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New Clause (Prevention Of Victimisation)

Volume 439: debated on Monday 23 June 1947

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

(1) There shall be no victimisation of any person who has before the passing of this Act assisted to oppose the passing thereof or expressed opposition thereto or criticism of the intention, provisions or effect thereof.

(2) It shall not be lawful for the Minister or the Electricity Commissioners or any Electricity Board or any member or officer of any such Board or any other person, at any time or in any way to discriminate against, or to do anything to the prejudice of any person by reason of any such act as is mentioned in the preceding subsection.— [Mr. Boyd-Carpenter.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

7.0 p.m.

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

The House will be aware that this Bill has been the subject of considerable discussion and controversy outside; and that in that controversy a number of people who have been, and will be after the passage of the Bill, connected with the industry, have taken part. I am perfectly certain that no hon. Member would dispute the right of any citizen of this country to express his opinion upon a matter of such public interest and public importance. Nor, I think, can it be disputed that the contributions to these discussions of those who have an intimate knowledge of this industry can be anything but helpful in clarifying the matters under discussion. The object of this new Clause is to provide protection for people who, in the course of that controversy, have expressed opinions sometimes adverse to particular parts or, indeed, to the whole of this Bill.

I ask the House to note that the new Clause provides that protection only for persons expressing those opinions prior to the passing of this Bill. It is not intended to, and will not, in fact, provide protection for anybody who seeks to dispute this Measure once it has become an Act and this House and another place have expressed their will, however misguided, upon it. It merely provides protection for people who seek to express their opinions during the period before this House and another place make up their respective minds. It is the fact—and I do not think any hon. Member can dispute it—that among such people there is some apprehension about what their personal positions may be after this Bill be- comes an Act, if it ever does become an Act. This new Clause is designed to reassure them.

I do not want to enter into any personal controversy with the Minister, but I am bound to say that certain of his speeches outside have not led—if I may put it this way—to any diminution of that apprehension. I am not certain whether this was the "two hoots" or the "tinker's cuss," but the right hon. Gentleman did signify a certain degree of dislike towards persons in the electricity industry who had opposed his proposals. If this Bill becomes an Act and the electricity industry becomes a great national monopoly, whose senior officials are appointed by the right hon. Gentleman, with all other officials appointed by the right hon. Gentleman's own appointees, it is quite obvious that the position of people who, for whatever reason, have incurred the right hon. Gentleman's disfavour will inevitably be precarious, and they will feel—it may be rightly or it may be wrongly—that they will be prejudiced by the action that they took in the controversy on this Bill.

I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman will give any indication of his attitude in the matter, but I would remind him that apprehensions of this sort have often been expressed—and have been met in precisely the same way in which this new Clause seeks to meet them—in other controversies in the past. Hon. Members opposite with trade union experience—and I see a number present-know that it is almost a commonplace in the agreement at the end of an industrial dispute to provide that there should be no victimisation of those who have taken part in it. By this new Clause it is sought to provide for people who have taken part in this dispute similar protection to that which those who have guided trade unions in recent years have thought it necessary to provide for their members when they have taken part in a dispute. I understand that the phraseology used in this new Clause is—allowing for the greater precision required in legislation—substantially that which is embodied in a number of industrial settlements. Therefore, I ask hon. Members opposite to concede that what is asked for in this Clause is nothing new and unprecedented. All that is asked for is for protection, which has often been asked for and often been granted m the past in the settlement of disputes.

Does the hon. Gentleman suggest that this principle has ever been embodied in legislation? He says it has been embodied in agreements, but has it any precedent in legislation ?

I had hoped that the hon. and learned Member had given to my arguments some closer attention than that intervention would appear to suggest. I thought I made it clear—and I believe I fell into the sin of repetition —that the provision contained in this new Clause had often been contained in agreements concluded at the end of industrial disputes; and I went on to say—the hon. and learned Member may have heard me —that the only difference, as I understood it, between the terms of those agreements and the terms of this new Clause was the variation required by the more specific requirements of legislative phraseology.

Does the hon. Member not agree that this new Clause would be an entirely novel one in legislation?

I fully appreciate, that to an hon. Member on the Socialist Benches, the fact that a Clause embodies an innovation is a conclusive argument against it. I hope that other hon. Members will not adopt the reactionery attitude that they are not prepared to do a thing because it has never been done before. It is certainly a novel attitude on the part of the hon. and learned Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Hector Hughes), who, I understand, was elected to produce the Socialist commonwealth of Great Britain. I hope that the Minister will not seek to evade the issue simply by saying, with his usual geniality, that he does not intend to indulge in victimisation. I hope that he does not wish to indulge in victimisation, but perhaps I may not be considered discourteous if I say that a provision of this sort in a Bill of this sort is worth twenty Ministerial assurances. If the right hon. Gentleman puts himself into the shoes of someone who has to get his living for the rest of his life in this industry, whose only asset is his technical skill and knowledge of the industry, he would surely prefer to be supported, in the protection of his livelihood, by a provision in an Act of Parliament than by the assurance of any Minister.

There is one very valid distinction between the two safeguards. No one can go to a court of law and seek protection because a Ministerial assurance has been violated, but it is still possible for a citizen to go to a court of law and seek protection when the plain terms of an Act of Parliament have not been complied with. What is sought to be provided, for a considerable number of people involved, is that they should be given statutory protection to prevent them suffering from victimisation because of some action they have taken. If the right hon. Gentleman, in the face of this demand, is not prepared to accept this Clause, or is not prepared to agree to the insertion of some similar provision in the Bill, he will leave in the minds of people outside the suspicion that some degree of victimisation is intended. [HON. MEMBERS: "Rubbish."] Hon. Members opposite are good enough to say "rubbish." If they really believed in their own felicitous phrase that it is rubbish to suggest that there would be victimisation, then will they not show their sincerity in that belief by supporting a Clause which will make such victimisation legally impossible? That would be worth twenty interventions of "rubbish."

I repeat, that unless the right hon. Gentleman is prepared to accept some statutory provision for protection, rightly or wrongly, he will leave, in the minds of those intimately concerned in this great industry, the feeling that the possibility of victimisation exists. If he wants this "great experiment," as he calls it, to succeed, he will require for its success the willing co-operation of everyone in the industry, and he will require it to be given without fear or favour, and without toadying or apprehension. He will have a much better chance of getting that, if he is prepared to provide that those who continue to serve him shall do so in the secure knowledge that they are not to be victimised because they have had the courage in the past to express their opinion.

7.15 p.m.

I beg to second the Motion. My hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) has moved this new Clause with moderation and lucidity, and there is not much more for me to say because he has covered the ground so fully. This appears to me to be a Clause which ought to appeal to hon. Members opposite. I see many Members opposite who have played a full and vigorous part in the trade union movement, and I see many hon. Members who have protested against any form of victimisation over a considerable number of years.

That shows a degree of inefficiency, particularly for these days, and I should be ashamed of it. Be that as it may, they have protested against any form of victimisation. They have demanded two things; first, that the man who has taken part in a strike should not be penalised for having done so, and, second, that no one ought to be victimised because he happened to express views repugnant to his employer We are endeavouring, by this Clause, to do exactly the same for certain elements of the population as has been demanded for the workers in the past. The case of these people is rather stronger, because if they were victimised by their new bosses, there would be no opportunity for them to find work of the same character elsewhere, as their boss is the only boss of their particular job.

The right hon. Gentleman, in his various public utterances, always shows a healthy dislike for those whose views do-not entirely coincide with his. It may be that his bark is worse than his bite, but only the Parliamentary Secretary knows that. I confess that if I were in the unfortunate position of being a critic of a Minister, and if my future depended on the Minister, I should be a little nervous about my next job. It may be that the Minister will say, "He is an awfully nice fellow and is awfully efficient, therefore we must appoint him," but I would rather have something more than a Minister's assurance behind me. In these circumstances, could this Clause do the slightest harm? If there is no chance of victimisation, it will do no harm for hon. Members who have boasted of the action they have taken against victimisation in the past, to say that when they become the bosses, victimisation will not take place.

I am not suggesting that it is the desire of the Minister to be unfair to those who are to be called on to work in this undertaking but I am convinced that if this Clause were put into the Bill it would give confidence to those honest men who have done what they have done, believing that there might be risks in daring to say what they believed even though it appeared to be at the risk of their own position and future.

There is not the least evidence from any quarter in the electricity industry, municipal or private, or from any of the organisations associated with the industry whether on the manual or technical side, to indicate any apprehension whatever about victimisation. For some time we have been in the closest consultation with the organisation of employees in the industry, and the point raised by this Clause has never been mentioned on any occasion. Suppose we accepted this Clause, what would it mean? What is meant by victimisation? Is it that, irrespective of qualifications for a particular post, the person must be employed? Is that what it means?

No I am putting the point to the House. I am trying to clarify what Members opposite mean when they speak of victimisation. Does it mean that the political opinions of a person in the industry will predominate over the qualifications possessed by that person, and that because of those opinions his services will not be required? If Members opposite have in mind the latter suggestion, that we should take account of political opinions, or the fact that the person concerned has opposed the provisions of this Bill, I can assure them that nothing of the sort could possibly occur. It could not occur because the employees in the industry would not allow it. But who have hon. Members in mind? Have they in mind the chairman of the board of an existing supply company who has attacked this Bill, who has declared that its provisions are dangerous and fatal to the future of electricity supply in the country? If they have in mind such a person, I say quite frankly that, whatever hon. Members may think about it, if I have to appoint electricity boards it would be quite improper to appoint to such boards a person who was definitely opposed to the nationalisation of the industry.

We shall not inquire, nor shall we allow any boards to inquire, into the political opinions of any person employed in the industry. I want to make that perfectly clear. I can well understand hon. Members opposite being a little concerned about this question of victimisation if I interpret it as they do, because private ownership indulged in victimisation over the years. Hon. Members opposite rarely protested against it then. [HON MEMBERS: "Never."] I did not say, "Never," as I want to be generous to Members opposite, despite what they have said about me. I am not giving them an assurance at all. I leave the matter entirely in the hands of the respective organisations in the industry, and they will be foolish indeed if they allow an electricity board to victimise any of their members because they have opposed the nationalisation of electricity.

On the other hand, it may well be that a person who has opposed the nationalisation of electricity has not the necessary qualifications for a particular post. If he is transferred to another post, if his position is worsened as a result of that transfer, he is protected by the provisions of the Bill. If the board cannot find room for his services at all, then his dismissal will be attributable, so I expect, not to the fact that he has opposed nationalisation, but to the fact he does not possess the necessary qualifications. I intend to work on this principle, as I did with the National Coal Board. I shall appoint the person with the highest qualifications, irrespective of his political views. I do not ask for political views. Sometimes I know the person's political views, and it may be that they are opposed to mine, but if he possesses the necessary technical and administrative qualifications, I am unconcerned about his political opinions. If Members opposite, when they were in power, had adopted the same principle there would have been more equity in the country.

The hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) has indulged, in his usual courteous fashion, in a tirade about my public speeches. He seemed to detect from what I have said that I would victimise, maliciously and deliberately, certain persons in the electricity supply industry because they were opposed to nationalisation. A score of times in the past few weeks I have tried to make clear beyond doubt what was in my mind. I say this now because it has a reference to the matter under review.

I respect everybody who performs a social service of any kind, whether it is in a manual, technical, administrative, domestic, or educational capacity. I have no regard for those persons who perform no social service at all. [HON. MEMBERS: "Who are they?"] There are such people in this country, and we have no use for them because they have no services to offer. They have been described as parasites, drones, idlers and rentiers. I do not care very much about these people, and I do not intend to appoint them to any of the boards for which I am responsible. That is quite clear. That is all that I mean.

7.30 p.m.

I certainly will not insert these provisions in the Bill. Hon. Members opposite can divide the House if they care to do so. I am concerned about the attitude of the public to this Bill and its provisions, and I assure the public that we intend to provide electricity at the lowest cost, efficiently and effectively. We want to satisfy their needs; but I do not believe that the public are very much concerned about a provision of this kind. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I do not believe that hon. Members opposite are concerned about it. They may be concerned about a few company directors. I would say this about company directors: if there are company directors, that is to say, directors or chairmen of boards of existing private electricity supply companies, who possess the necessary technical and administrative qualifications, they will have an opportunity of serving in the industry under nationalisation irrespective of their political views, and irrespective of any opposition they have displayed towards nationalisation. That does not mean that I shall appoint them to boards of management. That is quite a different proposition. We must be certain, even if there is a difference of political opinion among the members of the electricity boards, that at any rate they are concerned about promoting nationalisation with due regard to the public interest. How is it possible to appoint a person, who has declared over and over again that he is against nationalisation and that it is going to prove a failure, to a board of management?

A technician will be employed by the boards as a technician, but to allow a person who is against the proposition, to run the industry—well, we are heading for trouble if we do. I do not intend to head for trouble. I want to see the nationalisation of electricity a success. Therefore, I am not prepared to accept this new Clause, and I ask the House to reject it.

I think it is perfectly clear from what the right hon. Gentleman has said that hon. Members must be convinced that this Clause is essential. The right hon. Gentleman, in effect, has announced his intention to practise victimisation. He called it by another name. He said quite clearly—it will be within the recollection of the House—that if he did not want to appoint a man to a particular job, the excuse for not appointing him would be on the grounds that he did not possess the necessary qualifications. That is merely victimisation under another name. When the right hon. Gentleman said, talking of the higher ranks of people in this industry, that, of course, he would be guided exclusively in his appointments by questions of efficiency, no one would gainsay that. We may have certain views and certain doubts as to whether some of his recent appointments, and some of the appointments foreshadowed when this Bill becomes an Act, really carry that out. We shall have a chance to see that.

What has come to our notice, and one of the reasons why we put down this Clause, is that it has been intimated fairly clearly to a number of people that if they in future were to cooperate, instead of expressing opposition, their future under the boards would be more rosy than it is likely to be.

It is quite clear that the intention of the people to whom this veiled threat—if you like to call it that—or perhaps deferred promise of employment, has been made may be regarded as people likely to be in the running for jobs. The fact that this attitude is current has proved in our view the need for a Clause of this nature. The right hon. Gentleman took exception to an hon Member behind me talking about his public speeches, and he went out of his way, in rebuttal, to say that he intended, so far as technicians were concerned, to have no regard whatsoever to their politics and not even to ask them what are their politics. We can only hope that he will carry that out. We were delighted to hear him say so, but he will agree that it hardly tallies with the speeches which he has made on public platforms, for example, at Durham, when he talked about the impertinence of a colliery official standing in the Tory interests. The general impression which he gave was that he regarded it as a piece of impertinence for anyone to hold views other than he expresses. If the right hon. Gentleman does not intend that there shall be any victimisation in the ordinary sense of the word, I cannot see why he cannot accept this Clause. There is nothing in his argument that the Clause would prevent anyone from being appointed to a job purely on his merits, or anyone failing to get a job on his demerits. I hope the right hon. Gentleman, even at this late stage, will think again and agree to accept the Clause, otherwise we shall be bound to press it to a Division.

I do not wish to detain the House, but I would like to reply to the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) and the hon. Member for Wavertree (Mr. Raikes). When was it common not to have victimisation? Their memories must be very short, because there was colossal victimisation in the mining community after the 1926 strike.

I am glad that, unlike the Minister, the hon. Gentleman has given way. The point I made was not that there was not victimisation, but it was the usual practice, particularly in the case of trade unions who knew their job, to insert a no victimisation Clause in the final settlement.

Those who know anything about trade union life will know whether a victimisation Clause is put in. No employer would ever admit that there was victimisation in any way. I say quite frankly to the hon. Member that there were thousands of trade unionists and Socialists who were refused employment after the 1926 strike, and their only crime was that they had supported the strike, against the Tory party and the coal owners, to prevent a reduction in their standard of life. Therefore, when I saw this Amendment I thought that there had been a remarkable change of outlook on the Tory benches. Not only that, but when through the miners' Members of Parliament we raised protest after protest in the House against our men being pushed out of the collieries, and losing all their social life, no support was given to us by hon. Members opposite. The irony of it is that today we are pleading with these men to go back into the pits to help us to get coal in our present economic position.

There is no evidence that there will any victimisation under the National Electricity Board. In fact, the only example we have is that of the National Coal Board, and I know of no victimisation there. Every Tory agent I ever met has got a first-class job; if I had been Minister some of them would never have got the jobs, because they were some of the most cruel and hard-faced men that I ever met across a table to deal with wages and conditions, and I say even now that their presence is not helpful to the maintenance of order in the industry. I rose only to challenge the Opposition on their newfound outlook on victimisation, because surely the only purpose of the Clause is to protect the interests of those Tory-minded people who are employed in the electrical undertakings. I see no reason why they should not have a job. I have met Tory technicians in municipal undertakings switchboard attendants, consumers' engineers and so on, but not one has expressed a fear of being victimised because they may have expressed the view that electricity would be better under private enterprise. If this new Clause were carried, the Minister would be placed in an impossible position, because every man who did not get the job he thought he ought to have would complain that he was being victimised under this Clause because he had expressed an opinion against the Bill at some given time. The Clause says that there shall be no discrimination. I have seen no evidence anywhere that there will be any. There has been none under the National Coal Board, and I see no reason why there should be any apprehension among those now employed in the industry that in the future, under nationalisation, they will be worse off than they have been in the past.

The hon. Gentleman who has just addressed the House used much more restrained language than the right hon. Gentleman the Minister, but I cannot agree with him that to go back into past history and endeavour there to find reasons for resisting this Clause is a very satisfactory process. What, in effect, was the hon. Gentleman's argument? That the bosses—he did not use that word, but he obviously wanted to—in the past had resisted any effort to incorporate in industrial settlements what we are seeking to introduce into this Bill by this new Clause. Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that under this Bill, which he is so eagerly supporting, he and all those who sit on the Government Benches behind the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Fuel and Power are seeking for the first time to set up a great new boss, about whose qualities we do not know very much and about whose possible qualities we on this side of the House have, and I think rightly have, many, apprehensions?

Now I come to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman himself, and he did nothing whatever, so far as I am concerned, to dispel my apprehensions. What was the gist of the right hon. Gentleman's submission? He assured us, on the one hand, that there was to be no victimisation—I hope I am quoting the gist of his words, for I do not desire to do the right hon. Gentleman any injustice. He said that no apprehensions had been expressed up to the present by employees or any other people connected with electrical undertakings as to their future position. It is quite possible that they may not have thought of it. The right hon. Gentleman himself has sat long enough on the Opposition benches to agree that it is the duty of an Opposition to be vigilant in protecting people who may not, perhaps, up to the present have realised just what their future position and status may be if this new Clause is not accepted. I am bound to say that the right hon. Gentleman's arguments have left me, and I think everybody on this side of the House, completely in the dark, or at best guessing, as to where he stands. The right hon. Gentleman indeed spoke with two voices. On the one hand, he said nobody would be debarred simply because of his political opinion if his opinion as a technician was worth having, and, on the other hand, he said that he would not employ anybody, particularly a company director, who had expressed himself as being root and branch opposed to this Bill.

7.45 p.m.

I certainly did not say I would refuse to employ anybody because he had expressed himself in a hostile manner towards nationalisation. What I said was that I would not appoint somebody to a board, to one of the electricity boards in a representative capacity, if he had expressed himself as being against the provisions of the Bill and had declared that nationalisation was bound to prove a failure. That, I said, would lead me along the wrong road, and I was not going to take a chance.

I am glad the right hon. Gentleman has elucidated the point; perhaps I was not expressing his opinion quite accurately. That is entirely an understandable point of view. I can quite understand the aversion of the right hon. Gentleman, and possibly of any successor of his, to having such persons on the boards, but I did not rise to express apprehensions just about that rather limited class of individuals. I am thinking of the humbler and much more numerous class of people, including the experts in the electrical engineering industry, who may, not perhaps quite so loudly, have expressed views hostile to this Bill, particularly to the inclusion of Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that there is a good deal of opposition to this Bill extending to the very large part of Scotland which Clause 1 envisages. I am not anticipating the next Amendment in saying that, if we are not successful in incorporating that Amendment in Clause 1 to delete a large part of Scotland from this Bill, the right hon. Gentleman will have in his clutches, if he so desires, quite a large number of people who may have expressed hostile views.

The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head; he is entitled to his view and I am entitled to mine. He will have in his clutches quite a large number of people who may have expressed themselves as hostile to the Bill. I think I am entitled to say this, because I have in my constituency a very large hydro-electrical undertaking which was one of the first to be set up in Scotland. It received legislative sanction in this House in the concluding stages of the 1924 Parliament, was finished in April or May, 1929, and has been productive of very great good ever since. Suppose I take as an illustration somebody connected with that undertaking whose advice as a technician was very well worth having but who had expressed himself as opposed to nationalisation as envisaged by this Bill and opposed to the inclusion of Scotland. I should imagine that he would at once fall a ready victim, if the right hon. Gentleman or his successor wished it, to the kind of thing we wish to safeguard against. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Hector Hughes) objected to this new Clause on the ground that it would be a novel departure in legislation.

I did not object on the ground that it was a novelty. The hon. Member for Kingston (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) was saying that a Clause such as this was in certain industrial settlements, and implied that it was therefore in various Statutes; I challenged him to cite any industrial settlement or Statute in which it had appeared, and he failed to do so.

For the benefit of the hon. and learned Member let me come at once to the aid of my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter), who said no such thing. When the hon. and learned Gentleman pointed out that it would be a novelty, my hon. Friend at once agreed with him, but my hon. Friend cannot accept, as I cannot accept, the argument of the hon. and learned Member for North Aberdeen that that is a valid reason for the Government now refusing to accept this Clause. We on this side are very apprehensive about this possible victimisation. I very much hope that we may have some further elucidation by the right hon. Gentleman, or perhaps by the Secretary of State for Scotland, since I have mentioned the possibilities in that country. On the other hand, if we do not have such further elucidation, I shall certainly have great pleasure in supporting my right hon. Friend the Member for Southport (Mr. R. S. Hudson) in the Lobby in an endeavour to have this Clause added to the Bill.

I feel that I should make a few brief remarks before we dispose of this Clause because I have taken some part in these controversies on electricity nationalisation. I have been an advocate of nationalisation, and I should not like to think that anyone who held views opposed to mine in this matter would be made to suffer on that account. Nevertheless this proposed Clause is an extremely interesting one. I think that some people are probably becoming worried about the actions of certain directors of companies who not only turn their annual meetings into forums of the Tory Party, but have gone further and, in some cases, have exerted almost improper pressure upon the employees to get them to oppose nationalisation.

Yes, the County of London Company, and if the hon. and gallant Gentleman wants another example, I believe it was the South Wales Power Company who tried to press their engineers and their outdoor canvassers and representatives to argue against nationalisation, irrespective of their own political opinions, when dealing with electricity consumers. I should like to say also that victimisation of another type has not been unknown in the past among professional and technical men in the electricity supply, and other industries for that matter. Some years ago it was extremely dangerous for men who held Socialist opinions, and who had responsible jobs in the electricity supply industry, to express those opinions, and I have known men who were members, for instance, of such a mild body as the Fabian Society to be anxious to conceal their membership of that society because of their fear of what might happen to them since they knew of the Conservative politics of their employers. That has been the case in the past and it is, therefore, most interesting to see this conversion of the Tory Party to the principles of liberty of opinion. I am glad to see it, and I hope we shall see more of it.

Whilst I am in complete sympathy with the intentions of this Clause—and, taking the view that we should not do as the Tories have done in the past I am glad that we have had this discussion—I am nevertheless convinced that if an attempt were made to turn it into legislation an impossible situation would result. Mr. Smith, who is perhaps no good at his job, might be refused a certain post to which he thought he was entitled, and might then allege that it was because he had held Conservative opinions and had argued against nationalisation. As I say, that would be an impossible situation, and I hope that the House will reject the Clause.

I am glad that the hon. Member for Wimbledon (Mr. Palmer) is glad that we have had this discussion. I am not so sure that the Minister will continue always to be glad that we have had it. His speech was internally inconsistent and, in considerable passages of it, very difficult to understand.

I. challenge the hon. Gentleman behind him who rattles his head at me to—

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that for it to rattle it would need to have something inside it?

I do not think even that is necessary. The thing I believe can be done aero-dynamically. I would challenge the hon. Gentleman to look at the speech tomorrow and then to construe some of the right hon. Gentleman's rhetorical questions and, assuming that HANSARD has them down verbatim and that there is no correction made, I would, if it were in order, make a considerable bet that he would find some quite impossible to construe. I do think, nevertheless, that the upshot of the right hon. Gentleman's speech was fairly clear; and I hope that it will be clear to the Lord President of the Council, because I think it might give him something to say to the right hon. Gentleman, and that would be agreeable for all parties. The upshot of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, I think, very clearly was the same as of some of his earlier speeches, only in a language at once more chaste and appropriately more involved, more ambiguous —"All the people I need worry about can be protected by their trade unions, and for the rest, about them I need not worry."[Interruption.]That really was the upshot of the speech. The right hon. Gentleman made a speech consisting almost entirely of rhetorical questions and would not give way once. Now I think he had better keep quiet while the rest of us speak.

Now for the hon. Member for Wimbledon: he claimed that he had always been in favour of socialisation. I congratulate him on the consistency of that, although we are told that consistency is the foible of little minds, but at the same time I must say that it is impossible to congratulate him on his clarity as a writer, and if he will look back at some of his earlier works he will not wonder that some of us have been in doubt on the point. And incidentally I would say this to him, with respect to his and his right hon. Friend's contention that the electricity trade unions can do enough in this matter of victimisation. I have seen letters from trade union branches expressing extreme disagreement with the hon. Member's commendation of this Bill, particularly from the point of the position of employees, and even—if I may say so without gross immodesty—expressing preference for my own remarks and even my own arguments on the same point. [Interruption.] I still cannot hear the right hon. Gentleman and I still do not want to.

When it was suggested from this side of the House that people really cared about the question of justice involved here, there were confused shouts of "rubbish" and so on from the other side and the hon. Member for Houghton-le-Spring (Mr. Blyton) made a speech with which I have a good deal of sympathy. He spoke, as he always does, first of all as one who does know something about mines, and second, as he always does, as if he meant it; but I would ask him and other hon. Gentlemen opposite to begin—[Interruption.]You cannot put me off my speech by talking. Mr. Deputy Speaker, I am extremely reluctant to hold up these proceedings, but if it is made difficult to put a fair and continuous argument shortly I shall do my best to put it at such length that there can be no doubt about it.

8.0 p.m.

I would ask the hon. Member for Houghton-le-Spring really to think it possible that it is not a party question whether people sincerely approve or disapprove fairness and justice, or victimisation. I am quite clear that he must feel—and in the main rightly feel—that he and his political friends have had more sympathy for the miners and sensitivity about their sufferings and injustices, than in the main I or my political friends have had. It may be that we had some want of imagination and some want of sympathy and that we have been guilty sometime of not being as conscious as we ought to have been of injustices inflicted upon the miners. But I would ask hon. Members opposite not to go on thinking that indifference to injustice is some peculiar weakness of the half, or nearly, of the population which even at the worst of times votes for this side of the House; and when we say we are trying to get fairness and remove victimisation let them try to think that we may be honestly meaning now what we are asking. It is not fair for hon. Members opposite merely to shout "rubbish" on this point.

Let me put it another way. If there is a risk of victimisation in the matter I higher appointments there is also the risk that there may be excessive promotions; if persons are not to be promoted, as the Minister has informed us, because of the political opinions which they hold—

Certainly. The right hon. Gentleman said that from boards of management people would be excluded who expressed the belief that Socialism would not succeed. He said it twice over.

I appeal to HANSARD and the memory of the House. If that is so, and if some of the persons excluded are persons who would otherwise be competent for those jobs, that will ease the pressure for the jobs, and some other people, who have had the right prejudice, are more likely to get the jobs. I noticed a red flower come into the House during the right hon. Gentleman's speech, and as he continued to speak gradually it turned white in its wearer's button-hole. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman is now prepared to assure us that there are going to be no appointments to the boards which in any way are due to a known favourable opinion about nationalisation. He ought to be able to give us that assurance. He ought to be able to make this quite plain. And hon. Gentlemen who are friends of his and who are themselves members of boards of directors, if they believe that individualism and capitalist arrangements are bound not to succeed, clearly ought to resign their directorships, and if they do not, I hope will be turned out by the shareholders. Would hon. Gentlemen opposite think it right that men should be dismissed from directorships or managerial positions because they had adopted the opinion that the capitalist system, or private enterprise, was not going to succeed? The Minister told us twice ?

The right hon. Gentleman can get up in a minute or two at the end of my paragraph. Nobody is to be appointed to a board of management who in the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman opposes Socialism and particularly so in the case of people whose opinion was that Socialism was not going to succeed. [Interruption.]I would not for the world appeal to the Chair for protection, but I should like to put on record in HANSARD the school boy trickery of the right hon. Gentleman, who refused to give way for anyone on this side of the House and now asks me whether I will give way for him, and then plays that kind of practical joke. Does he really think that this is consistent with his dignity or that it will really increase the admiration even of the sycophants behind him?

Hon. Gentlemen opposite ought not to wonder at there being disquiet on this point. They have asked questions suggesting that nobody ought to be employed by a Socialist Government, for instance in the higher administrative service and in the foreign service, who does not hold Socialist opinions. Why then should we be regarded as talking wildly or creating unnecessary suspicion if we ask for some guarantee against victimisation in connec- tion with this industry? Nor should hon. Gentlemen opposite complain if directors or chairmen of companies have said things in public speeches, even at annual meetings, of which they politically disapprove. I myself am no very strong champion of avoidable politics on such an occasion. But it is not fair for them to complain. Trade unions were not always political institutions, but only gradually did they turn political. The Co-ops were not always politically intended. It is not for hon. Gentlemen opposite to complain excessively if people find it difficult to keep politics out of business nowadays, and it is not fair to reproach us on this side of the House with false suspicions or with having unnecessary fears if we ask for the guarantee suggested by this Clause.

In view of the speech to which we have just listened and the difficulty which hon. Members opposite apparently have in understanding the speech of the Minister, I rise to make one point. The Minister made it perfectly clear in his speech that there was a distinction in the two types of people who would be engaged in the working of the electricity boards. On the one hand, there would be directors, and the Minister made it perfectly plain that if a person had expressed disagreement and disapproval of the Electricity Bill and the view that the procedure under it would be impossible and would result in failure, such a person would not be appointed a director. That seems to me a perfectly sound and sensible view. It would be ridiculous to appoint persons to manage a concern which they did not believe could possibly be a success.

On the other hand, the Minister distinguished clearly between them and the technicians. He said that technicians would be judged on their merits as technicians, whatever view they might have expressed as to the merits or otherwise of this Bill and the procedure under it. That would have no weight with him in their appointment. They would be appointed purely as technicians and on no other basis. Those who have spoken in support of this new Clause have attempted to mix up and confuse those two things. They have attempted to argue that there would be victimisation of technicians, which is unwarranted, and, in my submission, is an improper anticipation of turpitude on the part of a public authority. It implies deliberate intention to victimise political opponents. This Clause is a confusing Clause. It does not define what is meant by victimisation. It is an unworkmanlike Clause, and on every ground I hope that it will be rejected.

Anybody who listened to the arguments of the hon. Member for Houghton-le-Spring (Mr. Blyton) and the hon. Member for Wimbledon (Mr. Palmer) would have thought that they were speaking in favour of this Clause. The hon. Member for Houghton-le-Spring pointed out that there had been a lot of victimisation in the past, and he was using that apparently as an argument against the Clause.

The hon. Member for Northwich (Mr. J. Foster) should understand I was answering the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) when I said that it was common ground that trade unions had suffered victimisation.

Everything that the hon. Member said must obviously be an argument in favour of the Clause. He described the victimization which the miners may have suffered in certain cases in the past. I agree that it must have been very wrong, but that is the very reason it should be put a stop to now. Any impartial person listening to his argument and hearing that there had been that amount of victimisation would have said: "If that has been so in the past, we must of course, stop it in the future." Yet the result of his arguing is that he votes against the Clause. Then, the hon. Member for Wimbledon—I am sorry he has left the Chamber—said that certain members of the electrical industries were worried about the implications of their actions. Presumably that is because they are afraid of victimisation. There is the reason in favour of the Clause, as given from the mouth of the hon. Member for Wimbledon.

There is evidence in the Bill of a vindictive attitude against directors. That was brought out in Committee. Where there is a vindictive attitude there is a danger of victimisation. The Clauses about the liabilities of directors shows there is a vindictive attitude. In his speech, the Minister said that if somebody had opposed nationalisation he would not be appointed to the board. I ask the Minister whether he has ever heard of the aftermath of the South African war. What would have happened to the birth and growth of that great Dominion if we, the winning side in the South African war had said that we would not appoint anybody to the new Government of South Africa who had been opposed to England or who had showed that they considered a victory for England would be the end of South Africa?

I really must intervene at this stage. I really cannot allow it to pass that I said that if a company director of an existing privately-owned undertaking had opposed nationalisation he could not be appointed to a board. I went much further than that. I said, not that he had opposed nationalisation, but that he had declared that nationalisation would prove a disaster and was bound to fail. If a person believes that, obviously he is not fit to be entrusted with the task of administering nationalisation.

I would like to point out to the Minister the wisdom of giving way. When he was making his speech he did not give way once to my right hon. Friend the Member for Southport (Mr. R. S. Hudson). I gave way to the right hon. Gentleman.

Surely the hon. Member was not here when his right hon. Friend the Member for South-port made a very serious allegation that there was evidence justifying a fair apprehension of victimisation? When he was challenged by the Minister, he refused to give way.

That was after the Minister had refused to give way. It shows the danger of victimisation again. Let me take up the right hon. Gentleman on his own ground. I suggest that although a man suggested that he considered nationalisation to be a disaster, if he shows aptitude for running the business the Minister should take him in.

I am grateful to the hon. Member for giving way to me. If he were a director of a company which had in mind to appoint, or had already appointed another director, would the hon. Member agree to appoint a man who had told him beforehand that it was not possible to make such a business a success? I suggest that he certainly would not do so, but would appoint somebody whose activities would be in the interests of the concern.

8.15 p.m.

I do not think the situation is at all comparable. [HON. MEMBERS: "It is."] I dare say that the hon. Gentleman has a particular person in mind in referring to this hypothetical director, but I do not know. That person has expressed a political view and he has expressed a view that nationalisation is tending to disaster—[HON. MEMBERS: "Will lead to disaster."]—or will lead to disaster. If he is the best man, he is probably the best man to stop that disaster. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] That is absolutely logical because on his own showing nationalisation may have some difficulties and problems. If he is the best man, he is the man to deal with them. The hon. Gentleman ignores the whole trend of English history and the fact that give-and-take between persons of different political convictions does work for the best interests of the country. The assumption in the right hon. Gentleman's speech is that this hypothetical man would try to sabotage the electrical industry.

One can take this give-and-take argument a shade too far. Surely, the hon. Gentleman would not appoint to the managing directorship of a whisky distillery a gentleman who was the most brilliant administrator in the world but who was also a passionate advocate of temperance?

This giving way is also being taken too far.

I must answer that last intervention, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. I would like to make an announcement that I am the director of a small whisky company and a teetotaler. [HON. MEMBERS: "Shame."] I did not appoint myself. Evidently my co-directors appointed me to the whisky company directorship when they knew that I was a teetotaler—

I really cannot appreciate that what the hon. Gentleman is saying has anything to do with victimisation on the Electricity Bill.

But, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, the evidence in the Bill itself of the vindictiveness of which I spoke shows that there is a danger of victimisation, and surely it cannot be an argument for the right hon. Gentleman to say that all the trade organisations—the unions—protect these people ? Who is protecting the people who are not unionised and are not in trade organisations? The right hon. Gentleman did not meet the point that if there is any apprehension in any quarter of victimisation, there can be no harm in the Clause. Victimisation is a very evil thing. If a Clause is put in to stop an evil thing, what harm can there be? The fears that it cannot give people an opportunity of saying that they have been victimised because they have been sacked, or that it would mean that a man who was incompetent would have to be given a job, are quite illusory. Victimisation has a meaning which can be given to it in the courts and under the law.

If a man is not given a job because he is incompetent, that is not victimisation. He is not touched by the Clause. It is quite feasible for an honest man to administer the Measure and to administer a Clause like this and not to victimise people, but, on the other hand, to reject those who are incompetent. I ask the House seriously to reconsider this Clause in the light of the principle, which I entirely accept from the hon. Member for Houghton-le-Spring, that victimisation should be stopped and that if it occurred in the past, it should have been prevented; but that cannot be an argument against a Clause which seeks to prevent it in the future.

I do not want to delay the proceedings, but I have this small claim to take part in the Debate, that my views on it are founded entirely on what has passed in this Debate. I was not in the councils of my hon. and right hon. Friends who framed this Clause, I was not on the Standing Committee to which this Bill was committed, and I saw this Clause for the first time on the marshalled list of Amendments shortly before coming into the House. So my view on this matter is founded on what has taken place in the Debate, and I am free to confess that at first sight, seeing the title "Prevention of victimisation" I thought that my right hon. and hon. Friends would have some difficulty perhaps in making out their case. In so thinking, however, I reckoned with out their powerful auxiliary in the shape of the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Fuel and Power. The right hon. Gentleman has an uncanny flair in his speeches—and I think he will agree with this now—for provoking the most lively apprehensions, most of which turn out to be fully justified before very long. I am bound to say that on this occasion the right hon. Gentleman has run entirely true to form. He has provoked in my neutral breast—[Laughter.]I was explaining to the House that I came here without any predetermined view, with the certain feeling that my hon. Friends would have a difficult case to make out.

Therefore, I say that the right hon. Gentleman has provoked just those apprehensions in my neutral breast. He has founded his case on two main propositions: first, he says that so far as the manual element is concerned, no legislative restriction is necessary to prevent victimisation because it would be folly on the part of the organisations themselves to allow it. I hope that case is well founded and indeed it may be, but the only comment I would make on that part of his case is to say that it may be that these organisations might be a little less sensitive in respect of people who have opposed nationalisation in general and this Bill in particular than on some other scores. I think it may not be so, but it may be so, and as long as there is any possibility of that, then it might be better that we should have a statutory provision to prevent even the possibility of such victimisation.

The second proposition was in regard to managerial boards, and here the right hon. Gentleman was perhaps a little ambiguous but he had the advantage, in the absence of the hon. and learned Member for Gloucester (Mr. Turner-Samuels) of the interpretative skill of the hon. and learned Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Hector Hughes), and now we are reason ably certain that what the Minister said is that he will not put on to any board, irrespective of their qualifications, any body who has prophesied that nationalisation of the industry may lead to disaster. Is that a proper point of view or not?

Until this Bill becomes law, there is an alternative—the alternative of a nationalised electricity industry and the alternative of a non-nationalised electricity industry. While those alternatives exist, surely it is not only the right but the duty of informed citizens to express a view as to which of those they think is the better alternative.

I am glad I carry the hon. Member for Wimbledon (Mr. Palmer) thus far at any rate. We have an exact parallel in time of peace. In time of peace we have an alternative between peace and war. Because a man says, "I think it would be better to pursue a system of peace; I think that if we go to war it will be undeniably costly and detrimental, and very likely to lead to disaster"—because a man says that in time of peace, are we to prevent him, when we have actually got into a state of war, from doing his best for the community, merely because he has deprecated going to war at all?

The hon. Member for Reading (Mr. Mikardo) does not like these rather abstract and general arguments. I accept his implied challenge I will make the comparison a little more personal. Supposing that one was an industrial consultant, and by a peculiar coincidence, when I look at "Dod," I find that the hon. Member for Reading. 'S an industrial consultant.

The hon. Member says he is a good consultant. Surely, in his case we have the exact converse of this situation. The hon. Member for Reading is not exclusively a consultant to nationalised concerns, I imagine, perhaps not at all to nationalised concerns. Perhaps he practises a personal policy of the "closed shop," perhaps he restricts his advice to private enterprise concerns. What does he begin by telling them? He tells them that capitalism is doomed to failure and decay, that no good can come out of it, but still they are broadminded enough to seek his services as an industrial consultant. I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is going to be more narrow and archaic in his approach than these private enterprise concerns, which are apparently generous and broadminded enough to seek the advice of the hon. Member for Reading as an industrial consultant. I believe that these people, if they have sufficient qualifications, are more likely, because they see the dangers of nationalisation, to be able to give advice that will avert the gravest of those dangers than, shall we say, second-rate "Yes men," who have applauded the principle of nationalisation, and whose advice is likely to make a certainty of that disaster which more prescient people have prophesied.

I am extremely glad to have given the hon. Member for Hertford (Mr. Walker-Smith) the occasion for making what was obviously a carefully and elaborately prepared gibe. I do not propose to deal with that, but to make two serious points as a contribution to this discussion, the first of which is, I think, if I may say so without being immodest, a complete answer to what was said by the hon. Member for Hertford. One must distinguish, in all occupations, whether in public or private enterprise, between the situation in which one has, as a part of one's responsibility, the duty of making and interpreting policy, and other occupations in which one simply has to carry out policy which is made and interpreted by other people. Those are the two main and quite distinct types of occupation in the structure of management. They are distinguished by whether one can or cannot do one's job irrespective of whether one agrees with the policy which has been laid down.

8.30 p.m.

If I may revert to the example of the distillery, it is quite as easy for a temperance advocate who is a cost accountant to be a good cost accountant in a distillery as to be a good cost accountant in any other enterprise, but it would be impossible for such a person to take a share in making a policy of increasing the distribution of whisky. It is exactly the same in the electricity industry. If a man's vocation is that of studying what is the best way to insulate electric wires, clearly his competence to do this is quite unaffected by whether he believes that the industry should be nationalised or not. But if his vocation is that of top management, of development, and of working out policy, then I say that an honest man will not want to work in a nationalised industry if he believes that nationalisation of the industry would break down.

Has the hon. Gentleman never heard of a poacher turning gamekeeper?

Certainly, but I thought that we were talking about honest men. I thought that the people in the industry for whom hon. Gentlemen opposite were pleading were honest men. The second point I wish to make is that hon. Gentlemen opposite have drawn a comparison between this proposed new Clause and the arrangement which is sometimes reached at the end of an industrial dispute to include a provision that there should be no victimisation of those who had taken part in the dispute. I suggest that the hon. Gentleman who made that point, I am sure in complete good faith, overlooked a very important fact. That provision was not included in the terms of settlement of the first industrial disputes. It was included only after the settlements which had not included such a provision had been followed by wicked victimisation.

To introduce a personal note, I would say that perhaps this is one subject on which I can claim to speak with more authority than the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) and the hon. Member for Hertford. I spent part of today trying to prevent victimisation of trade unionists by employers. That is not ancient history. I am working in this field as a practical man. What happened was that the provision quoted by the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames was put in after it was found to be necessary in practice and by bitter experience. It was not put in the first time because when the first settlement was made it was anticipated that honourable employers would not victimise. It was not considered to be necessary. Up to now we have nationalised three industries. We have had these settlements, if we may use that term, already in three cases—in the case of the Bank of England, civil aviation, and mining—and in not one of those has there been a suggestion that the Minister has exercised discrimination against persons who were politically opposed to nationalisation. The first time we have such discrimination and the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames moves the inclusion of a Clause such as this, I will be with him in the Lobby; but so long as there is no evidence that it is necessary, it seems to me he is casting a slur both upon the Minister and upon other people by moving such a Clause as this.

Does the hon. Gentleman only advocate shutting the stable doors after the horses have been stolen?

That is an over simplification. No doubt the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames is a hospitable gentleman who entertains a lot of friends at home, but he does not go around ostentatiously locking up the silver every time.

Division No. 272.]


[8.35 p.m.

Amory, D. HeathcoatHogg, Hon QO'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H
Baldwin, A. E.Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich)Peto, Brig. C. H. M.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H.Hope, Lord J.Pickthorn, K
Beechman, N AHoward, Hon. A.Ponsonby, Col. C E
Birch, NigelHudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)Prior-Palmer, Brig. O
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (WellsHutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)Raikes, H. V.
Bower, N.Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. WRamsay, Maj. S
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Kerr, Sir J. GrahamRayner, Brig. R.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. GLambert, Hon GReed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G TLancaster, Col C. GReid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Challen, C.Lindsay, HI. (Solihull)Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Clarke, Col. R. S.Linstead, H NRobinson, Wing-Comdr Roland
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. GUpson, D. LRopner, Col. L.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E.Lucas-Tooth. Sir HRoss Sir R. D. (Londonderry)
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)McCallum, Maj. D.Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. EMacdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight)Smith, E. P. (Ashford)
Cuthbert, W. N.Mackeson, Brig. H. R.Spearman, A. C. M.
Darling, Sir W. YMcKie, J H (Galloway)Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Digby, S. WMacLeod, J.Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Drewe, C.Macmillan, Rt Hon. Harold (Bromley)Sutcliffe, H.
Elliot, Rt. Hon. WaiteMacpherson, N (Dumfries)Thorneycroft, G. E. P (Monmouth)
Foster, J. G (Northwich)Maitland, Comdr. J. W.Thornton-Kemsley, C. N
Gage, C.Manningham-Buller, R. ETouche, G. C.
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. DMarples, A. EWadsworth, G
Gammans, L. D.Marshall, D. (Bodmin)Walker-Smith, D.
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)Marshall, S. H. (Sutton)Wheatley, Colonel M,J
Grant, LadyMedlicott, F.Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Gridley, Sir A.Mellor, Sir J.Willoughby de Eresby. Lord
Grimston, R V.Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)York, C
Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley)Morris-Jones, Sir HTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Harvey, Air-Cmdre. A. V.Morrison, Rt. Hon. W S (Cirencester)Mr. Studholme and
Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir CNeven-Spence, Sir BLieut.-Colonel Thorp,
Hinchingbrooke, ViscountNicholson, G


Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South)Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton.)Corlett, Dr. J
Alpass, J. H.Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl. Exch'ge)Cove, W. G.
Attewell, H. C.Braddock, T. (Mitcham)Crawley, A
Austin, H. LewisBra mall, E. ADaggar, G.
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. BBrooks, T. J. (Rothwell)Daines, P.
Bacon, Miss ABrown, George (Belper)Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.
Baird, J.Brown, T. J (Ince)Davies, Edward (Burslem)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.Bruce, Maj. D. W T.Davies, Ernest (Enfield)
Barstow, P. GBurden, T. W.Davies, Harold (Leek)
Barton, C.Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S)Davies, Hadyn (St. Pancras, S.W.)
Batlley, J. RCastle, Mrs. B. A.Deer, G.
Bechervaise, A. E.Chamberlain, R. Ade Freitas, Geoffrey
Benson, GChampion, A. JDelargy, H J
Berry, H.Chater, D.Diamond, J
Beswick, F.Chetwynd, G. RDodds, N. N
Blackburn, A. RCobb, F. A.Donovan, T.
Blenkinsop, A.Cocks, F. SDriberg, T. E. N
Blyton, W. R.Collindridge, F.Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)
Bottomley, A. G.Colman, Miss G. M.Dumpleton, C W
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. WCorbet, Mrs. F. K (Camb'well, N W)Dve S

I fail to see what connection that has with the subject under discussion.

I had come to an end when the hon. Gentleman intervened. If we ostentatiously put in safeguards against a thing, we put the idea into peoples' minds that that thing is likely to happen when there is no evidence that it would have done and when all history of nationalisation goes to show that it does not happen.

Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

The House divided: Ayes, 95; Noes, 258.

Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.Lewis, A. W. J (Upton)Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Edelman, M.Lewis, J. (Bolton)Simmons, C J.
Edwards, A (Middlesbrough E.)Lindgren, G. SSkeffington, A. M.
Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)McAdam, W.Skeffington-Lodge. T C
Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)McEntee, V. La T.Skinnard, F. W
Evans, E. (Lowestoft)McGhee, H GSmith, C. (Colchester)
Evans, John (Ogmore)Mack, J DSmith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Ewart, R,McKay, J (Wallsend)Smith, S. H. (Huli S.W.)
Farthing, W. J.Maclean, N. (Govan)Sorenser., R. W
Fletcher, E. G. M (Islington, E)McLeavy, FSoskice, Maj. Sir F.
Follick, M.Macpherson, T. (Romford)Sparks, J. A
Foot, M. M.Mainwaring, W. HStamford, W
Fraser, T. (Hamilton)Mallalieu. J P. W.Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E)
Gaitskell, H. T. NMarshall, F. (Brightside)Strachey, J
Ganley, Mrs. C. SMathers,Strauss, G R (Lambeth, N.)
Gibson, C. W.Mayhrw, C. P.Stross, Dr B
Gilzean, A.Medland, H. MStubbs, A. E
Glanville, J. E. (Consett)Messer, F.Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Goodrich, H. E.Mikardo, IanSwingler, S.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield)Millington, Wing-Comdr E. RSylvester, G. O
Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)Mitchison, G. R.Symonds, A L
Grenfell, D. R.Moody, A STaylor, H. B (Mansfield)
Grey, C. F.Morgan, Dr. H. B.Taylor R. J. (Morpeth)
Grierson, E.Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Griffiths, D, (Rother Valley)Moyle, A.Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Guest, Dr. L. HadenMurray, J. DThomas, Ivor (Keighley)
Gunter, R. JNaylor, T. E.Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Guy, W. HNeal, H. (Claycross)Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Hall, W G.Nichol, Mrs M E. (Bradford, N.)Thorneycroft, Harry Clayton)
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col, R.Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)Tnurtle, Ernest
Hannan, W (Maryhill)Noel-Buxton, LadyTitterington, M. r-
Hardy, E. A.Oldfield, W H.Tolley, L.
Harrison, JOliver, G H.Tomlinson, Rt. Hon G
Hastings, Dr. SomervillePaget, R TTurner-Samuels, V
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)Ungoed-Thomas, L
Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)Usborne, Henry
Herbison, Miss M.Palmer, A M FVernon, Maj W- F
Hewitson, Capt MParker, J.Viant, S. P.
Hobson, C. RParkin, B TWallace, G. O. (Chislehurst)
Holman, P.Paton, J (Norwich)Wallace, H W. (Walthamstow, E.)
Holmes, H E (Hemsworth)Pearson, A.Warbey, W. N.
House, GPeart, Thomas FWatkins, T. E.
Hoy, JPlatts-Mills, J F. F.Weitzman, D
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing W.)Poole, Major Cecil (Llehfield)Wells P. L (Faversham)
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Porter, G. (Leeds)Wells, W. T (Walsall)
Hughes, H. D. (Wolverhampton, W.)Prill, D. N.Westwood, Rt. Hon J
Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)Proctor, W. T.White, H. (Derbyshire N.E)
Hynd, J. B. (Attereliffe)Pursey, Cmdr H.Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Irving, W. J.Randall H EWigg, Col. G. E.
Janner, B.Ranger, JWilkes. L
Jay, D P. Rees-Williams, D RWilkins, W. A.
Jeger, G. (Winchester)Reeves, J.Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Jeger, Dr. S. W (St. Pancras, S.E.)Reid T (Swindon)Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Jones, D T (Hartlepools)Rhodes, H.Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)Ridealgh, Mrs. M.Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Jones, J. H. (Bolton)Reberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)Williamson, T
Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)Ross, William (Kilmarnock)Willis, E.
Keenan, W.Royle, CWills, Mrs. E. A
Kendall, W. DSargood, R.Woodburn, A
Kenyon, CScollan, T.Woods, G. S-
Kinley, JScott-Elliot, W.Wyatt, W.
Lang, G.Shackleton, E. A. Avates, V F.
Lavers, S.Sharp, GranvilleYoung, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Lee, F. (Hulme)Shawcross C. N. (Widnes)Zilliacus, K.
Leslie, J. R.Shawcross, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (St Helen.)
Lever, N HShinwell Rt. Hon. ETELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Levy, B WShurmer, P.Mr. Snow and Mr. Popplewell.