understand the situation, an hon. Member cannot move an Amendment to a new Clause until the Committee has given the new Clause a Second Reading.
The hon. Member might have the chance if he voted for the new Clause.
I have been in the House too long to fall for that. The right hon. Gentleman and many of those supporting him would be very ready to welcome my assistance in passing this wider Clause, but where would they be when I wanted to amend it afterwards? I have no guarantee. I am taking no chances. I say, therefore, that I cannot vote for this new Clause, but I would have voted for it if the hon. Member had done that which he could have done-last night. He could have accepted this Amendment, he could have withdrawn the new Clause as he had it on the Order Paper, and he could have put it down in an amended form incorporating my Amendment. I would have voted for it then, but I cannot vote for the new Clause as it is.
:Will the hon. Member tell us how he thinks he can get what he wants and what the Committee wants—if the Chancellor refuses his request—if he does not support this new Clause?
I cannot support the new Clause now, whatever my right hon. Friend does.
Was it net possible for the hon. Member last night to put on the Order Paper a new Clause in the form in which he wanted it to be passed?
:Probably it was, and it is still possible for me to do so on the Report stage. The only reason I did not put down another new Clause dealing with the same point as is covered by the new Clause is that I doubted whether such a thing would be called. Besides,I was somewhat curious to see what. would be the attitude of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite to the Amendment which I put down to this new Clause.
An experienced Member like the hon. Member would surely know how to put this on the Order Paper. There is no reason why lie should not do it on the Report stage. The hon. Member is getting worse and worse as he goes on.
:All I can say in my own defence is that I did get a leading article in the "Evening News" commending me for opposition to the Government, which is more than any hon. Members opposite did. Will not my right hon. Friend consider again the case of the limited, small number of people who have a special claim to consideration? I hope he will.
:I am sure the Committee wish to make progress. It is nearly seven o'clock, and we have not got very far with the new Clauses. It looks as though, unless we get on a little faster, we shall be here most of the night. The matter with which I have to deal is the new Clause which was moved by the hon. and gallant Member for West Edinburgh (Lieut.-Commander Clark Hutchison), and not the Amendment on the Paper in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Silverman). What the hon. and gallant Member for West Edinburgh wants is quite plainly set forth in the new Clause. It is that everybody who is entitled to a post-war credit, if he happens to be 60 years of age or over, should get it at the end of this year.We are, very properly, sympathetic towards people who are old and who have postwar credits due to them. Unfortunately, it is quite impossible to accept this new Clause, for three reasons. The first is that the date proposed is the end of this year, and mechanically and physically it would be impossible to pay these postwar credits to any section of the community within that time. As my right hon. Friend the Chancellor indicated yesterday, these postwar credits will probably be paid in instalments. They will have to be spread, and not only will they have to be spread but some preparation will have to take place even for paying them when they are spread gradually over the number of people to whom postwar credits are due. It would be physically impossible to do that by the end of this year. Secondly, one hon. Member said that the amount would not be great. It is difficult to estimate accurately how many people over 60have postwar credits due to them, but the estimate is that there are roughly about 1,500,000 taxpayers to whom postwar credits are due who are 60 years old and over, and as at the end of this financial year the round total of postwar credits will amount to about £800,000,000, it is estimated that £80,000 000 would be due to the class dealt with by the new Clause. That, quite frankly, is a large sum to find, and the Chancellor cannot possibly find it or pay by the end of December.
How much would it cost to do what I want to do?
I am sorry I have not the figures. It would be an appreciable sum, although, of course, it would not be anything like £80,000,000. The point is that, if we put the age at 60 or 65, although it is true that some of the people included would be deserving people who want the money, it would also include a very large number of rich people who do not want it at this juncture. We have every sympathy with the aged and deserving people, and next April my right hon. Friend will look at the matter again. It may well be that when the amounts come to be paid out, my right hon. Friend will give consideration to that point. I do not know, and I cannot make any promises. Nevertheless, what is certain is that although there may be some hardship among aged people in the lower ranges of income, hardship unfortunately does not stop there, and if we were to pay out postwar credits to people who are going to die, all of us would have a claim, because none of us knows from day to day how much longer we have to live.Within the last week a Member of the House, whom we saw in his place on Friday, was not there on Monday. Death had taken him. I realise that is not a strong argument, but for what it is worth it is there. It is the same with hardship of another kind. There is hardship caused not only by age, but by ill-health. Ill-health is suffered by young people as well as by old people, and there is need for money among people of 20, 25 and 30 years of age as much as among people who are 60, 65 and 70.
When the repayment of these sums begins, will the Chancellor undertake that the old age pensioners will get priority?
I said that I could not give any undertaking. As my hon. Friend knows, the Chancellor never gives a hard-and-fast promise of what he is going to do in any Budget that he may be called upon to open, and I think the Committee must leave it in this way: That my right hon. Friend is sympathetic to the feeling there is in every quarter of the Committee that these postwar credits which may be due to the old and infirm might be paid among the earlier categories when we get to paying postwar credits. But he has said, and I must remind the Committee of it, that he cannot see, within the financial situation facing him, any chance of his paying any part of the postwar credits to any section of the community during the next financial year. Subject to that, I can make this promise. The Chancellor has listened to the Debate, he realises the feeling on this matter in the Committee, and he will look at it again next April. I hope that the Mover of the Clause will be willing to drop it now on the assumption that my right hon. Friend will look at the whole question next April.
I do not feel that the Committee will be in any way satisfied with the reply which we have just had. I was interested in and tried to follow with great care the arguments of the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman), but I think that if the Clause had been put down to incorporate the second Amendment in his name, the Chancellor would have been perfectly entitled to say, "This is not workable and I cannot do it." Let us look at the Clause in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for West Edinburgh (Lieut.-Commander Hutchison) in which two simple requirements are necessary in order to secure repayment. The first is, obviously, that there is money to be repaid and the second is that a certain age—which the hon. Member suggests should be 60—has been attained. All that would be capable of determination inside the one department concerned, the Inland Revenue Department of the Treasury; but the moment the bon. Member for Nelson and Colne had provided that the applicant must prove that
and so on, he imports into the question the new Ministry of National Insurance."he is in receipt of or entitled to an old-age pension,"
Surely not. All you have to do in order to prove that you are in receipt of an old-age pension is to produce your book. The officials of the Inland Revenue Department will be able look at it.
I doubt very much whether in practice it would be possible to accept the production of a book as evidence in these cases.
:Surely that is a false point. Even as the Clause stands the man would have to prove his age and prove that something was owing to him, and he would prove both those points by the production of the appropriate documents, his postwar credit and his birth certificate; and it would be no more difficult for him to prove by the production of his old age pension book that he is in receipt of an old age pension.
The hon. Member has overlooked these words:
The applicant may be entitled to it but not in possession of the necessary documents. It seems to me that what is desired here is that we should make a start in the payment of these postwar credits. After all, these old people are entitled to something from this Government. They were promised enough by it. The Financial Secretary said they had the sympathy of the Government. The old people want, in their declining years, more than the sympathy of any Government, even if it is a Socialist Government. What is the message of the Socialist Government to these old people who want a little bit of money to buy extra comforts for themselves in their old age, want to spend a certain amount of their own money—and it is their own money—perhaps to pay a visit to their children or their grandchildren? The message of the Socialist Government is, "Stop at home and enjoy our sympathy.""In receipt of or entitled to an old age pension."
May I ask the hon. Member what his party did about old age pensions when they were in office?
If the hon. Member had been here longer he would have realised that my party was very small in numbers.
This is quite out of Order.
On a point of Order. I wish to beg the hon. Member's pardon. I thought he was a Member of the party sitting opposite.
:I feel that we might have expected a much more sympathetic response from the Chancellor. If tie had said, "I will undertake to start repaying these postwar credits to people over 65 and on demand" I think the Committee would have been satisfied, and I hope that between now and Report stage he will carefully consider whether it is not possible to do that. I put specially the age of 65 because it excludes at once a substantial number of age-groups, and therefore limits the administrative difficulties on the one hand and on the other limits the amount of money which the Chancellor would have to find.I include the words "on demand" for this reason. There are a lot of people, the rich—if there are any rich left nowadays—at any rate the wealthy, the middle class, the comfortably off, those not in desperate need, who would not be particularly desirous of repayment, who would not be prepared to spend the money if they were to get it from the Chancellor but would only transfer it to their bank account or to the Savings Bank. But there are also the poor, including old age pensioners, who have turned out to work again after they had retired. It would be right and proper that they should be able on demand to receive this money. Then the question is whether we should include others who are "in receipt of or entitled to an old age pension". We cannot do that for two reasons. The first is that this would be a means test, and that would be repugnant, particularly to hon. Members opposite. My argument that we must confine it to people of a certain age rests on exactly the same grounds as the argument the Chancellor used in relation to the doctor's motor car, that when dealing with large groups it is not possible to split them up into various sections. The number of people would be very small if we took the age of 65, and the number who would demand repayment, knowing the needs of the country at the present time would be still smaller, and I believe that if the Chancellor had the will he would find a way to do this thing.
I am very glad to, have the opportunity of saying a few words on this subject. I associated myself with my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) in the Amendment, and although there have been differences in the Committee about details nevertheless we have had a discussion which has interested the whole Committee. In almost the first fortnight of this new Parliament I put a Question on that subject to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, because I had come across a large number of people who had retired and had old age pensions who, when the war came, went back to the factories and did a magnificent job of work in those factories. When the war was over they were the first to retire again. They had paid Income Tax and had received Income Tax postwar credits, and they put it to me that it would be fair that they should have back the odd amounts of money that they had paid, and that were theirs, as soon as possible, because, after all, their expectation of life was a good deal less than that of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. The expectation of life at 65 is a good deal less than at 55 or 45. They have a very strong case. The Chancellor, in a written answer, said he could not consider it at the present time. The Financial Secretary gave three reasons why the Chancellor could not grant these concessions. He was really replying precisely on the new Clause and he mentioned the figure of £80,000,000. My hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) and I realise that the width of that Clause is quite fantastic and would include every taxpayer now reaching the age of 60, and the figure of £80,000,000 included the large Income Tax and Surtax payers and so on.I would like to know from the Chancellor what particular age would be involved, if the Amendments on the Paper were embodied in the Clause and carried. Obviously, 65 is the figure mentioned, and a person must also be in receipt of the old age pension. The total amount of postwar credits on all Income and Surtax payers is £80,000,000, and the figure that we are asking for repayment might be. £1,000,000 or £2,000,000. The Committee would be grateful if the right hon. Gentleman would give the answer. Curiously enough, I received a letter from one of my constituents who had seen that this matter was to be raised, and he said that, being 66 and an old age pensioner, he was badly in need of his postwar credit, which amounted to £40. He is a man who worked all through the war and he has a £40 postwar credit. He is 66, and I cannot see why he should not be able to receive payment, even by the 31st December. The Government are capable of doing things quickly if they want to, and, as my hon. Friend pointed out, the Financial Secretary seemed to think that there would be the tremendous difficulty of proving entitlement to postwar credits. There was the piece of paper which he mentioned to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Bath (Mr. Pitman)—the encouragement they get when they receive the postwar credit from the Department. Surely, that could be produced to the appropriate authority. What is the objection—I wonder Whether it is an important one—when it comes to the limited class of people for whom we are appealing? In the Debate on the Second Reading of the Finance Bill the Chancellor said:
"What I was trying to indicate was that these postwar credits will give rights to those enjoyments—by those entitled to receive them—when negotiable, and if that is not so, why am I asked by hon. Members on this side of the House to hand them out now to people over 70 years of age? I am afraid I cannot accede to that, but we will think about it again next April. The reason why I cannot accede to that at the moment is because the releasing of the postwar credits now would be inflationary."—OFFICIAl. REPORT, 19th November,1945; Vol..416, c. 140.]
This argument can be pushed a good deal too far. The suggestion is, that if a man gets another £40 in his pocket, or if a million people get another £40 in their pockets, there will be an inflationary situation. There are a large number of people who have never cut down their expenditure during the war. They may have contributed to war loans and so on, but I am certain that there arc a large number of hem. Gentlemen in this House, many, no doubt sitting on the Government Front Bench, who, if they wanted a book or to spend another £50tomorrow would do so without the slightest hesitation. I imagine that the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. M. Foot) might write two articles in the paper next week for which he might get £20 each. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."1 If they were descriptive of the House of Commons I am sure he would get a good deal more. It would give the hon. Member another £40 in his pocket. Is the Chancellor really suggesting that, if the hon. Member for Devon-port earns another £40, or the learned Solicitor-General 500 guineas in the course of tomorrow, and his brother lawyer 500 guineas at Nuremburg the day after to- morrow, the fact of these hon. Gentlemen having more cash in their pockets would really lead to a serious inflationary situation? Inflation is not only a question of money. I remember the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor teaching me this theory about 25 years ago. I suggest that what he said was that the position about inflation is not very simple. You not only have at any given moment a certain quantity of goods, but a certain amount of money and credit, and if you vary the quantity of either, you can get an inflationary or deflationary situation. What is important—I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will agree—is the speed of the circulation.
Here is a suggestion that, if these old age pensioners get £40 postwar credit—it may be a good deal less in individual cases—it is going to create an inflationary situation. The right hon. Gentleman, as did his predecessor, is preventing an inflationary situation arising in this country by providing for the coupon, rationing and points system, a method which I am sure, when he was at the Board of Trade, he found invaluable in preventing this country from going a good deal further towards an inflationary situation. If I wanted to buy secondhand furniture, or the very expensive curtain material on which I asked the President of the Board of Trade a question, there would be no difficulty, I could do it. It might send the price of secondhand furniture up, and it may be that the price of furniture is sufficiently high that only a few people can buy it. But there is plenty of spending ability in the pockets and banking accounts of a great number of people in the country at the present time. They do not spend the money in wasteful expenditure but, nevertheless, it is there. It seems to be very much better that some of this money might be spent by these old people due to receive £10 or £15,or, as in the case I have quoted, £40, which they have had taken from them, not wrongfully, but as a tax. It was taken off this man while he working during the blitz in Coventry and now, when he is nearly 70 and goes back to his lower standard of life, there is a case for paying him his postwar credit.
Although we cannot accept the new Clause which has been submitted by the hon. and gallant Member for West Edinburgh (Lieut.-Commander Hutchison) I hope that even now, before the Report stage, the Chancellor, who, fortunately, has been in the Chamber for the whole of this Debate and realises the unanimous feeling in favour of this, will be good enough to tell us, tonight, if he can, in how much it would really involve the Exchequer. I hope that he will not emphasise the dangers of an inflationary situation arising from such a concession. I feel that I am speaking for the whole Committee when I beg the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make some statement on the Report stage of the Finance Bill and to say that if he did that it would fall in with the general wish of the House.
I want to make a very brief intervention on this matter for two reasons: first, to fill the aching void left by the non-intervention of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Thornbury (Mr. Alpass) who was weighed down in his seat by the Chief Whip—I am always sorry to see that happen to an hon. Member—and to try to put the point of view which the hon. Gentleman would have put had he been called, and, secondly, to respond to the invitation of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Silverman) who asked for my support in the Debate. I am not certain whether to support him in resisting the Clause, or in the arguments which he adduced—
I would like the hon. and gallant Gentleman to support me in the appeal that we have made on this side of the Committee, not for the wide class covered by the Clause, but for the narrow class covered by the Clause as we would like to amend it.
I am going to support the general principle contained in this new Clause, and I will give the Committee my reasons for so doing. I feel that the Chancellor of the Exchequer must have been almost irresistibly convinced by the expurgated edition of a London School of Economics lecture delivered by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Nuneaton (Mr. Bowles) on the subject of inflation. I followed his argument and thought it was a good one. It appeals to me more than that of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Nelson and Colne who sought to introduce the means test principle and some form of class distinction into his argument.
This is an income point. How can you have Income Tax without a means test?
That is an argument which I have tried to put forward on many occasions, only to be greeted with jeers and catcalls. However, it is not a large point. We are moving now into an era when an all-in contributory scheme is going to remove that element from the field of old age pensions. They are to be payable at a certain age to all who contributed, from Lord Nuffield down to the latest victim of the Socialist Government who has joined the ranks of the unemployed. I would rest myself very largely on something which the hon. Gentleman the Member for Nelson and Colne said just now. He said that for the aged there is no future, or words to that effect. Surely, that is the whole gravamen of the issue behind this Clause. Old -age descends upon the just and the unjust, upon the rich and upon the poor, and it is for that reason that we feel these postwar credits should be released on grounds of age rather than upon those of income. When all is said and done, the right hon. Gentleman can offer many inducements for the use of postwar credits when released. Many Government stocks will be available, and perhaps some public corporation investments dealing with industries. There are many methods of doing it.I am just as anxious as anybody else that we should not sit here all night, but I think this must be said. The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne was good enough to refer to the fact that he and I had been in this House for some time together, and to say I knew something about Parliamentary procedure. May I return the compliment and say to him that he knows very well how to get a concession on the Report stage when it comes. The method is to get a good fat Lobby on your proposal at this stage; the better the Lobby now, the more likelihood of some form of concession on the Report stage.
Not if the Clause is a bad one.
I thought we were debating a principle. The hon. Gentleman says my right hon. and gallant Friend's Clause is a bad one. I do not think his Amendment is all it might be, but both embrace a certain principle.
I hope the hon. and gallant Gentleman will forgive me for interrupting him again, but there is a great difference between the principle of the Clause unamended, and the principle of the Clause amended. The principle of the Clause unamended would give a chance to everybody in the community to get relief which they do not need, whereas the principle of the amended Clause, if it were amended, would be to give relief to people in dire need. Surely there is all the difference in the world between the two principles.
It is to the means test that we object on this side of the House. However, my hon. Friends and myself propose to take this matter to the Division Lobby, and we hope we shall have the support of all hon. Members who think with us on the general principle. The hon. Gentleman referred to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Devonport (Mr. M. Foot) as an illustration of how income can be earned by the pen. Many are the effusions which have come from the pen of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Devon-port. In a few minutes he will be able to get to work again with his pen; the second edition of "Your M.P." will have to appear. Here is a situation almost exactly similar to that for which we were pilloried in 1939, and it is only right that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Devonport and his friends should be hoist with their own petard.
Perhaps I may ask, since we are told that there is going to be a Division, that we may have it now after I have made a few brief observations. It is now 7.25 p.m. and I thought it was agreed—I am not making any suggestion that the bargain will not be kept—that we might have a moderately late Sitting last night and clear up this matter tonight. There are other Orders on the Paper, and we have made very slight progress. A number of speeches have been made which have not been very short, and unless we can shorten our proceedings this also is going to be a very late Sitting, because we are going to get the Finance Bill finished tonight. We have not been asked to postpone it, and unless we can quicken matters, it is bound to be a very late Sitting.
I understand that a good deal of the time has been occupied by the right hon. Gentleman's own supporters.
That may be so, but they are just as entitled to take part in the proceedings as other people.
:Will my right hon. Friend give way for a moment?
No, I will not give way any more to the hon. Gentleman, and that is the general wish of the Committee, I think. We are going to have a Division and, therefore, I will give the reasons why the Government will not accept this Clause, and I will make certain further observations of a general character very briefly. This Clause has been very properly criticised by my right hon. Friend as an indiscriminate proposal regarding all persons over 60, whatever their need, who have a postwar credit. This is going to put into the first line of priority, among others, the millionaire over 60. It is therefore quite indefensible on the grounds of need, and we shall have no difficulty in explaining why it was that we rejected a Conservative proposal to give repayment of the postwar credit to the millionaire over 60, in preference to the needy and poor, who, however great their need, because they were under 60, would get nothing. I ask, therefore, for a solid vote against this new Clause.
On the other hand, I have already said, and I repeat, that I am deeply concerned about the whole question of how these postwar credits can be repaid at the earliest possible moment in a way that will not do severe economic damage but according to some ordered plan; on the assumption, which we must make, that a total of £800,000,000 cannot be laid out in one operation, but must be spaced out. How are we to space it out? I undertake to the Committee that I will give the most careful thought to the best way of spacing it out in the interests of those who are entitled to it, and I will do that between now and next April. But I venture to suggest to the Committee now that we cannot get justice, or distribution according to need, which is what we believed in, merely by taking an automatic age criterion. It is, of course, true that the older people grow, the less their future expectation of life becomes. That is obvious but it is only one of many factors, and, if I were to insist on a strict age criterion in this matter, I should be excluding a number of people whose needs are very great by reason of physical health, family circumstances, and so on.
It would be very difficult to justify that, and not all the old age pensioners whom we seek to assist here are entitled to postwar credit, and those who are entitled to it are, relatively, within the class of old age pensioners, better off. Many a pensioner has no postwar credit because he was below the Income Tax level, and those whose need is greatest are outside the discussion altogether. They have no postwar credit to repay, and we must help them by other and more comprehensive means. If people within this class are sick, their need may be greater, even though they are only 30 or 40 years old, than the needs of people much older.
I ask the Committee not to press for the basing, of this relief simply on a crude criterion of age. Age enters into it, of course. I will undertake to look at the matter again to see how far we can arrive at a satisfactory and just arrangement. A great many old age pensioners will come high in the list, but not all of them, and there are others who must come as high as any old age pensioner. This cannot be dealt with in a day, and I should be deceiving the Committee if I promised to get a particular scheme ready by the Report stage. It cannot be done. In any case, the inflationary effect will, of course, depend upon the volume released—how much and how far. If we release very little, the inflationary effect would be negligible, but very little would do little good, and if we are to do good in a substantial way, we must release a great deal. I will go into the matter again with every sympathy towards those whose needs are greatest, and who include not only old age pensioners but others as well.
The Chancellor has certainly brought the Debate nearer to the general merits of the case, and I am sorry that the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) thought it right to attack my hon. and gallant Friend so vigorously for, among other things, not having thought of incorporating his Amendment with the Clause before the Committee. But my hon. and gallant Friend could not have done so, because the Amendment appeared on the Order Paper only today.
The fact was there.
The fact may have been there, but the hon. Member talked of incorporating the Amendment, and there is a broad difference between the two. The hon. Gentleman's proposals, which are not to be moved, but to which the Chancellor addressed himself, were concerned with the person in need. The other proposals would deal with people in need on the basis, rather, of an age group, rather than tying it clown, as this Amendment does, to people who come within the ambit of a particular Act of Parliament. By and large, it covered very much the same field. This did include one particular group of persons widows. The widows pension class is the 60group, and I think that was another case which my hon. and gallant Friend had in mind. I think the Chancellor went no further than to say that he would look at it again. Well, the right hon. Gentleman is going to have an awful lot to look at between now and April next, as he has promised to do that with almost every proposal, and I wish him joy in his post-Christmas cogitations. I understand the Financial Secretary to say that he could hold out no hope that anything would be done in the next financial year. Is that right, or was the Financial Secretary saying something which he should not have said? I do not want to get the hon. Gentleman into trouble, but I think the Committee are entitled to know whether we are talking about what is possible between April, 1946, and April, 1947, or whether—
:The Financial Secretary was accurately quoting what I said. I have not got the exact words here now, but I can give it in my own words and I hope that it will prevent misunderstanding. The Financial Secretary was quoting from what I said in one of these very numerous discussions. He was quoting me as having said that I could hold out no assurance that, in the next financial year, we could begin this repayment, this being a matter which must be reviewed in regard to the inflationary danger and other considerations. I have listened to the Debate and heard many arguments adduced, some strong, some weak. I am prepared to look at the whole thing before we come to April next, and, although I think that- the inflationary danger is such that no large disburse merit will be safe in the next financial year, I do not finally say that I will not do it. I will, I repeat, go into it and see what I can do, and, although I think on balance of considerations the chances are against its being possible, I do not bar it out, and the House will have another opportunity of judging it next April.
That is quite clear. There is no assurance about next year and we forget about any hope. The other thing I wanted to ask the Chancellor was this. The reason why a date was put in was the obvious one that, if these things are to be put off for a long time, the older people have less chance of having this enjoyment, to which the right hon. Gentleman referred in one of his other speeches, than younger people. It was for that reason, I think, that most of us On this side would have said that the older people should be put at the top of the queue, rather than the Younger.That is really the idea at the back of this proposal, but what the Committee should take note of is this extension. Following up the Amendment to the Clause, which was not moved, but which was intended to limit the class of those who come within certain Acts of Parliament and therefore may be more needy than those who do not, the Chancellor has given me the impression that in his cogitations after Christmas he will look to see how he is best able to release this purchasing power when the time comes—about which there is no assurance—largely on the grounds of need. That is an entirely new conception of the postwar credits. It may or may not be right: I am not saying either; I am merely noting the fact, for the Committee's attention, that it is entirely new because, when this was planned originally—and I do know about that period of its short life—
The right hon. and gallant Gentleman did it.
:No, I did not; the late Sir Kingsley Wood did it. The Chancellor would not say the Financial Secretary was responsible for his Budget. Sir Kingsley Wood did it, but I know some of the considerations which were in mind, and if the Chancellor looks back at the speeches made not only by Sir Kingsley Wood but by other Members of the then Government—the Prime Minister of the day and other leading Ministers, because we were all in it together—he will see that the idea then was that these compulsory savings were being put aside so that there would be some lump sum out of which perhaps people could furnish the new home, and so on. It was never put upon the basis of those who were hard up and really needed it badly 'because they were ill, or something like that. It was never envisaged to deal with that sort of thing, and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not go too far in wanting to make it on some form of eleemosynary basis, rather than on the right of every person who has had this saving taken from him, to receive it back in due course. I hope lie will not go too far in looking round to see who is the most hard up, because probably there are other ways in which those cases can be dealt with better.For all that, my hon. Friends have raised this issue, and I am sure the Committee must be very grateful to them for doing so. I would remind the Committee at large, if there is still anybody who shares the view of the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman), that it was not terribly shortsighted to mention the age of 60 in this. It was done for the reasons which the hon. Gentleman who moved it put forward, but there was an alternative proposal at an earlier stage and the Chair decided this was the Clause on which to debate it. The alternative had the age of 65, but that is neither here nor there. It is as well that priority should be given to the old. The right hon. Gentleman may or may not do that. We do not know, because he has been very careful—he is not Chancellor of the Exchequer for nothing—not to pin himself down at this stage. We are prepared to say that we think it is right that the priority should come to the aged ahead of the others, and if the right hon. Gentleman wants to test the opinion of the Committee, we are quite prepared to do it.
Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
The Committee divided: Ayes, 117; Noes, 265.
Division No. 36.]
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G.||Nutting, Anthony|
|Amory, Lt.-Col. D. H.||Gridley, Sir A.||Osborne, C.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Grimston, R. V.||Peake, Rt. Hon. O.|
|Beamish, Maj. T. V. H.||Hare, Lt.-Col. Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.|
|Bennett, Sir P.||Harris, H. Wilson||Pitman, I. J.|
|Birch, Lt.-Col. Nigel||Harvey, Air-Commodore A. V.||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.|
|Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells)||Haughton, Maj. S. G.||Poole, Col. O. B. S. (Oswestry)|
|Boothby, R.||Headlam, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C.||Price-White, Lt.-Col. D.|
|Bowen, R.||Hollis, Sqn.-Ldr. M. C.||Raikes, H. V.|
|Bower, N.||Holmes, Sir J. Stanley||Robinson, Wing-Comdr. Roland|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Maj. J. A.||Howard, Hon. A.||Ropner, Col. L.|
|Braithwaite, Lt. Comdr. J. G.||Hutchison, Lt.-Cdr. Clark (Edin'gh, W.)||Ross, Sir R.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W.||Jeffreys, General Sir G.||Scott, Lord W.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Keeling, E. H.||Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.|
|Butcher, H. W.||Kerr, Sir J. Graham||Smith, E. P. (Ashford)|
|Carson, E.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Snadden, W. M.|
|Channon, H.||Lindsay, Lt.-Col. M. (Solihull)||Spearman, A. C. M.|
|Clarke, Col. R. S.||Linstead, H. N.||Stanley, Col. Rt. Hon. O.|
|Cooper-Key, Maj. E. M.||Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.).||Stephen, C.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Lloyd, Brig. J. S. B. (Wirral)||Stoddart-Scott, Lt.-Col. M.|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Lucas, Major Sir J.||Stuart, Rt. Hon. J|
|Crowder, Capt. J. F. E.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Cuthbert, W. N.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Darling, Sir W. Y.||MacAndrew, Col. Sir C.||Teeling, Flt.-Lieut. W.|
|De la Bere, R.||McGovern, J.||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Digby, Maj. S. Wingfield||Mackeson, Lt.-Col. H. R.||Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N,|
|Dodds-Parker, Col. A. D.||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.|
|Dower, Lt.-Col. A. V. G. (Penrith)||Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries)||Turton, R. H.|
|Drayson, Capt. G. B.||Manningham-Buller, R. E.||Vane, Lt.-Col. W. M. T.|
|Drewe, C.||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Wakfield, Sir W. W.|
|Duncan, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C. of Lond.)||Marples, Capt. A. E.||Walker-Smith, Lt.-Col. D.|
|Eccles, D. M.||Marshall, Comdr. D. (Bodmin)||Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie|
|Erroll, Col. F. J.||Maude, J. C.||Wheatley, Lt.-Col. M. J.|
|Fletcher, W. (Bury)||Mellor, Sir Jr||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Fox, Sqn.-Ldr. Sir G.||Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T.||Williams, Lt.-Cdr. G. W. (T'nbr'ge)|
|Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone)||Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)||Will ink, Rt. Hon. H. U.|
|Cage, Lt.-Col. C.||Morrison, Rt. Hn. W. S. (Cirencester)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Gammans, Capt. L. D.||Mott-Radclyffe, Maj. C. E.|
|Gates, Maj. E. E.||Neven-Spence, Major Sir B.|
TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
|George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'br'ke)||Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.||Major Sir A. S. L. Young and|
|Adamson, Mrs. J. L.||Chetwynd, Capt. G. R.||Fairhurst, F.|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Cluse, W. S.||Farthing, W. J.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Cobb, F. A.||Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)|
|Allighan, Garry||Cocks, F. S.||Follick, M.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Collick, P.||Foot, M. M.|
|Anderson, A. (Motherwell)||Colman, Miss G. M.||Foster, W. (Wigan)|
|Attewell, H. C.||Cook, T. F.||Fraser, T. (Hamilton)|
|Awbery, S. S.||Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G.||Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford)|
|Ayles, W. H.||Corlett, Dr. J.||Gaitskell, H. T. N.|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B.||Corvedale, Viscount||Ganley, Mrs. C. S.|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Cove, W. G.||George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)|
|Baird, Capt. J.||Crawley, Fit.-Lieut. A.||Gibson, C. W.|
|Balfour, A.||Crossman, R. H. S.||Gilzean, A.|
|Games, Rt. Hon. A. J.||Daines, P.||Glanville, J. E. (Consett)|
|Barstow, P. G||Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Gooch, E. G.|
|Barton, C.||Davies, Edward (Burslem)||Goodrich, H. E.|
|Battley, J. R.||Davies, Clement (Montgomery)||Granville, E. (Eye)|
|Bechervaise, A. E.||Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Grenfell, D. R.|
|Belcher, J. W.||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Grey, C. F.|
|Berry, H.||Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Grierson, E.|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)|
|Bevin, Rt. Hon. E. (Wandsworth, C.)||Deer, G.||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)|
|Binns, J.||Delargy, Captain H. J.||Gunter, Capt. R. J.|
|Blackburn, A. R.||Diamond, J.||Guy, W. H.|
|Blenkinsop, Capt. A||Dobbie, W||Haire, Flt.-Lieut. J. (Wycombe)|
|Bottomley, A. G.||Douglas, F. C. R.||Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley)|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.||Driberg, T. E. N.||Hannan, W. (Maryhill)|
|Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)||Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)||Hardy, E. A.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'p'l, Exch'ge)||Dumpleton, C. W.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Durbin, E. F. M.||Haworth, J.|
|Brook, D. (Halifax)||Dye, S.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)|
|Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Henderson, J. (Ardwick)|
|Buchanan, G.||Edelman, M.||Hewitson, Captain M.|
|Burden, T. W.||Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Hobson, C. R.|
|Burke, W. A.||Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Holman, P.|
|Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)||Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)||Hoy, J.|
|Byer, Lt.-Col. F.||Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)||Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Champion, A. J.||Ewart, R.||Hughes, Lt. H. D. (W'lhampton, W.)|
|Janner, B.||Neal, H. (Claycross)||Sparks, J. A.|
|Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)||Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)||Stamford, W.|
|Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)||Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)||Stewart, Capt. M. (Fulham)|
|Jones, J. H. (Bolton)||Noel-Buxton, Lady||Strachey, J.|
|Jones, Maj. P. Asterley (Hitchin)||Oldfield, W. H.||Strauss, G. R.|
|Keenan, W.||Oliver, G. H.||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Kenyon, C.||Orbach, M.||Swingler, Capt. S.|
|Key, C. W.||Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)||Symonds, Maj. A. L.|
|Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)|
|Lang, G||Palmer, A. M. F.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Layers, S.||Pargiter, G. A.||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)|
|Lawson, Rl.-Hon. J. J.||Parkin, Flt.-Lieut. B. T.||Thomas, John R. (Dover)|
|Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)||Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushclifle)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. G. R. (E'b'gh, E.)|
|Leslie, J. R.||Paton, J. (Norwich)||Thorneycroft, H.|
|Levy, B. W.||Pearson, A.||Tolley, L.|
|Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)||Peart, Capt. T. F.||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Perrins, W.||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Lindgren, G. S.||Piratin, P.||Ungoed-Thomas, Maj. L.|
|Lipson, D. L.||Porter, G. (Leeds)||Vernon, Maj. W. F.|
|Lyne, A. W.||Pritt, D. N.||Viant, S. P.|
|McAdam, W.||Proctor, W. T.||Walkden, E.|
|McEntee, V. La T.||Pursey, Cmdr. H.||Walker, G. H.|
|Mack, J. D.||Ranger, J.||Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)|
|McKay, J. (Wallsend)||Rankin, J.||Watson, W. M.|
|Maclean, N. (Govan)||Rees-Williams, Lt.-Col. D. R.||Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)|
|MoLeavy, F.||Reeves, J.||Weitzman, D.|
|McNeil, H.||Reid, T. (Swindon)||Wells, Maj. W. T. (Walsall)|
|Macpherson, T. (Romford)||Rhodes, H.||White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Mainwaring, W. H.||Richards, R.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Mann, Mrs. J.||Ridealgh, Mrs. M.||Whittaker, J. E.|
|Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)||Robens, A.||Wigg, G. E. C.|
|Mathers, G.||Roberts, G. O. (Caernarvonshire)||Wilkes, Maj. L.|
|Mayhew, Maj. C. P.||Robertson, J, J. (Berwick)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Medland, H. M.||Rogers, G. H. R.||Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)|
|Messer, F.||Royle, C.||Willey, D. G. (Cleveland)|
|Middleton, Mrs. L.||Sargood, R.||Williams, Rt. Hon. E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R.||Scott-Elliot, W.||Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)|
|Mitchison, Maj. G. R.||Segal, Sq. Ldr. S.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Monslow, W.||Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M.||Willis, E.|
|Montague, F.||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Wise, Major F. J.|
|Moody, A. S.||Shurmer, P.||Woodburn, A.|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)||Wyatt, Maj. W.|
|Morley, R.||Skeffington, A. M.||Yates, V. F.|
|Morris, LI.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.)||Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester)||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke)||Younger, Maj. Hon. K. G.|
|Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)||Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)||Zilliacus, K.|
|Morrison, R(. Hon. H. (Lewisham, E.)||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Moyle, A.||Snow, Capt. J. W.|
TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
|Murray, J. D.||Solley, L. J.||Mr. Collindridge and Mr.Simmons.|
|Nally, W.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Naylor, T. E.||Soskice, Maj. Sir F.|