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Gas (Co-Partnership) Regulations

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 3 May 1949

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10.15 p.m.

I beg to move,

"That an humble Address he presented to His Majesty, praying that the Regulations, dated 18th March, 1949, entitled the Gas (Copartnership) Regulations, 1949 (S.I., 1949, No. 4751, a copy of which was laid before this House on 19th March, be annulled."
In moving the annulment of this order I am dealing with an extremely grave matter. We pass for the moment from steel to gas, and the regulations which I move to annul deal with the extension of co-partnership schemes from 1949 to 1951. There are certain matters with regard to these which I hope in due course we shall have explained to us rather more clearly by the Minister.

My fear is that this extension of the gas co-partnership schemes from 1949 to 1951 is purely a bogus attempt on the part of His Majesty's Government to pretend that they are trying for a period to safeguard copartnership. I am sure that the Parliamentary Secretary will make a most courteous reply and I shall listen to him with the same deep attention with which I know he will listen to me. I want to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to explain why two years have been given as the period for extending these copartnership schemes. If the two years means that those brilliant arguments which my right hon. Friend and, indeed, my humble self put forward on the Committee stage have at last rung some sort of bell in the dim conscience of His Majesty's Government, it will be a belated sign of grace—but why two years?

Because this is an important order, I should like to call the attention of the House first to Regulation 2 (1), because that makes it quite plain why the existing co-partnership schemes can carry on until 31st March, 1951, but no new entrants will be permitted to come into the scheme. What does that mean? It means, in the first instance, that a distinction is drawn between the old entrants and the new entrants into co-partnership. [Laughter.] It may be that hon. Members opposite find something amusing in the withering away of the old co-partner-ship schemes and the profit-sharing schemes which have given advantage and hope and happiness to many people who entered into those first pioneer schemes of profit-sharing and co-partnership in the gas industry.

I want to ask the Parliamentary Secretary, first and foremost, why new entrants to the gas industry are absolutely and deliberately debarred from coming in under the profit-sharing schemes. It might well be that if new entrants were permitted to come in a number of persons, realising the popularity—the popularity of the old copartnership schemes has been great—would be prepared to come in, even knowing that the schemes were to end in 1951, in the hope—the ever-growing hope—that between now and 1951 there would be a change of Government. [Interruption.] One never knows. Hon. Gentlemen opposite do not think so, I know; but that has nothing to do with this question.

People might be prepared to come in, with the ever-growing hope that with a change of Government the 1951 date might be extended. The fact that new entrants are refused admission, even it they are prepared to gamble on a change, seems a very obvious indication that the Government are afraid to allow what might be described as an "open shop" for new people to come into the copartnership schemes in the hope that, having come into them, they will continue beyond the date in 1951. That is the first point, and one which requires an answer.

The second point is, in a sense, of equal importance. It was made plain at an earlier stage when the Gas Bill was debated upstairs that no one's position would be worse after nationalisation than it was before. That was a Ministerial guarantee, and a proper guarantee to be given by the Government, but what will be the position now under this order? Old entrants can continue to draw their copartnership bonus until 1951, but new entrants who come into the gas industry between 1949 and 1951 will be unable under any conditions to draw the bonus. Take just one simple example. I shall not talk for long; this is not a matter on which we want a long Debate, but it is important because it deals with the rights not of rich directors or people of that type, but of men and women who have played a great part in the gas industry, many of them under very difficult conditions.

Under the scheme as it stands the old entrant will draw a salary of, say, £300 a year. He will also get his co-partner-ship bonus. If the bonus is five per cent, he will draw £315 in a year. On the other hand, the man who comes in after vesting day will get the same £300 a year but, even though he wants to join the copartnership scheme, he can draw no bonus. Therefore, we shall have two men side by side doing the same work, one drawing £315 a year but the other drawing only £300. Yet we are told that after nationalisation there will be no suffering and no disadvantage to any new entrant. This disadvantage appears to exist from the start, and it is a disadvantage which may well cause friction in the industry in the next few years.

I will not deal with the question of pension and bonus rights, but there is a further point. Persons who have been in the co-partnership schemes in the past have had the advantage of cheaper coal, cheaper gas and, in certain instances, cheaper insurance rates. I ask the Minister whether, under this order, those advantages are to continue in the next few years, or not.

Those seem to be three points of importance. Those of us who believe that co-partnership is something more than a mere phrase, and that it has caused a better spirit between employers and employed, whoever the employer may be, feel that even at this stage it is our duty to call attention to this order, to ask for an explanation and to reaffirm what we believe in our hearts—that the spirit of co-partnership is one of those many things which will tend to form the incentive that is required if we are to get the increased production which the whole nation needs.

10.26 p.m.

I beg to second the Motion.

I do not think the Parliamentary Secretary will deny that in the gas industry not only has co-partnership endured for many years, but it has played a great part in the excellent industrial relations of which that industry is justly proud. For that reason, this order is of very great importance to thousands of people who have worked these co-partnership schemes smoothly and successfully for many years. It is of great importance to them and it is important because this is the first occasion on which the Government have had to deal with large-scale co-partnership schemes in a nationalised industry. Therefore, their attitude, as expressed in this order, to co-partnership under nationalisation is not only immediately important to the thousands of men directly concerned, but equally indirectly important to other people in copartnership schemes in other industries, which from time to time may be menaced by nationalisation.

We are particularly anxious to extract from the Parliamentary Secretary this evening some explanation of the intention behind this order. It is a little difficult to understand why the Government has elected to continue co-partnership schemes for this period of slightly less than two years from vesting day, which was the first day of this month, until 31st March, 1951. Is this period fixed in order that the Government may work out some scheme for continuing copartnership in this industry indefinitely? If that is the intention, although the order may seem clumsily drafted, the intention is no doubt respectable. Or is it the case that the Government lack the courage to destroy the co-partnership schemes at the moment and prefer to allow them to starve to death?

The latter interpretation is somewhat reinforced by the prohibition on new entrants, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Wavertree (Mr. Raikes) referred. If it is to be a bridge during which a permanent scheme could be worked out, there would be no logical reason for prohibiting new entrants. If, on the other hand, the intention is that the schemes of co-partnership should be allowed gently to wither away, then it no doubt would be reasonable to prohibit new entrants. For that reason one is inclined to believe that the Government are pursuing an utterly disreputable course in this order. One knows perfectly well there is a strong movement in certain of the trades unions concerned against copartnership in any shape or form.

That view was bluntly expressed by a former Member of this House, the former hon. Member for Brigg, Mr. Williamson, who is now, I understand, secretary of one of the principal trades unions concerned. Mr. Williamson made it quite plain before he left this House that he was opposed to co-partnership in any shape or form and that he believed it should be abolished. I do not share that view, but it is a frank and open one. The Government's attitude seems to be much less frank and open. It seems as if they have been affected by that attitude among certain of their supporters, but equally, they seem to realise that co-partnership commands great enthusiasm in the country outside. Therefore, they hesitate to make a frontal attack upon it.

I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will deal frankly and openly with the question: What is the purpose of this order? Is it to kill co-partnership or continue it? That is surely the test. If it is to continue, why, despite the manifest disadvantages, which I shall not recapitulate, as my hon. Friend referred to them very clearly, is there this ban on new entrants. I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will be frank, so that it will be possible for the House to decide whether the Government's attitude to the question of co-partnership is one which can command the support of the House. If he and the Government are preparing to attack and destroy co-partnership, that is a challenge which many of us will be very happy to accept.

10.33 p.m.

I want to make it crystal clear why I am supporting the Prayer to annul this order, in case it should be thought that I was joining with those trades unions who want to take this opportunity of nationalisation to strangle a hated rival. I am supporting the Prayer because I believe this instrument is not capable of performing the duty that is imposed on it by Section 59 of the principal Act. I believe it is not doing justice to the promises that have been extended to that great body of copartners—some 54,000 of them spread over 58 different companies.

We cannot amend a statutory instrument. We can only accept or reject it. If the provisions of this instrument had been put in the Bill, as I believe they ought to have been, they could have been properly debated with the rest of the Bill: but for no apparent reason, except that procrastination which is so dear to Government departments, a year has elapsed before they have been put into statutory form and submitted to the House. Therefore, we have no choice but to accept the statutory instrument as it stands or reject it. I think that, on form, it ought to be rejected. I would remind the Parliamentary Secretary that there is a statutory obligation on the Minister to provide some form of scheme in place of the old co-partnership scheme. Therefore, though we reject the proposed scheme, something else will have to be substituted.

I would make the following criticisms. First, the system whereby the three years before vesting date shall be averaged in computing the bonus payment is an unfair one. It is unfair particularly to those companies which, through no fault of their own—mainly through war bomb damage or the emigration of their consumers—have had a number of bad years. I believe that in the next two years, even under nationalisation, these companies may improve their results and co-partnership bonuses be paid. As it is, these co-partners are getting a purely illusory benefit. Double nothing is nothing, and they will get no bonus at all. The same thing applies to certain other companies which have been prevented from paying a bonus in the last three years because of the higher price of gas. That is the first reason.

The second reason has been referred to by the hon. Member for Wavertree (Mr. Raikes), and that is that new members will not be allowed to participate. I would remind the House that it is not only not being allowed to participate in the bonus payments which seems to me to be so unfair it is not being allowed to participate also in the many amenity schemes. In many cases, under these schemes the co-partners had cheaper gas, were allowed to have fittings installed at a lower charge or even installed free. They have convalescent centres and homes. Does this mean that young men coming into these schemes in the next two years will not be allowed to share these things? Does it mean that they will not be allowed to join in the joint workers' committees which are a feature of the schemes? If that is the case, I suggest that the bridge which the Minister says he is making between the old copartnership schemes and the new incentive schemes has a great many holes in it.

Thirdly, I think the provisions relating to welfare are going to be very difficult to carry out. These schemes and the feeling of mutual ownership which has now gone by the board are much more important to the co-partners in many ways than actual cash payments. There are cases of companies which for a number of years have paid no cash bonus, yet the scheme is just as alive as ever because of the feeling engendered by the mutual working together. The statutory instrument says that these schemes remain in operation for two years. Is that possible, or are we going to have an amending Bill brought in, as in the case of the coal industry, saying that what was in the original orders cannot be carried out and has had to be scrapped?

I feel that to give the co-partners, or to give some of them—because the new entrants will not benefit—cheaper gas, cheaper installation of fittings, insurance, and a number of other benefits, is going to be difficult. I remember that on one occasion the Minister stated that if these perquisites, as he termed them, could not be given, they would be covered by the general definition of "emoluments." Are we to understand that, if they cannot be continued in kind, some cash payment is to be made instead?

For these reasons, I hold that this statutory instrument is inadequate. It gives the impression of a bridge, but that impression is purely illusory. In the words of the Minister, it was to be a bridge between the old schemes and the incentive arrangements of various kinds which may be designed to take their place. But I do not think it is a true bridge at all. It is much more like one of those planks the pirates used on their ships so that unwelcome persons or prisoners they wanted to get rid of could walk the plank and disappear from sight. That is what I think is happening by this instrument.

10.41 p.m.

I rise to put this question to the Parliamentary Secretary: is it the policy of His Majesty's Administration to destroy co-partnership in industry? I served for many years on the Co-operative Union at Manchester. I am certainly the only Tory Member of this House who was a member of the Co-operative Union, and I was a member at the same time of the great movement for industrial copartnership which was sponsored by Mr. Aneurin Williams who was an hon. Mem- ber of this House. At that time in the Co-operative movement—

We are not discussing the merits of co-partnership. We are discussing an order which has been made and which has been put before us, and we are governed by the Act. The merits of co-partnership are not under discussion now.

Then, Mr. Speaker, perhaps you will allow me to put this question. Is it the policy of the Government to destroy in the future any kind of co-partnership in industry with all the amenities it brings into industry? I put that question to the Parliamentary Secretary and hope he will answer it.

10.43 p.m.

If I might first reply to the hon. Member for Moseley (Sir P. Hannon), the answer is perfectly clear; the Government are not going to impose co-partnership schemes or take any action in connection with them, but are going to leave this matter to the workers in the industry through their organisations and to those who have been appointed to managements. I shall develop that in a moment or so.

I have said before in the House that there is nothing in any co-partnership scheme that I have seen, other than the distribution of profits, that cannot be obtained in the ordinary way through a trade union agreement. Clearly therefore the vesting date of the gas industry brings about a new arrangement. There can be no question of the disposal or allocation of profits to the workers in the industry, and all that this order does is to provide a period during which both sides of the industry, now that the area boards and the organisations to which the workers in the gas industry are attached, can get together and make new arrangements to take the place of the present co-partnership schemes which in fact do provide for a disposal of profits. There are a number of ways in which the schemes do this and I am sure the House does not want me to go into the details of all methods, but broadly speaking they do provide for the sharing of profits. That is impossible within the nationalised gas industry. The hon. Member for Wavertree (Mr. Raikes) said, "Why two years?" Before these regulations were laid before this House we consulted the trade unions, the staff organisations, the Gas Engineers' National Guild, the Gas Co-partnership Nationalisation Committee, and the Gas Council, and there was general agreement that two years was a reasonable time in which both sides could get together and formulate new ideas.

The House will recollect that under Section 57 (a) of the Act, there is provision for the setting up of machinery to settle by negotiation terms and conditions of employment of persons employed by area boards. Nothing other than the disposal of profits is barred from this settlement. The hon. Gentleman seemed to think there was something peculiar about the two years. It is a question of there being a reasonable time in which the task can be accomplished. If the area boards and the organisations make their arrangements before the two years, their co-partnership schemes would not last two years and we should bring in the new regulations under the Act for winding up the schemes in a quite orderly way and carry on with the new arrangements which will be voluntarily arrived at between both sides.

I should make it clear, in reply to the question put by the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter), who asked if the Government wanted two years to work out new schemes, that the Government do not propose to work out any schemes at all. It is for the people in the industry to decide how they want their wages and conditions settled and they will do that without Government interference. I understand that there are a good many workers in the industry who do receive cheap gas, coke, and things of that description. During this period those concessions, if they are termed concessions, or privileges will be continued. It may well be that in the new arrangements the organisations representing the staff and the area boards might include them in their agreements. The miners have as part of their agreements concessionary coal. That is part of their wages and conditions structure, and I see no difficulty if that is desired on both sides in agreement being reached in the gas industry. It is not for the Government to interfere with these industries and I am satisfied that the trade associations on the one hand and the area boards on the other are capable and competent enough to settle matters between them.

It has been said that we promised that nobody's conditions of employment should be worsened, and the hon. Member for Wavertree rather broadened that and suggested that nobody in the future should be disadvantaged. I think clearly the promise made was that conditions would not be worsened.

After nationalisation. On that point he referred to the bar on new entrants. May I make this clear? There is no bar on new entrants to the scheme who are in the industry and have begun the qualifying period for entrants to the scheme. Let me put that another way: A man has to be employed in a company for three months or six months before he can enter. If he has started that, he can go into a scheme. We say that someone who is just entering the industry but who had not started the qualifying period prior to the vesting date should not go into the scheme. There is no reason why he should. We are going to finish these schemes as they are. We may carry some features into the new agreements but there is no point in bringing brand new entrants into a scheme which will be wound up within a comparatively short period.

There is no sense in doing that. There is no point in putting a lot of people into co-partnership schemes which are going to be wound up. So far as the terms of wages and conditions are concerned I have no doubt that a man going into the industry after the vesting day will receive, apart from this bonus, wages and conditions which will be agreed between the unions and the area boards on that matter, and they will have to give consideration to what concessions other workers get in industry. After the two years, or even before, all the entrants into the industry after the vesting day—and those are the people we want to talk about—will come within the general body of the wages and conditions agreement. There is nothing sinister in this bar. It is merely a commonsense arrangement for doing the job. I think I have answered all the points which have been made, very properly, and I hope that what I have said has satisfied hon. Members that all we are doing is carrying out the Act, being reasonable and not wanting to be ungenerous in any way to those people who have been in co-partnership schemes in the past.

10.51 p.m.

I must say that I, for one, am not satisfied with the Parliamentary Secretary's answer. It seems to me that this order is merely designed to give a painless sort of death to the co-partnership schemes in the gas industry. I cannot understand why the Government should take this very poor view of co-partnership. It may be that they feel it has a bad reputation in the past, but I do not think that charge can be levelled against the gas industry.

In any case, the Government are now responsible for running the industry and, presumably, for the schemes which will be set up in it, whether they be co-partnership or the new schemes envisaged by the Minister. Therefore, there can be no attack upon co-partnership on the grounds of the responsibility of the employer. I cannot understand why the Minister, who envisages these new ideas. emoluments, bonus and incentive schemes, and so on, could not have done this through the framework of the present scheme, to be maintained and developed in the way that the Minister wishes. It is no use saying that the reason is because the nationalised gas industry will not make a profit. Already the Minister is envisaging various emoluments and bonus and incentive schemes—

This is merely a question of accountancy. The money will be provided, the Minister says, not through a co-partnership scheme and a bonus at the end of the year, but through a different sort of bonus and incentive scheme and new emoluments. I have taken the trouble to talk to the workers in the gas industry about this and I find there is a burning resentment against this Government on the part of people who believe in nationalisation, and who welcome the nationalisation of the gas industry, because the Government are destroying the co-partnership scheme within the industry.

I must say, quite frankly, that I suspect that the people who have been consulted over the principle of retaining or abandoning co-partnership are the trade union officials. I suggest that that is because they think that co-partnership is a scheme which is designed to bring the various elements within an industry together, thus making their own jobs insecure as far as bargaining and the organisation of the workers is concerned. I believe in a strong trade union movement. Hon. Members opposite cannot criticise the Liberal party on the ground of its record in this connection. Very great efforts were made by the Liberal Party in 1913, without which the trade union movement—

Hon. Members cannot discuss the merits of co-partnership at this stage. Under the Act, regulations must be made.

I apologise, Mr. Speaker, but I was led away. All I am suggesting to the Minister is what he should do instead of making this order and the reason why this order should be annulled. He should retain the co-partner-ship scheme and, within the framework of that scheme, he should produce the newer developments in the nationalised gas industry. I believe it could be done. I believe the Government have a firm prejudice against co-partnership and that it comes from the trade union officials and not from the workers.

10.55 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary used these words: "It is impossible to have co-partnership schemes in nationalised industry." I want to ask the Government to develop that. Why is it impossible? If ever we are to have a great expansion of nationalisation this will become a very important matter because many workers look forward to co-partnership as a way of improving relationships between the two sides of industry. I ask, therefore, why it is impossible? One reason occurs to me—that they do not expect to make a profit and it is only out of profit that you can run a co-partnership scheme: you cannot share something that does not exist. Is that the reason? If so, that should be noted by both the workers and the community as a whole. I do not want to repeat the arguments made by my hon. Friends, but I may say that I agree with the criticisms they have made. I feel that the Parliamentary Secretary has not given a satisfactory answer why this plan, appreciated by so many in this industry, looked forward to with hope by so many workers in this industry, is now being abandoned.

10.57 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary has said that this is really the winding-up of the co-partner-ship schemes and we on this side wish to protest against that. Apparently the Parliamentary Secretary needs two years to develop a new idea, though I think he under-estimated the time. He opposes it on the ground that there cannot be any profits in nationalised industry. The whole thing is ridiculous. He is in a real difficulty when it comes to the question of making arrangements for the ending of co-partnership schemes, for it is provided in the regulations that the managers who are managing the schemes shall not be appointed unless confirmed by the new industry. It is he who comes down and tells us that the co-partnership scheme, which should have continued, has to end because the workers and the area boards will arrange that.

The Minister knows that the view of the hon. Member for North Dorset (Mr. Byers) is the correct one—that in nationalised industry the top trade unionists and the Government go into groups and the workers feel the threat. That happens with many industries. What about concessionary coal in Lancashire? We know what the workers feel and in this industry they know that the Government and the National Union of Municipal and General Workers have got together. Those top people have got together in order to end co-partnership schemes which are of benefit to the industry. They are schemes by which incentive can be given and the answer is not to abolish them but to give the overall benefits of increased co-partnership schemes. That is the answer the Parliamentary Secretary should have given.

10.59 p.m.

I should like to answer one or two of the questions put by the Opposition. The idea that top level trade union officials have been opposing co-partnership schemes because of the frustrating influence of such schemes on trade union organisation and development is perfect nonsense. It was brought out quite clearly in the Debate on the Second and Third Readings of the Bill and in the Committee what the position of the trade union organisation was in the gas industry with regard to co-partnership schemes.

During the Committee stage the people who enjoyed co-partnership benefits were found to be in consultation with the trade unions and with their leaders, and had evolved a measure of the scheme which has been presented tonight. They said it was inevitable that, in passing from private enterprise to national ownership, co-partnership could not any longer continue on its present basis; and they further said that some new scheme must be devised which, as the hon. Member for North Dorset (Mr. Byers) said, would be particularly within the framework of the co-partnership scheme to take the place of the schemes operating—minority schemes, covering 54,000 people over 58 units in the industry. If co-partnership is to be the order of the industry it cannot be on the existing restricted sphere; it must be an over-all co-partnership, with arrangements designed to cover the whole of the nationalised industry. That is one of the reasons why the trade unions have said that it is impossible to devise immediately a general scheme catering for bonus output payments and other schemes, which are in effect, as hon. Members opposite will agree, co-partnership schemes.

Is the hon. Gentleman telling the House that the trade unions are in favour of co-partnership provided it is comprehensive?

What I am saying is that they are in favour of bonus output payments and other incentive arrangements which are, in effect, payments by results. But it is impossible for this industry, or for any other, to switch from private enterprise today to public ownership tomorrow and devise schemes which will satisfactorily cater for all, because while certain sections of the industry have had co-partnership schemes—and I include with those, bonus payment schemes—vast areas have been denied such schemes and the workers in the industry have not had the benefits which they might have had. These workers have been allied to agricultural workers on low wage rates and that is the element which has to be broken down.

There has to be a unified policy of payments by results and bonus schemes, and I go some way in supporting the hon. Member for North Dorset who said that this is within the general framework of the existing co-partnership schemes. The present scheme could continue for two years, and in the meantime, not Parliament but both sides of the industry, through collective bargaining, should determine future policy on this matter.

11.4 p.m.

We have had a short but a very illuminating discussion of these regulations, and I think that it is fairly clear from the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary and the hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. Ewart) that what is at the back of the Government's decision is that they want to get rid of co-partnership; and it is fairly clear how that is being interpreted in these regulations. The Parliamentary Secretary and the hon. Member for Sunderland both defended these regulations as I understood it—and I hope I am not doing them an injustice—on the ground that they had been agreed with the representatives of the workers concerned. They seemed to imply that that was the beginning and end, and that it was no business of hon. Members on either side of the House to go into the merits of the regulations, or to inquire whether they carried out the promises made in the Act, to the workers.

It is perfectly clear from what the Parliamentary Secretary has said that the regulations do not carry out the promises made during the discussions of the Bill upstairs, that the workers engaged in the industry should suffer no diminution of conditions. It is also perfectly clear from what he has said that, in fact, the men concerned are not going to be as well off, either immediately or especially after 1951, as they were before the Bill became an Act and before the gas industry was taken over—for a very good reason, and I am bound to give the Parliamentary Secretary credit for having made no bones about it. He, the Minister and his hon. Friends were pretty sharp when consider- ing the terms of the Bill. They realised that one of the results of nationalisation would be that there would be no profits for distribution among co-partners.

The right hon. Gentleman was evidently under no illusion before the Bill became an Act that one of the results of nationalisation was going to be that no more profits would be left in the industry and, as we have seen already, that one of the first results of nationalisation would be an increase in price.

I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary if a ballot was taken of employees of any company as to whether they wanted co-partnership to go on. Is it not a fact that the result of that secret ballot was that the men concerned said that they would like to continue to receive the advantages of co-partnership in the future as they had enjoyed them in the past? The hon. Member for Sunderland, and some other hon. Members, judging by their interjections, cast doubt on our statements that the trade unions objected to co-partnership. I should like them to ask the Parliamentary Secretary, or any member of the union concerned, to let them have a look at a circular which I

Division No. 126.]


[11.10 p.m

Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)Mellor, Sir J.
Amory, D. HeathcoatGalbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)
Barlow, Sir J.George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)Morrison, Rt. Hn. W. S (Cirencester)
Bossom, A. C.Granville, E. (Eye)Neven-Spence, Sir B.
Bowen, R.Grimston, R. V.Nicholson, G.
Bracken, Rt. Hon. BrendanHannon, Sir P. (Moseley)Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G.Hope, Lord J.On-Ewing, I. L.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W.Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.Hurd, A.Renton, D.
Butcher, H. W.Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Byers, FrankHutchison., Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.)Spearman, A. C. M.
Clarke, Col. R. S.Keeling, E. H.Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
De la Bère, R.Langford Holt, J.Studholme, H. G.
Digby, Simon WingfieldLinstead, H. N.Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Dodds-Parker, A. D.Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)Wheatley, Colonel M. J. (Dorset, E.)
Drayson, G. B.Lucas, Major Sir J.Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Drewe, C.McFarlane, C. S.York, C.
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)Mackeson, Brig. H. R.
Elliot, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. WalterMacmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Foster, J. G. (Northwich)Manningham-Buller, R. E.Mr. Raikes and Mr. Boyd-Carpenter.
Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone)Marshall, D. (Bodmin)


Acland, Sir RichardBlenkinsop, A.Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.)
Adams, Richard (Batham)Blyton, W. R.Corlett, Dr. J.
Albu, A. H.Boardman, H.Crawley, A.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl. Exch'ge)Crossman, R. H. S
Awbery, S. S.Braddock, T. (Mitcham)Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.
Bacon, Miss A.Brook, D. (Halifax)Davies, Edward (Burslem)
Balfour, A.Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Davies, Harold (Leek)
Barton, C.Brown, T. J. (Ince)Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)
Bechervaise, A. EBurke, W. A.Deer, G.
Benson, G.Carmichael, JamesDiamond, J.
Beswick, F.Collindridge, F.Dobbie, W.
Bing, G. H. CCollins, V. J.Dodds, N. N.
Binns, J.Colman, Miss G. M.Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Blackburn, A. R.Comyns, Dr. L.Evans, Albert (Islington, W.)

believe was sent out by the union to their members, in which they definitely urged their members to have nothing to do with co-partnership and suggested that there was no reason for co-partnership in future—that the union, and not co-partnership committees, should in future be the sole means of determining conditions in the industry.

It is abundantly clear from these regulations that the men concerned are not going to be as well off in the future as in the past. We propose to divide on this Prayer, in the confident belief that before too many months have past we shall have an opportunity of restoring co-partnership and showing to the men concerned that they need not have agreed to the bull-dozing of hon. Members opposite—that they would have done better to have trusted to us.

Question put,

"That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Regulations, dated 18th March, 1949, entitled the Gas (Copartnership) Regulations, 1949 (S.I., 1949, No. 475), a copy of which was laid before this House on 19th March, be annulled."

The House divided: Ayes, 59; Noes, 197.

Evans, John (Ogmore)McLeavy, FShawcross, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (St. Helens)
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Ewart, R.Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Simmons, C. J.
Fairhurst, F.Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield)Skeffington, A. M.
Farthing, W. J.Mann, Mrs. J.Skeffington-Lodge, T. C
Field. Capt. W. JMashers, Rt. Hon. GeorgeSkinnard, F. W.
Fletcher, E G. M. (Islington, E.)Mayhew, C. P.Smith, C. (Colchester)
Foot, M. MMedland, H. M.Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)
Forman, J. C.Mellish, R. J.Snow, J. W.
Fraser, T. (Hamilton)Middleton, Mrs. L.Soskice, Rt. Hon Sir Frank
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. NMillington, Wing-Comdr. E. R.Sparks, J. A
Ganley, Mrs. C. SMitchison, G. R.Steele, T.
Gibbins, J.Monslow, W.Stokes, R. R.
Gibson, C. W.Moody, A. S.Stubbs, A. E
Gilzean, A.Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.)Swingler, S.
Glanville, J. E. (Consett)Morris, P. (Swansea W.)Sylvester, G. O.
Gooch, E. GMoyle, A.Symonds, A. L.
Grierson, E.Neal, H. (Claycross)Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Gunter, R. JNicholls, H. R. (Stratford)Thomas, D. E. (.Aberdare)
Guy, W. HNoel-Baker Capt. F E. (Brentford)Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Hannan, W. (Maryhill)O'Brien, T.Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Hardman, D. R.Oldfield, W H.Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G
Hardy, E. A.Orbach, M.Usborne, Henry
Harrison, J.Paget, R. T.Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Haworth, J.Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E)
Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)Palmer, A. M. F.Warbey, W. N.
Holman, P.Pargiter, G. A.Watkins, T. E.
Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)Webb, M. (Bradford, C)
Houghton, A L N. D.Paton, J. (Norwich)Weitzman, D.
Hoy, J.Pearson, A.Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Hubbard, T.Peart, T. F.Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W)Perrins, W.Wheatley, Rt. Hn. J. T. (Edinb'gh, E.)
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Porter, G. (Leeds)White, H. (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)Price, M. PhilipsWhiteley, Rt. Hon W
Johnston, DouglasPryde, D. J.Wilkes, L
Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool)Pursey, Comdr H.Wilkins, W A
Jones. Jack (Bolton)Randall, H. E.Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)Ranger, J.Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Kenyon, C.Rankin, J.Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Kinley, J.Reid, T. (Swindon)Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Lang, G.Rhodes, H.Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Lavers, S.Robens, A.Williams, W. R (Heston)
Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)Willis., E.
Levy, B. W.Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)Wise, Major F. J.
Lewis, A. W. J (Upton)Robinson, K. (St. Pancras)Woodburn, Rt. Hon A
Logan, D. G.Ross, William (Kilmarnock)Yates, V. F.
Lyne, A. W.Royle, C.Younger, Hon. Kenneth
McAllister, G.Sargood, R.Zilliacus, K.
McGhee, H. GScollan, T.
McGovern, J.Shackleton., E. A. ATELLERS FOR THE NOES:
McKay, J. (Wallsend)Sharp, GranvilleMr. Popplewell and Mr. Bowden
McKinlay, A. SShawcross, C. N. (Widnes)