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National Health Service Bill

Volume 498: debated on Thursday 27 March 1952

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Postponed Proceeding on Question, "That the Bill be now read a Second time," resumed.

Question again proposed.

10.10 p.m.

When we interrupted this debate a little more than three hours ago, to discuss the succession to the Bamangwato tribe, I was in the middle of a good tempered and hard-hitting duel with the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale, but at the moment the right hon. Gentleman does not appear to be in the Chamber.

I wanted briefly to raise three most important issues that seem to lie behind this Bill. I was saying at 7 o'clock that the debate a year ago was dominated by the doctrine of the ceiling, and the right hon. Member the ex-Minister of Health said this a year ago. So it was and so to a lesser extent is it today.

We know how the ceiling originated in the National Health Service and how in the Budget of 1950 Sir Stafford's chopper came down on the expenditure as it was then running. The right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale said earlier in his speech tonight, and appeared to take pride in it, that in the first full year's experience of the scheme the Estimates were not exceeded. It is necessary to look a little behind the meaning of that. The right hon. Gentleman was talking about the Estimates of 1950–51. This scheme started on the 5th July, 1948. It is arguable, if the right hon. Gentleman wishes so to argue, that he learned nothing from the first 10 months of the scheme and very little from the succeeding year. It seems to be not a thing of which one should be proud.

Indeed, it can well be said by those deeply interested in the Health Service that the greatest service the right hon. Gentleman rendered to the Health Service was to let expenditure run riot in those years because, finally, when the chopper came down there was money available for health. The point I want to make about the ceiling is that everyone will agree that the ceiling of £400 million is an irrational one.

It would mean in itself nothing, just as, for example, the ceiling of £410 million on the food subsidies means nothing in itself. We have been committed to a ceiling of £8 per head. There has been no examination, assuming there must be a limit to decide whether it should be £7, £8, £10, or £11: we do not know.

I suggest that between now and the next Budget we should study the proportion which health ought to bear to the whole of our national expenditure. The right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale made a number of caustic remarks about what we might call the Danckwerts award. He said that award to general practitioners horrified him. Let me say that it delights me.

When the right hon. Gentleman talks about an unbalanced scheme, it is the unbalanced scheme we have had. We have had a situation in the Health Service, under the care of the right hon. Gentleman, in which we paid more in gross income to 10,000 dentists than to 20,000 general practitioners. We had a situation, and indeed it is the situation at this moment before this Bill passes, in which the expenditure on drugs in this country is £11 million more than the amount paid to the general practitioner. It seems to me that now we have a chance to get this scheme back into balance, and this question of proportion must be the first of the three matters which I wish to put to the House tonight.

If the hon. Member considers that the dentists have been paid too much and the doctors too little, why was it that hon. Members opposite, before he came into the House, were attacking us for cutting the income of the dentists?

That goes straight back to the Spens Report. There was a Spens Report on the dentists and a Spens Report on the doctors, and it was because the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale chose to blind the dentists with gold that he accepted the Spens Report on the dentists.

The second of these most important points—and I think this is the most important of all, and one on which I hope to get some measure of general agreement in the House—is the question of a deterrent. Exactly what is the deterrent effect of health charges? It is most important that we should know. It is true that all charges, and perhaps health charges in particular, have a deterrent effect; in fact they are designed to have. We have had the experience of 1951, and when I argued this point with him a year ago I tried to get from the right hon. Member for Greenock (Mr. McNeil) the deterrent percentage on which he and his Ministers were working. I have made a close investigation and I think that these figures are correct.

I believe that last year the Government thought there would be a deterrent effect on dentures of about 20 per cent. to 25 per cent. and on spectacles of about 10 per cent. Let us see what has happened and whether it was—as in my view it was—much greater. There are a number of factors which seem to me to bear that out. We are told that the salaries of many dentists have dropped by one-third. If dentures accounted for 61 per cent. of their income, it follows that the deterrent effect was well over 50 per cent., as I am sure it was. We know that there are far more advertisements now in the "British Dental Journal" than ever there were, and that there are applications to join the School Dental Service.

To take the optical service, my Liberal opponent in the 1950 election, who is a director of an optical company wrote to ask me, in view of the unemployment among his workers, if it was possible to obtain contract work with the Ministry of Supply. All these examples provide an unanswerable proof that the deterrent effect of the health charges is far more than we dreamed, and far more than we think today.

Two very important conclusions follow from that which I should like to put to the House. It can be argued—

Would the hon. Gentleman agree that the logic of the argument he is now putting forward is that if the charge were high enough, the deterrent effect would be so effective that the whole Health Service would be wiped out, because no people would take advantage of it.

The argument is almost precisely the reverse. It can be argued that a deterrent charge for health is an advantage provided, and only provided, that a switch of resources follows. It was because of that that the Leader of the Opposition justified the "bob on prescriptions" as it is called, in order to reduce the queues at surgeries and free the doctors. If that switch can take place, and I recognise that there are differing views about it, it seems to me that these charges are overwhelmingly justified, not only economically, but socially and medically as well.

The last conclusion I wish to leave in the mind of my right hon. Friend is that I think I am right in believing that, particularly with the poorer people, health expenditure is a marginal expenditure and one of the first things which goes by the board if anything has to be paid for. Surely then it follows that, if there is a much greater deterrent charge—and I hope that the Ministers will look at this—it may be that they will be able to come to the House and, by Order in Council, achieve what we are trying to achieve in this Bill with a much smaller charge. That seems to be the logical conclusion if I am right in believing that the deterrent effect of the charges is much greater than was expected.

There is another point I wish to raise I know that this is my hobby horse, and I will not ride it again tonight. I wish to make a point about the National Assistance scales. Here again we are going down the wretched road which we have been plodding down in the last two or three years. The right hon. Lady the Member for Fulham, West, was wrong this afternoon when she said that we would be taking power, not only in respect of the provisions of this Bill but in respect of the shilling charge, to send people to the National Assistance Board.

The truth of the matter is that when the National Assistance Act was passed there was in contemplation a National Health Service for this country. Accordingly, by the definition Clause in that Act, 'medical and dental care of all description was excluded from the National Assistance Board purview. It was also excluded that help should be given to persons in full-time employment. The first breach in that principle was in the Legal Aid and Advice Act passed by the late Socialist Government which, for the first time, brought within the purview of the Assistance Board people who were in full-time employment.

The second and much the more important breach is one in respect of which I think the right hon. Lady missed the point. If she will read the Bill that she supported a year ago, she will find that the provisions relating to the National Assistance Board are not only identical with the Clauses in the Measure before the House tonight, but that the Socialist Government a year ago went out of their way to include Section 16 of the 1949 Act, which gives power to put the shilling on prescriptions. So it is unnecessary for my right hon. Friend to take any of these powers. The Socialist Government a year ago provided him with them.

If the right hon. Lady reads what she said, she will see that she said that it was this Government who were taking powers to put through the shilling on prescriptions and to put more people on to the National Assistance Board. I am pointing out that those powers are law already.

The Government are taking powers to do that tonight and next Thursday, and then on Third Reading and later when the Queen's Assent is heard in another place—powers which we have never taken.

I am sorry, but the position is this: the power to impose the charge is in the 1949 Act. The power to send these people to the National Assistance Board is in the 1951 Act. The right hon. Lady supported both those Acts.

The point I want to make about National Assistance is that it has been argued recently by my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) and myself that National Assistance scales are not appropriate to matters of health. That is the consideration that I want to put before the House. We argued that a year ago and we did not carry the House with us. I will not develop that argument again now.

We have argued and written that although it may be reasonable, and it is reasonable, for a man, before he can get subsistence from this country to have his income at subsistence level, it is not so reasonable where he wants the Health Service for himself, his wife and his children. In exactly the same way we do not dream of asking in the various education charges that a subsistence minimum should be applied. The means test in education—and, of course, there is one—is on a considerably higher level than that for National Assistance. That seems to me to be the third of the big subjects which we really must consider before we come again to the Budget.

I have suggested these three big issues, on which I thought there might be some agreement, and, in my last few sentences I want to take up something which the leading article in "The Times" said this morning. "The Times" said, and I think it is a very wise saying:
"The Health Service needs a health programme."
That seems to me to be exactly what it does need. Whatever our views are on charges, and mine are well known to the House, and whether they will be effective in reinforcing the School Dental Service or not, it is really essential that we should stop this patching, which has been going on from the very beginning.

Let us face up to this. There are three different parties with different points of view arguing this matter. I tried to show in my earlier remarks that the Liberal policy in this matter is a jungle of inconsistencies. As for the party to which I have the honour to belong, its views have always been clear. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said in October, 1949, following the then Prime Minister, that not only should there be charges in the prescription field, but in the dental and optical fields as well. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Education said the same thing in a broadcast, and it has been in dozens of our policy statements. It remains the belief of this party, apart from economic circumstances, that there should be charges in the Health Service.

It is a great pity—and let us admit it—that we have to discuss these charges in the backwash of the Budget, just as we had to discuss the charges of the Socialist Government in the backwash of last year's Budget. There is a genuine case to be made, apart from the economic one, and I have always believed in these charges. It seems to me quite absurd that, when the economic reasons reinforce the social and ethical ones, we should not support them.

My final observation is that a year ago there were some dissentients amongst the Socialists about the merits of the Health Service, and there were bitter attacks on their Front Bench from behind and from below the Gangway. Let it be made quite clear that rejection of this Bill tonight means a surrender to the views of the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale. Many people, members of the Socialist Party, who spoke so bitterly against the right hon. Gentleman a year ago may like to reflect a little more closely before they follow their bellwether into the Lobby tonight.

10.28 p.m.

My hon. Friends thought that I might intervene at this point because there is a Scottish viewpoint on this matter, but I do not think I can do otherwise than try to pursue three of the main points which the hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain MacLeod) has made.

I must say that there are some tempting side avenues which he has opened up. We have heard a quite severe attack on the Liberals tonight, but I did not notice that the hon. Gentleman and his right hon. Friends at the time of the Election called the Liberals' policy a jungle of inconsistencies. The hon. Gentleman also quoted some very half-hearted phrases which some of his right hon. Friends offered during the Election, but he did not remind us that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was here earlier, specifically assured the electorate that they would maintain the National Health Service on the level at which it then was. He made that statement at North Berwick on 10th October, but, of course, like all the other Tory pledges, it has been conveniently forgotten.

The hon. Gentleman is always very impressive in detail on these subjects, and I make that acknowledgment freely, but he was not so impressive when he came to principles. For example, will he vote in support of this Bill tonight, in spite of the fact that the concluding part of his argument was a very strong condemnation of this Bill?

The hon. Gentleman told us that he does not like the test of a subsistence level being the test of whether a charge should be made or not. He has said that before. He will, I think, agree that that is a fair statement. But that is the very basis of this Bill. The essential pivot of the whole service is the access of the patient to the general practitioner. The test of payment is whether or not the man or woman is on or above the subsistence level.

The right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Kelvingrove (Lieut.-Colonel Elliot) gave us very considerable lectures upon this subject a year ago. He thought that the Commissioners of Inland Revenue would be a better medium than the Assistance Board. Well, the Commissioners of Inland Revenue will not be able to supply any information about the great section of the population who will be worst hit by this Bill. The Assistance Board are the only people who can apply the test to these people who are attacked by this Bill, and let us make no mistake about it.

The hon. Member for Enfield, West also asked us about the deterrents. I confess that I am not able to make up my mind precisely what the deterrent effect was on the ophthalmic and dental services last year, for the reason given in "The Times" this morning. Of course, my right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) was equally accurate when he said that we had only one full year, but the fact which makes it impossible to make a reliable estimate about the deterrent effect is: What backlog was wiped out last year in both spectacles and dentures? It is not until we have a clear year dealing with only current demand that we shall be able to make any estimate.

Of course, the burden of the hon. Gentleman's speech, like the burden of the right hon. Gentleman's speech in presenting the Bill, was an attempt to argue that the steps embodied in the Bill are precisely the steps which we took a year ago, and that they are taken in exactly comparable circumstances to those prevailing a year ago. The right hon. Gentleman knows that that is not true.

The hon. Gentleman asked us where we would have found the £20 million needed. The whole House knows the answer. The answer is simply that, if the circumstances were so bad that £20 million had to be found at the expense of the health and misery of many, many poor people in this country, then there was no case for refunding £24 million by tax remission to a better-off section of the community. Of course there was none. By what standard of justice can that be defended?

That was not the position last year. The position last year was that, instead of making a tax remission of £24 million, the general public were asked to carry an additional £170 million, mainly for defence purposes. The position last year differed in another respect. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government was able to add £50 million to the social services without cutting food subsidies.

It differed in yet another respect—and I think the hon. Member for Enfield, West, is guilty of confusion here. The health estimates last year went up by £7 million, whereas this year they come back down to £393 million. That is a vast difference. The conditions are not comparable, and the proof that they are not comparable is that the Chancellor was able to come to that Box and say that conditions are so easy that he can remit taxes to people who do not so desperately need them as these people need a free medical service.

There is a second difference—and right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Gentlemen opposite must acknowledge this—that our partial charges for dentures and spectacles were not, in any sense, a penalty imposed upon sick people, and certainly not a penalty imposed upon the sick and needy.

If the right hon. Gentleman is saying the charges a year ago did not fall on sick people, would he like to explain the remark made by the Leader of the Opposition on 31st January, 1952, who said that these charges, with the exception of those in dentistry, did not fall on sick people? The main charge which we are taking power to impose under this Bill is also on dentistry. The position is identical.

My right hon. Friend, the Leader of the Opposition, in the debate in January, as in the previous October, made exactly the point which I am now making. Is the hon. Gentleman going to ask this House to believe that a partial charge for dentures or a partial charge for spectacles is in any way comparable in degree to placing, as my right hon. Friend said, a barrier between the family doctor and the patient, and a barrier between the patient and the pharmacist? That is what worries and excites this House and about which right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Gentlemen opposite will be worried by the public outside before we conclude the Committee stage of this Bill. Make no mistake about it. It is not comparable in that way.

Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite have tried to plead that they imposed a shilling per prescription charge because we did it. It is very easy to make the debating point that the amendment to the Act provided the power. It did. It is equally easy to make the debating point that the amendment to the Act provided the power to make Regulations relating to the Assistance Board. But the difference between us is that we came frankly to the House and said that the complications of making the necessary exemptions, which humanity, decency and a concern for the health of this country demand, are so many that we could not proceed with that charge. But the Minister of Health and his hon. Friends come tonight to say, "We know there are difficulties, we know there are these complications consequent upon exemptions, we know from the volume of study that has been done that they exist, but, nevertheless, despite your example and advice, we are going on with this."

How are they going to deal with the complications which undoubtedly exist—the complications, as my right hon. Friend said, of a mother with a family of five, six, or seven, waiting to see if the spots appear before she dares to bring in the doctor; the complications of the epileptic, the anaemic, the rheumatoid arthritic, the diabetic, and the chronic sick who know that until the day of their death they must go week after week to the doctor for advice and prescriptions?

How do right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Gentlemen opposite address themselves to these complications? By shutting their eyes, their ears, and their hearts, and pretending they do not exist. [Interruption.] Some hon. Gentleman opposite says "Friendly society." I do not know whether that is meant derisively or as advice. If it is meant as advice, it does not operate. If it is meant derisively, let the hon. Gentleman explain it to his constituents.

I predict that the Government will yield before the Bill goes through Committee. I hope that the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland will tell us more about this aspect of the matter. Incidentally, the last time he and I were on opposite sides of the Table I was indebted to him for the correction of my arithmetic, and I have not had a chance till now to apologise for my error and to thank him for that correction.

I hope he will tell us, because he has the background for doing so. He has a family connection with a dignified profession, too. Let him tell us honestly what the Government propose to do about these difficult cases, these complications, which in one fashion or another must be met. Let him tell us particularly what is going to be done about the chronic cases. Have they to pay a shilling every time they go to the doctor? This is not a matter for the doctor to decide—not at all. This is a matter on which the doctors must be guided. They must have instructions. As the Bill reads, the doctor may put two prescriptions on one form; he may even put three; but he has not room for 50, and yet that is the sort of number these chronic cases must have.

Let me ask the hon. and gallant Gentleman about an allied point. The right hon. Gentleman told us, I think, that he was to have further conversations on such matters as that of the doctor who is his own prescriber. I hope the hon. and gallant Gentleman will tell us a little about this. In a little village, for instance, is the patient to go into the doctor's consulting room, be examined, have a prescription, and solemnly hand over a shilling, and then reclaim it at the Post Office next door? And then are the doctor and a Post Office official to write out a form and send it 50 or 100 miles, instead of walking next door to exchange the miserable shilling?

What about the country doctor who carries his prescriptions in his own pockets? Imagine the doctor going to a cottage upon a hillside, examining a man, finding he is ill with pneumonia, and prescribing sulpha drugs—and then imagine the poor, shamefaced doctor demanding a shilling from the man's poor wife. Has the doctor to do that before handing over the sulpha drugs so urgently needed by the patient?

Complications of this sort will be multiplied many times over. Imagine it. That is the picture we now have of this great nation. What a picture to be presented by this broad-based Government with all the brains amongst them! Imagine them in the City of London scrambling about swapping a shilling for a form—and moving back to another office to recover the shilling. What a way to set the people free.

I should like to go on a great deal further, but I wish to make one point about the prescription proposal which I hope the hon. and gallant Gentleman will be able to explain. The House must have noticed the difference between the English pharmaceutical expenditure and the estimated saving as compared with the Scottish. The ratio in gross expenditure is, as one might expect, something like seven to one, whereas the Scottish saving compared with last year is almost half the English.

There is obviously some further explanation needed there. I anticipate the explanation to be that the Scottish Estimates have already provided for the award that was made last year increasing the prescription fee to the pharmacists, and the English Estimates, as I remember, did not carry that. There was a subsequently negotiated agreement for the English pharmacists.

I would not trouble the House with a mere machinery point like that except to point out that if my explanation is correct, a further sum of approximately £4 million is to be saved somewhere in the Estimates of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman. And since we are seeing these scrapings for the shilling, we might as well be told at the expense of what service the £4 million is being obtained.

I will refer only briefly to the proposals about dentistry. Like my right hon. Friend, I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on having had a partial return to sanity in raising the age from 16 to 21. A partial return to sanity, because it still seems a little odd and stupid to spend money to create good dental health and to encourage good dental habits up to the age of 21, and then to take all the risks of destroying those habits and that health from then on.

I hope very much that the right hon. Gentleman and his right hon. Friends will consider whether they could not assure us that they will amend the Bill to take in an extra year group every year; that is, that those people who are 21 this year should be carried on to 1953, 1954 and so on. At any rate it would be a consistent service, though it would still mean hardship for many people, but those we had treated would be carried on.

A great deal has been said about the award to the general practitioners. I am content to say that a contract was made and, of course, it has to be kept. But I hope that the hon. and gallant Gentleman who is to reply will tell us a little about the instructions which the Government are offering to the working party charged with the job of distributing this £40 to £50 million. My right hon. Friend and myself, when we were involved in this matter, hoped very much that at least three things would happen.

The first was that a disincentive to the large list would be applied. This problem represents a marginal fringe of the profession. It is not a typical picture but it is a distressing picture. It means, as we all know, that men are presently carrying lists so large that they cannot exert that degree of professional responsibility which they should be able to apply to their patients. It should not be impossible to provide a disincentive here, and the working party ought so to be instructed.

Secondly, as a corollary, benefits should be made available to the middle group, the family doctor, who really is doing his job, carrying a list of under 3,000, being available all day and frequently at night.

Thirdly, I hope we shall be told that the young practitioner going into the unattractive areas will now, in the distribution, be offered a fee which makes it possible for him to go into those areas where doctors are so badly needed. My recollection is at present he is guaranteed £300 a year, a quite ridiculous sum, with the result that these young men will not be able to go to those areas where they are most needed. I do not know what the figure should be, whether it should be £800 or £1,000 a year, but I hope that the hon. and gallant Gentleman will assure us that these three points are being given proper attention.

I should like to pursue the point made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham, West (Dr. Summerskill), about other methods of effecting this saving. We all read with great interest the speech made yesterday in another place by Lord Moran. I think he talked a great deal of constructive sense on this matter. I believe he looks after the health of the Prime Minister, and we all congratulate him on his success. What he should realise is that the policy of the Prime Minister is in a much more precarious condition than his health, and if he would apply to the Prime Minister's thinking some of the medicine he offered yesterday, it would help this House, this Government and the country.

The difficulty of establishing a line between essential and non-essential proprietary medicines is no longer too great. The work which was started by the Cohen Committee, and which has been supported by speeches of Members of all parties about this national appetite for drugs, has made the public aware of the position. It would have been risky at the beginning of this service to rush in and say, "This you can have and this you cannot have."

Now a well-chosen committee, carrying a reputation which the public find commendable, could easily draw a line and say, "These are inside the free service and these non-essential proprietary medicines are outside, and must be paid for." But, of course, none of us expects the Government to take that fight on because that would be taking on the big battalions. It is much easier to take on the poor the feeble, the sick and the people whom they hope will not reply.

10.53 p.m.

I am glad to have the opportunity of following the right hon. Member for Greenock (Mr. McNeil) and of commenting upon three points which he made in the course of his speech. First, I should draw the attention of the House to a remark which he made about something said by my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain MacLeod). The right hon. Gentleman said that the test which this Bill applied was whether the subsistence level should be the level of assistance under the Bill.

If the right hon. Gentleman will read the Bill carefully, particularly Clause 6, he will see by the reference to people in employment and the power given to the Assistance Board to consider applications from them, that the Minister has removed the subsistence level as the level to be used as a criterion under this Bill.

The next point I wish to refer to is the proposal that the £20 million should not have been saved in the way proposed in this Bill, but should be a charge on the taxpayers. By that, the right hon. Gentleman can only mean that he joins his right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) in suggesting that the service is not a suitable one for an expenditure ceiling. I would remind him and the right hon. Lady, who I think fell into the same error, that not only was a ceiling imposed, very properly and inevitably, by the Labour Government, but that a further ceiling within the service was similarly imposed in respect of the hospitals.

If there was a section of the service where there should have been a higher ceiling, it was the hospital service; and if there was a section of the service which required a ceiling, it was the general practitioner service, where the cost of prescriptions has mounted enormously. What is being done through the Bill is what should have been done a long time ago—saving on sections of the service which have got out of control in order to apply the saving to sections of the service which badly need additional finance.

The right hon. Lady seemed to suggest that the result of the Bill would be a cut in the total expenditure on the service. In fact, it will not be so, and, fortunately, those who are interested in the hospital service will benefit from the fact that the general practitioner service and, more particularly, the drug bill, will be reduced and will thus permit another section of the service, which needs money badly, to expand.

The last point about the right hon. Gentleman's speech to which I want to refer is his suggestion that by setting up a new committee it would be possible to divide proprietary medicines into those permitted to be prescribed in the service and those which should be outside it and would have to be paid for by the patient. In effect, the Cohen Committee is doing that, but if we were to go a stage further and publish a list of proprietaries which could not be prescribed, we should not be affecting the drug bill seriously. That was in fact another error into which the right hon. Lady fell.

Much of the increase in the last couple of years in the drug bill has been due, as the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale said, to the prescribing of penicillin, aureomycin or streptomycin—the anti-biotics; and whatever we exclude from the National Health Service, it is clear that we cannot exclude those. Both the right hon. Gentleman and the right hon. Lady made a fundamental mistake when they suggested that substantial economies could be made in the field of proprietary medicines in such a way.

The hon. Gentleman knows a good deal about hospital administration, but I do not make such statements without discussing the matter not only with general practitioners but also with superintendents of hospitals, and I am told that even in the field of anti-biotics there is over-generous prescription. I think the hon. Gentleman will agree with me that it is possible to prescribe penicillin and the other antibiotics unnecessarily. In fact, patients often ask for them and, in order to get rid of a patient, a doctor writes out a prescription. I do not think the hon. Gentleman is quite fair when he suggests that I have not taken into account the fact that the increase is due to such drugs as penicillin. It may be, but there is an over-generous prescribing of these drugs.

I will separate my criticisms of the two right hon. Members, because the right hon. Gentleman said clearly that it was possible to effect big economies by putting certain proprietaries out of the service. If I may pursue this point without wearying the House unduly, my criticism of the right hon. Lady is that, while she was suggesting, as she has suggested again now, that there was over-prescribing, she overlooked this point—and I want to remind the House of it: the only effective way of checking over-prescribing by practitioners is to have an efficient pricing system so that it is possible to pick out the prescriptions of those doctors who are over-prescribing.

Some hon. Members will remember that a year or more ago I had occasion to cross swords with the then Minister of Health on the grounds that under his administration the whole pricing system had broken down and that in consequence it had become impossible to check over-prescribing which the right hon. lady has referred to. We are rebuilding that pricing system but it is the failure of that system over the three, four, or five years following the war which has prevented the attack on over-prescribing which she has advocated.

One final thing I would say to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenock. Some of us have given much time, thought and labour to the development of the National Health Service and we feel that it ill becomes a right hon. Gentleman, with his record, to turn upon us and suggest that it is his side of the House which has sympathy with the poor and sick people of the country and to deny it to us. He must allow me to remind him that of one simple political lesson that I trust we will never forget—do not attribute to your opponent motives meaner than your own.

Will the hon. Member inform the House why he voted with his party against the Health Service?

If the hon. Member wants to know the answer to that—and he is only repeating in another form the remark thrown at us by the right hon. Gentleman—he will find the answer if he compares the White Paper prepared by Mr. Willink with that prepared by the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale. It is because the conceptions of a National Health Service presented in those two White Papers differed so much one from the other that this party on principle gave that particular vote, not against a National Health Service, but against a Socialist National Health Service.

I would remind the House that one cannot discuss this question in a vacuum. We had a discussion the other night on education, and those who took part seemed to consider that education could be considered without relation to the general financial situation of the country. There is a tendency tonight to suggest that expenditure on health, can similarly be considered without relation to the general financial situation of the country.

The difference between the two sides of the House on this matter is that both parties have introduced proposals providing for charges on users of the Health Service. The difference is that we have had the courage to carry these proposals through whereas the other side have not had the courage to do what they knew needed to be done. The fact that we have introduced this Bill should also be regarded as some evidence that the original Act went too fast and too far. That is not only my own opinion but it is the opinion of some one whose views always commanded respect—the late Lord Dawson of Penn, who was by no means a reactionary representative of the medical profession.

What is proposed now, if it had been proposed in 1944, 1945 or 1946, would have been regarded as a great improvement upon what was then provided. The trouble with which we as a party are going to be faced, the unpopularity—let us have no illusions about that—is due to the fact that the original proposals went beyond what was practically possible for this country to do, and, consequently, we have had to undertake the always difficult operation of going into reverse.

I also suggest to hon. Members opposite, in continuation of what I have previously said, that once the Bill has been put on the Statute Book and is in operation, many of the difficulties, particularly the human ones such as have been suggested by the right hon. Member for Greenock, will be found to be less important than they now seem. It is being assumed by too many people that the doctors, who will have a great responsibility in connection with the shilling charge on prescriptions, will be merely automatons. That is a complete misunderstanding of the way in which they are likely to meet their responsibilities under the Bill.

For a long time past, doctors have been accustomed, even if only to keep their consulting rooms free of patients, to prescribe quantities of medicine sufficient for a longish period. I have no doubt that they will continue to do that in appropriate cases. Also, I have seen many prescriptions with two or three persons' medicine prescribed on the one prescription. It may be forbidden by the Regulations, but it is done as a matter of convenience.

There is no reason why a sufferer from, say, diabetes, who requires regularly to take insulin, should go once a week to his practitioner. It will probably be found that he goes to him once a quarter.

I do not want to state a personal case, but my wife happens to be a diabetic. The hon. Member's statement is incorrect. A patient does not get a quarter's supply. The average is about a fortnight's supply.

All I am suggesting is that those diabetics who have balanced their condition, and who merely require a regular supply of insulin to keep themselves going, will not require to go even once a fortnight to their general practitioners. I use that instance only an a general example.

I believe that the Bill has been seized upon by the Opposition as a case for making party political capital. I believe that as soon as the Bill is in operation, it will be found that many of the objections which have been raised on the other side of the House do not exist. In the long run, the country will prefer a party which, recognising that something unpalatable and unpleasant has to be done, has the courage to do it, in preference to a party which seizes upon provisions of this kind, which they themselves recognised as being necessary, merely to make them an occasion for making party political capital.

11.9 p.m.

I should first declare my interest in this debate—[An HON. MEMBER: "The hon. Member for Putney (Mr. Linstead) did not."]—as a practising dental surgeon. I should like to say a word or two about the speech made by the hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain MacLeod), who, I notice, has now left his seat.

After listening through the whole of the debate, it is obvious that the Government Front Bench know nothing about this problem. I have never heard a more hopeless speech than that from the Minister of Health today, and it was left to the hon. Member for Enfield, West, who knows the subject, to get him out of a mess. I thought that the hon. Gentleman did not do justice to himself. He made one of the most bitter speeches I have ever heard him make. He is usually reasonable. The thought ran through my mind that it is possible that, knowing his Front Bench was wrong and that he was in a difficult position, he became all the more bitter to get out of his trouble. The hon. Member for Putney and the hon. Member for Enfield, West and other hon. Gentlemen opposite who know something about the Health Service, have been attacking their own Front Bench on these charges.

It has been argued time and again that these charges on dentures, spectacles, prescriptions and on dental treatment are a minor matter. I submit that they are of major importance. They attack the fundamentals of a free Health Service. They are no minor affair at all.

Last year the charges imposed by the Labour Government amounted to £25 million. This year, within 12 months, there is a charge of another £20 million. But, apart from that, the cost of living has risen by something like 10 per cent. In order to retain the ceiling at £400 million, we are losing another £40 million which would be the natural increase because of the rise in the cost of living. Therefore, the cut in the Health Service during the last 12 months is something like £85 million. That is no mere bagatelle. It is an attack on the fundamentals of a free Health Service.

Furthermore, if we grant the doctors this further £40 million next year, we have no guarantee that there will be no other attack on other aspects of the service so long as the Tory Party are in power. What are the arguments to justify these charges? I am one who attacked the charges made last year. I do not want to attack my own Front Bench, but the argument made then was that it was necessary to save £25 million on the Health Service to help to pay for re-armament. At that time re-armament was running at the rate of £4,700 million in three years. It is now admitted by all that we cannot spend more than £3,000 million in three years.

It was then argued that it was necessary to cut the Health Service by £25 million to carry out the re-armament programme which we now know we cannot carry out in the time by some £1,700 million. Therefore, that argument was "phoney." If the Tory Party use the same argument, then again it will be "phoney."

The second argument is that we must make this cut to help the balance of payments problem. None of the charges proposed by the Government will help to make any contribution to the balance of payments problem except in so far as it reduces the purchasing power of the poorer section of the community—that at a time when profits are soaring and capital appreciation is mounting by thousands of millions of pounds.

At such a time why should the Government cut the Health Service, which brings so many benefits to the poorer section of the community? The arguments put forward by the Government are not arguments at all: they are excuses. Hon. Gentlemen opposite have always hated the Health Service as the most Socialistic Measure we have carried out during the last seven years. They use excuses to attack the service which they hate.

Another argument advanced by the hon. Member for Enfield, West, was one which has been trotted out time and again by hon. Gentlemen opposite. It was that by making these charges we shall help to encourage and build up the School Dental Service. I have never heard a more shallow argument. One would think when listening to hon. Gentlemen opposite that when they were in power before the war we had a flourishing, healthy, efficient School Dental Service, and that now that we are under the National Health Service the School Dental Service had withered away.

I said earlier tonight that the School Dental Service was always the Cinderella of the dental profession. Hon. Members should ask any dental officer working in the schools. They were often working without even running water in their surgeries. There were never enough dentists to do the job; it was always inefficient and second-rate. To argue that we are destroying the service is simply ridiculous.

I am sorry the hon. Member for Enfield, West is not here, but the fact of the matter is that he ignored almost every argument put forward by my right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan). There has been some reduction in the School Dental Service, but, speaking as a practising dental surgeon, I can say that we work as a group of three dentists in my practice, and that one of us is almost wholly occupied in doing children's dentistry, while before there were very few children in the practice.

Under the free Health Service we give today, children are getting better treatment than ever before. The hon. Member may shake his head, but I am speaking from practical experience when I say that there is not a single dental surgeon who has studied this problem who will not admit that I am right. The reason the School Dental Service was inefficient was that it was dependent on the finances of local authorities, who were often hard up. This attack, representing the School Medical Service as having been neglected by us, is simply political eyewash.

Furthermore, let me ask the hon. and gallant Gentleman, if he is going to save £7 million by this charge on the Health Service, and, at the same time, encourage dentists to go back into the School Dental Service, how he is going to pay the dentists? Even if he is simply transferring them from one service to another, they still have to be paid, and the only way he can do it is to pay the dentists more in the school service than they can get in private practice.

Another argument put forward by the Minister tonight is that these charges, and especially the charges in the Dental Service, will stop abuses. I have taken part in these debates for many years, and we always heard Tories talking about abuses, and saying that if only they were returned the abuses would be stopped. I ask the hon. and gallant Gentleman, who would ever go to a dentist to have a tooth out or to have one filled simply because they got it done for nothing? It is a simply ridiculous argument.

The charges for the dental service, in my opinion, are stupid. The suggestion of the Government that patients going to dentists should pay the first £ of the charge for treatment is putting the clock right back. We in the dental profession have been advocating for many years that people should go to the dentist regularly every six months to have their teeth inspected so that we can catch dental disease at the earliest stage. We could not have a sillier charge than this, because it is a charge on the sensible patient.

There is a lot of talk about the shortage of dentists. The fact of the matter is that, before the war, there were two types of dentists in the country. For the middle and upper classes there were the conservative dentists—dentists doing mainly conservative treatment, who treated people who had their teeth attended to regularly. The mass of the working people could not afford 7s. 6d. or 10s. 6d. for a filling every time they needed one. For the working classes, there was another type, who engaged in what we call "blood and vulcanite dentistry." People waited until they were in pain, then had their teeth extracted and vulcanite dentures fitted. There was no shortage of dentists, because there was no demand among the masses for the ser-vices of dentists. The reason there is a shortage of dentists today is that there is a bigger demand for their services.

I remember the first time we had a free dental service was in the Forces. In the early 40's, young recruits were coming in and having their teeth inspected, some requiring six, seven or eight fillings, and a large proportion requiring dentures. But towards the end of the war these same people were coming back to us requiring usually about one filling every six months, with their teeth healthy. Then came the free Health Service, and I am delighted to see these young office and factory boys and girls coming to my surgery regularly every six months to have their teeth inspected and work done. We have raised the standard of the dental health of the great mass of the people. Now the Government come along with this criminal and silly method of imposing this charge, penalising the sensible people who realise the value of preserving their own teeth.

There is another important point I wish to raise tonight about the system whereby up to the first £1 must be paid by the patient—and I hope the Minister is listening to this. The greatest abuse of the Health Service from the dental point of view in the past has been when a patient has been in pain requiring emergency treatment, gone to a dentist and found it difficult to get that treatment.

Under this new system, all emergency treatment will be carried out outside the Health Service, and the dentist will be able to charge anything he likes up to £1 for the treatment. There will be no control at all for emergency treatment. If the Preamble to the Bill is right, dentists will be able to charge as much as they like up to £1 for taking a tooth out, and if the patient requires assistance he will get that sum from the National Assistance Board to pay for it, even if it is outside the National Health Service. Robbie Burns once said that toothache was the hell of all diseases. Anyone who is suffering pain can be "blackmailed" very easily, and the right hon. Gentleman should think again about the fees to be charged by dentists for emergency treatment.

By imposing these charges we are not putting the clock back to 1945. We are putting the clock back to 1910, because since 1910 the insured population has been able to get free medicine, and a large proportion of the insured population has been able to get 50 per cent. of dental treatment paid for. Now we are doing away with all that and going right back to 1910.

Now I want to be constructive, and I suggest to the Minister, if he will listen to me, one or two ways in which we might make some savings. It is obvious that he is not interested in saving the free service but in introducing penal legislation to destroy it. I have advocated in this House time and time again—I am sorry my right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale did not pay more attention to me in the early days—that if we had more inspection of dentists' work by employing more regional dental officers we could control the "spiv" dentists and save a considerable amount of money.

Next there is a specialised form of dentistry called orthodontic treatment—the straightening, etc. of children's teeth; a very important branch of the profession—which was carried out in the past by specialist dentists. I do not feel competent to do it. Under the National Health Service—and remember, we made mistakes when we introduced the Health Service; we had a lot of growing pains, and this was one of the mistakes—we allowed any dentist to carry out orthodontic treatment. Today, in a written answer, the Parliamentary Secretary said that last year we paid £½ million for orthodontic treatment, and a large amount of that work was carried out by dentists who were not qualified or at least had not the experience to carry out that work efficiently. We should concentrate orthodontic work in our hospitals under proper control.

I am told, I think on good authority, that during the last few weeks there were submitted to the Dental Estimates Board estimates, one for £200 for treatment of a patient over six months, and another estimate for over £100. These estimates were amended to something like £150 and about £70. Surely we could put a ceiling on the amount of money paid for treatment, and save a considerable amount of money in that way. If the Minister of Health had really consulted the dental profession, we could have put forward many other ways of saving money without this attack on the patient who goes regularly to his dentist.

I finish by saying that in this House I have attacked the dental profession on many occasions. They have gone wrong and have sometimes taken a political attitude instead of a professional one. But, it is time the dental profession was left alone for a little while. This is about the fourth change there has been in their remuneration in the last four years. The dental profession is trying to settle down and do a decent job. If one is always chopping and changing, as is happening today, one will not get a satisfactory service. We must leave the dentists to settle down without any further changes.

I represent an industrial area of this country, an area where the workers in the factories have been making a large contribution to raising the productivity of our industries. We have team work there, and we have been getting these results because the ordinary people believed the Government in power was going to look after their interests. I warn the Government that if they start this attack on the Welfare State, and continue on the road they are going, they will create industrial strife in this country. I say this in the interests of all of us. One of the things the working population of this country cherishes is its free Health Service. If the Government attack it, as they are doing, we will fight them next week and again the week after, and, at the first opportunity, we will remove the charge they are imposing, and, I hope, the charge we made last year also.

11.28 p.m.

I was not, unfortunately, able to hear the first part of the speech of my hon. Friend, the Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain MacLeod), but I understand, he dealt severely with the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan). [Interruption.] I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will be interested to see how the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mr. Baird), has succeeded in emulating his master's voice. I listened with great interest to what the right hon. Lady the Member for Fulham, West (Dr. Summerskill), had to say. Perhaps, she will not mind me reminding her of an occasion at the Oxford Union, when my right hon. Friend, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, followed her and said, "Really, to hear the right hon. Lady speak, you would think that every time the infant mortality rate went up there was a bumper supper at the Carlton Club."

I cannot help being reminded of that episode by some parts of her speech. She began by saying that the Tory Party was emasculating the Health Service, a remark, the import of which, not being sufficiently good at physiology, I am not able to understand. Before I come to the main part of what I have to say, there is one other point to which I wish to refer, and that is this old question of why my right hon. Friend voted against the Health Act in 1946. In 1949, there was a National Health (Amendment) Act passed, which provided, among a number of other provisions, that it was impossible to institute a full-time State-salaried service by way of Regulations under the Act of 1946. That point figured prominently in the reasoned Amendment which my right hon. and hon. Friends moved to the Act of 1946.

I suggest the provisions of the Act of 1949 showed my right hon. and hon. Friends were perfectly consistent in moving a reasoned Amendment to the Act of 1946, while, at the same time, supporting the principle of the Health Service. If they had moved that the Bill be read "this day six months," that would have been another matter: but they moved a reasoned Amendment including an objection to one very important provision, which was afterwards deleted in the Act of 1949.

When I saw the terms of the Amendment, I must say that I was just a little surprised to see that it was supported by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Middlesbrough, East (Mr. Marquand), because I was present when he proposed the Second Reading of the Act of last year. In that speech he laid great stress on the fact that ever since the time of Sir Stafford Cripps the idea of a ceiling on the Health Service was a settled feature of Socialist policy.

It really is not quite accurate to say, as the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mr. Baird) said, that the case for cuts last year was based simply on the exigencies of the re-armament programme.

The hon. Gentleman did begin with that point. He will find, if he looks up Sir Stafford Cripp's words in April, 1950, that the policy of a ceiling was adopted a long time before the re-armament programme. Furthermore, the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, East, last year said:

"I would only say to some of my hon. Friends that even if there had been more money available it does not follow, as the night the day, that it must necessarily have gone to the National Health Service. Education, war pensions, old age pensions, and child allowances all received increased, but, if still more money was available, these items also, like the National Health Service, would rank high among the claimants for whatever was to be shared out."—[OFFICIAL REPORT: 24th April, 1951; Vol. 487, c. 232.]
I do not think that the present Chancellor of the Exchequer would quarrel with those words at all. It is for exactly the same reason that there is a strong case for the charges in the present Bill.

I do not think the hon. Gentleman will find that I said that Income Tax payers were among the list of deserving beneficiaries.

I concede the right hon. Gentleman that point, but so far as these other items are concerned—war pensions, old age pensions, and child allowances—he will agree that they have received attention in this year's Budget; and also the Education Estimates are to be slightly higher this year.

The hon. Gentleman has just said that the former Minister of Health mentioned the whole field of social services which, in other circumstances, might be extended. He has chosen to say to my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East, that he was wrong in saying it was primarily due to the re-armament programme. Let me just refer to the speech of the former Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Budget debate last year: He said:

"The question is whether there should or should not be an increase. In view of the very high level of expenditure on defence, it is difficult to contemplate this."—[OFFICIAL. REPORT: 10th April, 1951; Vol. 486, c. 848.]

That is quite true, but if the hon. Gentleman looks at the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Middlesbrough, East, on 24th April last year—I will not delay by reading the passage—he will find that the right hon. Gentleman laid stress on Sir Stafford Cripp's speech of April, 1950, and said that that was settled Socialist policy.

Is the hon. Gentleman making a quotation now? He will not find the words "settled Socialist policy" in my speech.

I did not want to read it out because I did not want to take up too much time, but since I am challenged I will quote the relevant part of the right hon. Gentleman's speech. He said:

"In April, 1950, when the Chancellor's difficulties were not so great as they are today, Sir Stafford Cripps said:
'It is clear that it is not possible in existing circumstances to permit any overall increase in the expenditure on the Health Services. Any expansion in one part of the Service must in future be met by economies or, if necessary, by contraction in others. In exercising this essential control over total expenditure, regard will of course be had to priorities.'—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th April, 1950; Vol. 474, c. 59.]
That was in the Budget speech last year and every Member of the Government at that time was committed to it, and I presume accepted it."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th April, 1951; Vol. 487, c. 236.]
The opposition to the present Bill has taken two different forms. There are those, like the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale, who, in the economic debate at the end of January said "Yes," in answer to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, who asked:
"Is the argument, then, that every year the cost to the State must go up?"—[OFFICIAL., REPORT, 31st January, 1952; Vol. 495, c. 479.]
On the other hand there are those who, like the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell) and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenock (Mr. McNeil), who addressed us earlier this evening, who said that whereas last year there was a case for charges, this year there is not a case for further charges.

If the House will allow me, I will reply first to those who, like the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale, think that the cost should go up each year as the cost of living rises and, second, to those who, as I think more moderately, suggest that whereas there was a strong case for increased charges last year there is no case this year.

I cannot understand the logic of the argument of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale because, surely, the view with which he and his hon. Friends are most closely associated is the doctrine that we must get our priorities right. I listened with great interest to the speech of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman), in the defence debate. He said how vital it was to get one's priorities right and how there might be certain occasions when one must have an overriding military priority.

If one believes that priorities are the things that matter most, how can one say, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale said:
"The National Health Service is now being crippled, not only by the direct charges, but at the same time by preventing it from having its normal expansion."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 31st January, 1952; Vol. 495, c. 404.]
I suggest to the House that the phrase "normal expansion" is the negation of all that is meant by economic planning.

Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that he is giving birth to a most monstrous creed when he suggests that under no circumstances shall there be priority given to a service which prevents premature death and treats disease in all its forms; a service for which the hon. Gentleman has no feeling—I am glad to note how well he appears tonight—and does not understand. I speak with some experience of this. Does he mean that other things may go up in price, including salaries and wages of professional men and others, and that there must be no increase in the cost of that which serves the mass of the population? Let him answer, and tell us plainly now.

I must say that considering I was present all through the debate last night, I am perhaps looking in reasonably good health now.

I was not stating any doctrine of my own on this matter. I was examining the doctrine of the right hon. Gentleman and I suggested to the House—and perhaps this time hon. Members will allow me to continue this part of my speech—that the phrase "normal expansion" is the absolute negation of economic planning. For my own part, I have never at any time agreed with people such as Hayek and Jewkes, who are doctrinaire anti-planners. I have always agreed with those people who say that the right way for us to promote social improvements is by what Professor Popper calls "piecemeal social engineering" and I think that very often even by small-scale social reforms one can prevent a great deal of avoidable unhappiness and misery.

But the corollary of Professor Popper's doctrine is that we must consider each development in social policy, and say to ourselves, "Is this really the way we want to go?" When we find, as we do this year, that the bill for prescriptions has gone up by £11 million from £39 million to £50 million, it seems to me to be the absolute negation of planning to say, "Oh, that is quite all right—it is only a 'normal expansion'." On the contrary what we must ask is "Do we really want to see that particular item of expenditure going up by £11 million a year, or is there possibly some other direction in which we should spend the same sum of money?"

I suggest that one is perfectly entitled to ask whether in the field of prescriptions there may not have been some abuses, just as the Leader of the Opposition in the economic debate in January admitted that there had been abuses in the field of spectacles and dentures.

I should like to say a word about the more moderate view, for which I have a much greater respect, of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Leeds, South and his colleagues of the official Opposition. They say that whereas the charges were justified last year, they are not justified this year, and in particular they claim that these charges will not help our balance of payments.

I want to suggest two answers. The first is that since the Budget there is no question that the position of the pound sterling has improved. There are a number of reasons for that, many of which are not relevant now. But I am absolutely convinced, and so are all my hon. Friends, that the fact that we have made a small reduction in the total volume of Government civil expenditure, and the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has shown himself determined to hold civil expenditure in check, have encouraged this increased confidence in the pound.

The second point is, in my view, still more important. My right hon. Friend has made a number of very heavy import cuts and he hopes to increase our exports, which means sending a large quantity of capital goods overseas. If one looks at the "Bulletin for Industry" for January one sees that it is stated:
"In engineering … the home market may well have been taking supplies that were needed for export."
That tendency must increase when the full effect of the import cuts has made itself felt. The Chancellor can only achieve his target figures for lower imports and higher exports if he retains a close hold on the expenditure of all Government civilian Departments.

How does the Chancellor of the Exchequer hope to increase exports through the policy which is being followed by this Government?

This is not a debate on economic affairs, and we have discussed this matter before. I should like to say, however, that there is a good chance of increasing our exports of capital equipment. But, if by the end of January there was already a tendency to divert goods to the home market from the export market, that tendency must increase once imports have been still further reduced. The Chancellor, therefore, has to keep a close check on Government civilian expenditure, including expenditure on health.

I should like to meet one objection of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Middlesbrough, East, which is a perfectly fair point, namely, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, unlike his predecessor, has given away a lot of money in tax reliefs. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor admitted from the first that this was his intention. When discussing the connection between Government expenditure and the balance of payments he said in the House of Commons in January:
"Constantly increasing taxation has required the maintenance of absolute levels of tax so high as seriously to check incentives to work and to enterprise."—{OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th January, 1952; Vol. 495, c. 52.]
It is my belief that if we want to maintain the value of our social services we have to work to maintain it, and must therefore give every incentive to harder work and higher production. [HON. MEMBERS: "To the moneylenders."] The charge about moneylenders was fully and completely dealt with on another occasion.

To conclude, there is a charge sometimes levelled against us, which is completely false. We are told that we are a party which wishes to benefit the wealthier section of the community. I want to say only one thing in answer to this charge: the wealthier section were able to gain far more in a short time from the former Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget than they can ever hope to gain from the present Budget.

On the general subject of re-distribution, I would say this: What we are seeing in the fiscal system today is not a re-distribution between rich and poor. We are seeing a re-distribution for everyone to everyone. Everybody today feels the effect of our tax system; everybody is concerned with the social benefits which our social services provide. I suggest that Treasury control over this vast expenditure on the social services must be a matter of importance to everyone at a time when, as my hon. Friend the Member for Flint, West (Mr. Birch) said in this House some little while ago, the volume of taxation levied on people with incomes of £500 a year and under is greater than the total sum of money spent on the social services.

I believe that this Bill is both important and valuable because it emphasises once again the determination of my right hon. and hon. Friends that we should adhere to the principle of firm Treasury control over the volume of civil expenditure.

On a point of order. I should like to ask for your guidance, Mr. Speaker, as to when a minority opinion can find expression. You will recall that a Member of a minority opinion was called yesterday. Does he have an opportunity each day? I would point out that some of us felt very strongly on the Health Service charges, and some of us were in a minority last year; and none of the five who felt so strongly that they voted against the charges have so far been called today.

There are so many minorities that it is very difficult to get them all in. I felt that it was right to call the hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Holt), representing the Liberal Party, and I have called representatives of the party to which the hon. Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Manuel) belongs. With so many Front Bench speakers—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—it is very difficult to fit everybody in.

Further to that point of order. I do not want to make a point which might cause dissension, Mr. Speaker, but you have already admitted the right of minorities. This Bill will amend two major Acts, the Acts covering the Health Service in England and Wales and the Health Service in Scotland—two distinct Acts, one from 1946–51 and the other from 1947–51; and not a single Member from the back benches from Scotland, with over 70 Members altogether, has been called. I think we are entitled to make that point.

The second point is this. I do not want to emphasise it now, but last year five of us debated this issue and divided the House on it, and not a single one of us has been called to justify the case we submitted last year. I say, with all due respect to you, recognising your difficulties in the short time available—and I shall have some complaint to make through the usual channels—that we have undoubtedly been treated unfairly in Scotland, with not one out of more than 70 Members having been called.

I am sorry about that. The hon. Member is good enough to realise the difficulty I am in. There are so many hon. Members who want to speak. The only representative of Scotland of whom I can think and for whom there is now room is the Joint Under-Secretary of State who, I understand, is to reply to the debate.

11.50 p.m.

The hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod) made some remarks about inconsistencies that he suggested were in Liberal policy regarding the Health Service and he finished by talking about there being a jungle of inconsistencies. I have made some research into this. I welcome the fact that he is taking an interest in Liberal policies, but I fail to see any inconsistencies. He made one particular reference, to April of last year, on the Second Reading of the National Health Service Act. I presume he was referring to the speech of the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond). He seemed to think that because my hon. Friend spoke for only nine minutes, that that was reprehensible. I should have thought the contrary.

I mention one sentence only of that speech. My hon. Friend said:
"The degree to which we can help the sick depends on the amount of wealth available for the purpose."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 24th April, 1952; Vol. 487, c. 257.]
We do not in any way retract from that, but there is a distinct difference between the charge made for dentures last year and the £1 charge in this Bill. I am advised that there is no clinical evidence to show that any benefit to health is gained by fitting dentures. On the other hand, this £1 charge is a charge on conservation work, which is closely connected with health, and the charge will act as a deterrent to people to get their teeth attended to and keep them in good condition.

The Liberal Party take the view that we will examine each Measure as it comes along. If we think that a charge is necessary and will achieve its purpose, we will accept it. If we do not then we will not accept it. That is in no way an alteration from what we have previously said.

I would return to the 1949 National Health Service Act. There again we have been completely consistent. On that occasion the Liberals had a representative for North Dorset, Mr. Byers, and he spoke on the charge of one shilling on prescriptions. He said:
"I do not think this is going to work."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 9th December, 1949; Vol. 470, c. 2240.]
That is still the view of the Liberal Party, and it is not in the interests of the House that I should go over again all the various reasons why that is so. They have been well expressed by the right hon. Lady the Member for Fulham, West (Dr. Summerskill). I would remind her that, in the case of the 1949 Act, she voted for that one shilling prescription. Now apparently she thinks it is a very bad thing and she gave good reasons why it was administratively unsuitable.

I think that the official Opposition is a little inconsistent when it attacks the Government benches on some moral principle or ethical standard, saying that this is an attack on the poorer people and that therefore it is immoral. The fact that the Labour Party, who were then the Government, passed that Act, implies that they accepted the principle of the thing. They decided afterwards that it was administratively impossible to carry it out. That is the reason they dropped it.

I should like to put two points to the Government. We realise that the present National Health Service needs examining very thoroughly. I support the suggestion made earlier by the hon. Member for Putney (Mr. Linstead) opposite—I do not know his constituency—when he said of prescriptions that the important thing was to start using the method by which they were checked under the old scheme before the present one was introduced: that is, that prescriptions should be arranged in "doctors' sequence."

At present, there is no effective check on whether there is over-prescribing and waste of money by any doctor or doctors in an area. I accept that that may entail, possibly, a small increase in Civil Service staff, but that small extra expense would be more than repaid by the resultant considerable reduction in waste.

Secondly, I should like to draw the attention of the Minister to the booklet—he has probably already seen it—"Voluntary Service and the State: A Study of the Needs of the Hospital Service." I shall not quote it at any length. Its most important recommendation is block grants to the regional boards. I ask the Government to examine this matter closely and to consider the whole method now used in financing the hospital services, and the possibility of introducing block grants. The result would be that the regional boards would have much more responsibility and would take a great deal more interest in the efficiency and economy of their hospitals.

I do not think that is the case. At present, it is done by a system of estimates from the hospitals, sometimes nine months in advance. They make lavish estimates because they do not know exactly what they will spend, and—

All I can say is that I certainly do not pretend to have the knowledge; but it is in this booklet, and the people who wrote it know a lot more than I do and, I suggest, more than the hon. Member knows. [HON. MEMBERS: "What is the book?"] It is "Voluntary Service and the State: A Study of the Needs of the Hospital Service," published by Messrs. George Barber & Son, Ltd., for the National Council of Social Service (Incorporated) and King Edward's Hospital Fund for London.

The hon. Member should not make statements of that kind without some personal proof. Anyone can read all sorts of books on any kind of subject, and somebody else could quote another book which expressed a completely contrary opinion. Many of us, on both sides of the House, are on regional boards. The hon. Member cannot indict the whole system of regional boards merely by reading a lot of piffle from a book.

The hon. Member certainly is entitled to his opinion, and he is certainly entitled to express his view. I can only say that I have spoken to people on regional boards and they think that this is a very good idea.

I will quote something from the "Economist" which may be equally unacceptable. On 28th April, 1951, the "Economist" said:
"What is virtually certain is that there will be pressure to increase the hospitals' budgets year after year so long as the present system of financing them is maintained. At the moment those responsible for running the hospitals have a direct incentive to overbudget and to spend on unessentials. Until they are allocated a certain sum, and given freedom to spend within that sum, no real economies in the Service will be made."
There is one last quotation which I wish to make. It is right up to date from the leading article in "The Times" this morning, which said:
"This year as last year, though with a different Government, the Estimates contain more financial tactics than medical or social strategy. Their preoccupation is more with the imposition of an arbitrary, though necessary, limit on expenditure than with a distribution of the budget according to a clear pattern of priorities."

12.1 a.m.

I will do my best to speak briefly and to the point so that perhaps some other back bencher who wishes to speak may have the opportunity to do so. The Minister of Health today divided his argument into two parts. One part was to say that there were abuses, and the other was to say that the charges would bring about a restraint which was essential. It is my duty, and I do it sincerely, to suggest that no case has been made out by anyone in this House to show that abuses exist in the service.

If abuses exist, they can do so only with the connivance and encouragement, and can be due only to the lack of restraint, of professional people of all grades. If that be so, I suggest that such cases are few and far between. Let us assume that 5 per cent. of the patients force their way past doctors, surgeons and administrators and bring about some abuse. On the other hand, I claim from my knowledge that at least 10 to 15 per cent. of the population do not make full use of the service in the way they should if they are to have their rights and if they are to conserve their health and prevent themselves suffering from disease.

We are left with a great mass of people against whom no one can say that there is any allegation of any abuse whatever. If the Minister does not agree with me, and if the Parliamentary Secretary has knowledge which I have not got, I hope that some evidence will be produced to the contrary. The fact is that charges never can prevent abuse. The 5 per cent. of people I have assumed, if there be 5 per cent., will not be deterred from abuse by the shilling on the bottle. What the charges will do—and the hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain MacLeod) made this point clear—is to reduce demand. I am sorry that the hon. Member is not here at the moment, for even in the few minutes at my disposal I should have liked to cross swords with him.

The hon. Member for Enfield, West, said that he was amazed by the amount by which the demand had been reduced. He said that it was much more than he had expected. Since charges of a partial nature were made for dentures, the demand has dropped by half. About 1,000 dental mechanics are out of work today. It is said that since 1929, which was a year of slump in the trade, the ophthalmic trade has never been so badly off as it is today.

We know what these charges do; they reduce the demand. Is that what the Minister really wants to do? If he does, and if he is prepared to say so—since he suggested there were abuses—will he say amongst what section of the people demand is to be stifled. If he is satisfied, either now or at some time in the future, that this stifling of demand is not only amongst people who can least afford it, will he persist in his charges, or has he no views on the matter? I am glad to see his eyes fixed with humility and diffidence on his knees, or whatever rests upon his knees.

I am delighted to know that the Minister is paying attention to me. I ask him if he will change his mind if and when he is satisfied he should do, as indeed he will be soon by the storm of protest that will be aroused and brought home to him, if not by ourselves, by those sitting behind him, for he may remember that they, too, have constituents who lead humble and impoverished lives and are chronically sick? There are tuberculous patients among the constituents of hon. Members opposite, just as there are those who, by some genetic fault, are born with a weakness towards the diabetic state.

There are numbers of their constituents who live on clay soils and in wet areas, not all of them potters, miners and steelworkers, like mine, and who suffer from chronic coughs and must have their bottles of medicine, and those bottles of medicine do them a great deal of good and help them very greatly. There is a condition called pneumoconiosis, and many men suffering from it are still at work and receive no compensation, but they cough each and every winter, and the Minister ought to realise it.

The Government have embarked upon something which indeed is mean and cruel. It was not without reason that I interjected in the speech of the hon. Member for Handsworth (Sir E. Boyle) and I did it sincerely, because those of us who serve the public know how they suffer, although we ourselves are in good health, and I must say again that I congratulate the hon. Member on his rude and robust appearance after sitting up all night.

We know this Bill will have an effect in every part of the country. This Bill is bad, and everybody knows that we shall not support the Minister in the Committee stage, and that in the country we shall be preparing protest meetings, which we think are fully justified. If, by the Third Reading, I do not bring him a million signatures, to show him what the people think about him, then it will be at least half a million.

It is not too much to ask the Government to give some thought to what they are doing. I care not about their political future; why should I? I have the right to plead on behalf of my constituents and for people throughout the country, and I say that, for the small sum of money proposed to be saved every year, this Bill is making a brutal and even stupid attack upon them.

12.9 a.m.

I beg to move, to leave out from "now," to the end of the Question, and to add:

"upon this day six months."
Much of the discussion tonight has ranged around a comparison between this Bill and the one which I introduced to the House about a year ago. Indeed, the hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain MacLeod), who made what I think will be generally regarded as the best speech from the other side of the House today—a speech in which, incidentally, he found it almost impossible to support the Bill at all—devoted the greater part of that speech to this argument. I thought that he was adequately answered by my right hon. Friend the Member for Greenock (Mr. McNeil) but I must say a word or two more on the point.

There are three main differences between last year's Bill, and the circumstances in which it was introduced, and this Bill and the circumstances which prevail today. What we did then was to increase the total expenditure on the National Health Service, in the very year in which an increase of 4s. per week was given for every old age pensioner out of general taxation. The Budget of that year provided an increase of taxation of £170 million, and our proposals were framed against the background of that Budget, which increased social benefits to the tune of about £50 million and increased Income Tax in order to pay for it.

This Bill is introduced against a background in which improved pensions, such as the improvement is, are to be paid for out of contributions to the National Insurance Fund, and in which bonuses are given to Income Tax payers. Our proposals were deliberately limited to the re-armament period: they were to come to an end in 1954; they were temporary adjustments in the Health Service to cover an emergency period. The most evil feature of this Bill is that it seeks to impose charges in perpetuity.

The right hon. Gentleman says they were to come to an end in 1954. Why, then, was it necessary to provide by Section 5 (2) of the 1951 Act that they could be renewed from year to year afterwards by Order in Council?

There was provision that one year extra might be necessary, and that was because it was not quite certain whether the re-armament period would be over within that year.

This Bill believes that charges are good in themselves. It does not recommend charges, as I did a year ago, as a distasteful measure. It recommends charges as something upon which the Minister almost congratulated himself. He certainly congratulated his colleagues on having the wisdom to accept the suggestions he made to them when he first announced his proposals to the House.

The character of the proposals this time is radically different from the character of the proposals we brought forward. We deliberately avoided imposing charges which would fall upon those who were sick or ill, or which would fall repeatedly, at short intervals, upon any class of persons. Those who have been interested in studying the speech that I made a year ago have not quoted any of the remarks I made on the subject of the charges which are now proposed in this Bill.

I dealt at length with the suggestion of a charge upon prescriptions and upon surgical appliances. I rejected those charges because they would fall repeatedly upon the sick and ill, and because they involved charges for treatment. I said again and again that the charges which were then introduced were charges for certain appliances and not for treatment. Having dealt with the prescription charges, and with the possibility of a charge for surgical appliances and other things, I said, at the conclusion of that section of my speech:
"Let us hope that this explanation may prevent anyone in future from wanting to do it."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th April, 1951; Vol. 487, c. 240.]
The only charge put forward in the Bill which I did not deliberately denounce in my speech a year ago is the charge for dental treatment. As I have already said, in an interruption I made earlier, the only reason I did not deal with such a charge was because it never entered my head that anyone could ever think of charging for dental treatment, and so framing the charge that it would discourage people from taking care of their teeth and encourage them to wait until their teeth were thoroughly rotten before going to the dentist.

I cannot imagine how the right hon. Gentleman thought of that charge. Nobody today has found anything to say in favour of it, not even hon. Members sitting behind the Minister. The foundation of the dental provisions within the National Health Service was the Report of the Teviot Committee. This is what that Committee said in its well-known report:
"The greatest single step forward which, in our view, could be made at the present juncture, is the acceptance of the principle of a comprehensive service which, while, perhaps not wholly adequate, will be equally available to all who demand it and which will be paid for by the community as a whole."
The report went on:
"We want to divorce dental health care from questions of means and thus begin to build up demand; then can come a steadier and longer process of increasing public enlightenment about dental health."
That report is associated with the name of the noble Lord who occupies a very important position in the National Liberal Party. I hope that followers of his, on the other side of the House, tonight will realise that this Bill, for which they are asked to vote, requires a complete departure from what he recommended during the war. The Minister of Health said, in his opening speech yesterday, that to impose a charge was not breaking faith with anybody. But the proposed charge for dental treatment is a deliberate retreat from the promise of a comprehensive service made by the Coalition Government in 1944.

The raising of the age of exemptions from the charge, and the freeing of examinations are, of course, improvements in a bad Measure. But, though they are improvements, the charge is still objectionable because it is a charge for treatment and, therefore, encourages neglect of dental health. I hope the hon. Member, who is to reply, will be able to assure us that the previously existing position, whereby dentists could make every year three examinations of the teeth of persons under 21 years of age, will continue to prevail, and that they will not only be exempt from this charge but will continue to have that detailed care which their age demands.

As for the projected charge for prescriptions, it is an even more far-reaching breach of faith than the charge for dental treatment. It is a breach of contract to all who have contributed to National Health Insurance at any time between 1911 and 1948. The Liberal Party, in particular, must pay attention to this breach of contract with a service always associated with the name of the late Earl Lloyd George. It is hardly necessary, perhaps, to add that these charges are also a breach of the Government's Election pledges. We are becoming so used to this breach that it is almost bad form to refer to them any more.

As my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham, West (Dr. Summerskill), reminded the House, the Manifesto of the Conservative Party contained a pledge that
"for the money now being spent we will provide better services."
How it can be a better service to charge people every time a tooth is filled, or to encourage them to wait until they have accumulated more than a pound's worth of damage to their teeth before they go to the dentist I cannot imagine.

The prescription charge—I attacked it a year ago and am free to attack it again—is monstrously inequitable and unfair unless it exempts completely the retirement pensioners, recipients of National Assistance, war pensioners, and children. The greatest single benefit of the National Health Service has been that it has given the poor for the first time the opportunity to secure a true family doctor service. The anxiety of the mother for the health of her children has at last been removed. Anywhere one like to go throughout the country one will find always, in every audience one cares to address, that that is the feature of the Health Service which appeals most to our people.

The children's need is even greater than that of the aged. There is no exemption for children from the prescription charge provided by this Bill. Of course, if all these exemptions were made the levying of charges would be administratively impracticable, but even those exemptions that are now proposed, or those provisions for the relief of hardship, as it is called, and which are to be included, we understand, when the scheme is brought forward—even those, I predict, will be administratively unworkable.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham, West, has already dealt with the picture of the National Assistance Board receipients having to go to collect their pathetic shillings, but what about the people on the borderline of National Assistance—the people who are in the Bill entitled to National Assistance, but who pay these extra charges? They will be forced to go to the National Assistance Board.

They have not established their claim to assistance, so that each time they have to pay 1s. or have to reclaim it they have to go to the Assistance Board, and they have to subject themselves to a complete inquiry into their means and circumstances before they can claim their "bobs" back again from the Assistance Board. It is not a simple matter of going to the Post Office for them, and collecting the payment.

Still more difficult, and more serious, I think, will be the job of securing that the war pensioner gets free treatment for his Service disability to which he has been entitled for 30 years. The right hon. Gentleman said that he will automatically be repaid. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that it will not be automatic, and there is no way of making it automatic. Someone must distinguish, first of all, somehow, whether the prescription involved was given for a war disability or for a disability not connected with war. How is he to distinguish in the case of pensioners—and there are thousands of them some tens of thousands, perhaps—who, perhaps, have bronchitis, emphysema, and similar conditions? Who will decide whether the prescription has been made out for a bad cold or for the pensionable disability? I could go on multiplying similar examples.

Naturally, the only people who can determine whether in such cases the shilling should be repaid are the Ministry of Pensions. I was advised when I looked into this prescription charge two years ago that it would require the taking on on the staff of the Ministry of Pensions, in order to disentangle this sort of problem, at least a dozen more doctors and 100 more officials. That is what the right hon. Gentleman is letting himself in for. I tell him now that this system he has devised will end in a mess and a muddle. It will cause unhappiness and ill health to the aged and to children, and to the war-disabled pensioners that will mean form filling and re-examination by Ministry of Pensions doctors.

Before the right hon. Gentleman leaves that point, will he explain, if it is impracticable for the National Assistance Board to deal with payments of prescriptions, why he himself in the Act of 1951 specifically so provided—in Section 4 (2)?

I suppose I could not have been speaking loudly enough. Apparently, I did not make myself clear. I have been talking about the practicability of providing for the war pensioners. Surely, it is not the suggestion of the hon. Gentleman that war pensioners should go to the National Assistance Board? Of course, it is not.

The right hon. Gentleman has referred in general to the difficulty—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."] The right hon. Gentleman spoke of the difficulty of the National Assistance Board in dealing with these payments for prescriptions—this miserable shilling. Well, the miserable shilling of the National Assistance Board is in his own Act.

What is in that Act is the possibility that a person requiring a set of dentures which he might want once in five years. [An HON. MEMBER: "And paying a prescription."] No. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] The hon. Gentleman is talking about an Act of Parliament for which I was responsible, I suppose. [HON. MEMBERS: Yes."] What is in that Act is the occasional charge which might fall at intervals of a number of years for fairly substantial sums—

No, I have undertaken to stop at—[HON. MEMBERS: "Ah!"] Suppose it is true? Suppose that I am saying that something for which I was responsible—though I do not think I was—is impracticable? Does that make it any more desirable for the right hon. Gentleman to embark upon this uncertain sea? Is there any sense in doing a stupid thing because your opponents might once have thought the thing was practicable until they examined it and found it was impracticable? It is a ridiculous interruption for the hon. Member to make in an attempt to try to throw me out of my stride, and I do not intend to be thrown out of it. I say that this will end in a mess and a muddle for the reasons which I have given, perhaps a little too speedily, in order to give way to the hon. and gallant Gentleman, who wants to have 35 minutes in which to wind up the debate.

As my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham, West, has suggested, I say that it will subject the most humane doctors to a constant temptation to protect their patients against repeated charges by prescribing larger quantities than are immediately necessary. I said last year, as I have reminded the House, that the proposals which I introduced at that time were distasteful measures; but these are hateful, they are malign measures, they are thoroughly impracticable, they are completely undesirable and inhumane.

The more one examines and studies the National Health Service, the closer the acquaintance of any individual with the detailed administration and work of the service becomes, the clearer it grows that a comprehensive Health Service without charges for treatment is not a visionary dream at all. It is the only sensible and satisfactory form of service wherewith to wage an effective battle against disease and ill-health.

There is no place in a real National Health Service for threats of imprisonment and fines such as have been introduced in this Measure. It is because these charges are impracticable that they are likely to encourage abuse and evasion. We have introduced into our noble service the threat to the beneficiaries that they may be imprisoned or fined, and that disgraceful feature of the Bill characterises the whole of it.

The National Health Service has set out to develop to the utmost of its power the great skill of the great healers of this country. It has set out to develop and to encourage the availability in all parts of our land of surgeons and consultants of all kinds. The numbers have been increased all over the Provinces and no longer do outlying parts of the country rely wholly upon London for these services. Every time that new discoveries of importance have been made by the scientists working in their laboratories, they have been eagerly seized upon by the service, and those new discoveries, which are costly and expensive, as we have heard tonight, and the skill of these great consultants, have been made freely available, not on the basis of wealth but on the basis of the need of the patient.

We say that the National Health Service makes these available on the basis not of wealth but of need. The service is the living embodiment of the principles on which Socialism is founded. It is based on the creed, from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. That is why my hon. Friends behind me are so passionate with indignation when they see proposals like those contained in this Bill.

Hon. Members opposite are making a mistake if they think there is not complete unanimity in this party on this subject. There is complete unanimity, for we regard the National Health Service as one of the greatest achievements of the Labour Government during its period of office. I do not think it was seriously impaired by the small adjustments made a year ago. To borrow a phrase from the Government, we do not intend to let the essential fabric of the Health Service be destroyed by the Government. If the Minister of Health, having listened to the criticism of the Bill and not having heard any prise whatever in its favour, persists with the Bill, we intend to oppose it and to fight it at every stage with all the power, vigour and skill that we possibly can.

12.32 a.m.

We have had a most interesting debate, which has been conducted with great good feeling from every quarter of the House. My first duty is to join with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) in congratulating my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, East (Mr. Philip Bell) on an excellent maiden speech. I think the House will agree with me that it was a most enjoyable speech, delivered with great sincerity, and it had what the House likes so much, a number of light touches about it.

The attitude of the Opposition rather puzzles me, because it was the late Government which placed a ceiling on the expenditure of the Health Service for reasons which apparently appeared to them to be sound. Now when we have been taking steps to keep within this ceiling, they make most violent protests and level most unwarranted charges against us. It seems to be somewhat unreasonable, because there is no logic in supporting a policy when in power and in denouncing it shortly afterwards when in opposition. That is the attitude which the party opposite has adopted in this debate.

No, I will not give way.

In addition there ran through many of the speeches a suggestion that in this Bill the Government are doing something which is almost revolutionary, which had never previously even been thought of. But that is not the case. I want, therefore, to examine some of the facts which preceded the decision of the Labour Government to impose a ceiling on the expenditure of this service.

I want to remind the House that when we discussed the White Paper in 1944 the estimated annual cost to the Exchequer of the Service was £54½ million. When the Bill was introduced the figure had risen to £131 million. In the first nine months of the Service, from the 5th July, 1948, until the 31st March, 1949, it was £198 million. That was an annual rate of £264 million. For the year 1949–50 it rose to £354 million, in 1950–51 to £370 million and by 1951–52 the cost had risen to such a height that the Government imposed their ceiling of £400 million.

It was the present Leader of the Opposition himself who, on 24th October, 1949, announced the proposed maximum charge of a shilling on prescriptions issued under the National Health Service. Sir Stafford Cripps said, on 14th March, 1950:
"We must bring expenditure on health into its proper proportion with food subsidies, education and all the other matters that vitally concern the safety and happiness of the people."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th March, 1950; Vol. 472, c. 938.]
Accordingly, the Estimates for 1950–51 were to be regarded as a ceiling. In his 1950 Budget speech Sir Stafford Cripps repeated his ceiling policy in relation to the National Health Service Estimates, and at that time the Estimate totalled £392 million.

That brings me to the right hon. Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell), and his Budget speech of 10th April last year when he said:
"We did not feel that, in present circumstances, and with all the other burdens which have to be carried, it was reasonable to put upon the Exchequer, and, therefore, on the taxpayer, another £30 million. We decided that the Health Service estimates must be brought within a total of £400 million."
A little later, as reported in the next column, he used these words:
"… it was also necessary against the background of our general financial position, … that some charges should be made."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 10th April, 1951; Vol. 486, c. 851–2.]
The Chancellor of the Exchequer of that day carried his proposals, and he could not have done that wthout the consent and approval and support of the great majority of right hon. and hon. Members who now sit on the benches opposite.

On a point of order. May I ask for your advice, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, as to whether the hon. and gallant Gentleman is going to answer the points raised or whether a prepared speech is to be the sole answer to the debate?

The hon. Member for Central Ayrshire (Mr. Manuel) must know that that is not a point of order. I wish hon. Members would not raise as points of order things which they know are not points of order.

I have said that it was not a point of order, and therefore nothing further can arise from it.

Do I take it from your Ruling, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, that you are now ruling that an hon. Member cannot ask you for advice about a point of order?

By hon. Members who get up and put points of order in order to bring in a debating point when they are not points of order at all. I am not going to have them.

I have been speaking for only four minutes, and if the hon. Member for Central Ayrshire is patient I promise I will answer the points raised in the debate. I want first to try to get the background, against which these charges are being imposed, into its right place.

I want to point out how very different is the financial position today from what it was then. May I remind the House that in the first quarter of 1951 we added £164 million to our gold and dollar reserves and that the total at the end of that quarter amounted to £1,342 million. In the last quarter of 1951, which is the latest quarter for which we have complete figures, instead of gaining we had a loss of £353 million, bringing our total down to £834 million. Last year's Budget was framed against a background of a surplus in our United Kingdom payments for 1950 of £221 million.

On a point of order. Is there any reference in the Bill to the gold reserves?

The position is now completely different because instead of a surplus in 1951 we had a deficit of almost £500 million.

Within these last two days our problems have been made more difficult by the arbitration award to the general practitioners. I do not propose to say more than my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health has already said on that sub ject. I would, however, remind the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale that that question was sent to arbitration by the Labour Government he supported and that this Government have inherited an obligation to honour the award when it was made.

I am certain that at least the right hon. Member for Greenock (Mr. McNeil) agrees that the House would not suggest that this Government should break an agreement made by its predecessors. We view with grave concern this heavy liability which we have inherited from the previous Government, and which is due to their conduct of the negotiations.

I am not very clear on the drift of the argument. Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman saying that at this stage he is repudiating the Spens Report?

No, I am pointing out that we have to honour the agreement made by the last Government.

On a point of order. Could you give your Ruling, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, on whether a point of explanation is a point of order, or what it is?

I did not notice that the Minister had given way. As he has given way, the right hon. Gentleman is entitled to ask a question.

Hon. Members with a little experience of the House know that interventions frequently take place during speeches. I wanted to ask—[Interruption.] Shut up.

On a point of order. Is the right hon. Gentleman telling you to shut up, Mr. Deputy-Speaker?

I think I indicated the direction of my rebuke. Will the right hon. Gentleman inform the House what were the terms of reference to the arbitrator, so that we may judge the extent to which the Government are bound?

I understand that the terms of reference are known to the right hon. Gentleman and were given by the previous Government. I think I should have started by saying that we are having a lively debate. [Interruption.] I hope the House will allow me to try to deal with the various points which have been made. There is no real point of substance in the right hon. Gentleman's remark.

He will be glad to know that the terms of reference were settled by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Middlesbrough, East (Mr. Marquand) when he was Minister of Health.—[HON. MEMBERS: "What were they?"] If the right hon. Gentleman would like to see them, I will pass them over after the debate.

Order. Unless the Member who has the Floor gives way, it is out of order for another hon. Member to stand.

Now, Sir, I rise to a point of order, which was raised by my hon. Friend. It is customary for Ministers to be allowed to read speeches, but not to read them in such a way as to frustrate the purposes of debate. In my respectful submission, the hon. and gallant Gentleman has displayed his incapacity and now is compelled to read from his brief.

I have listened to practically the whole of the debate. I have heard denuciations of the Government's proposals, but I have heard few suggestions as to what should be substituted for them.

I want to deal for a moment or two with the shilling charge for prescriptions. My right hon. Friend, when making his opening speech, quoted the remarks made by the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale about the "cascades of medicine which were pouring down British throats." I want to continue the next two lines of the quotation. This is what the right hon. Gentleman said:
"I wish I could believe that its efficacy was equal to the credulity with which it is being swallowed."
I do not wonder for a moment that the right hon. Gentleman shuddered because there had been a very great increase in the number and the value of prescriptions since the introduction of the National Health Service? As the House will see from the figures I am about to give, the cascade has gone on since that time.

In 1947, the number of prescriptions prescribed under the National Health Scheme was 75 million. That was 3¾ per head of the insured population, and the average cost was 1s. 9d. In the three calendar years under the National Health Service—1949, 1950 and 1951—the numbers had risen from 220 million to 237 million and then to 250 million. To the right hon. Lady I say that the figures were quoted wrongly, and I am trying to put the House in possession of the correct facts.

If we are to have all the facts, it would be as well for the hon. and gallant Gentleman to add that under the Health Service are included the old and the children, who were not included under National Health Insurance.

Surely the right hon. Gentleman can wait until I continue, and not jump in at the first moment when he thinks he is being clever.

Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman tell me which figure I quoted? I have not quoted one figure.

have risen to 5⅓rd and 5⅔rd prescriptions per head, and the costs have been 3s. 2d., 3s. 5d. and 3s. 10d. The right hon. Lady quoted the figure of 3s. 8d. as the average cost per head.

I have corrected her and told her that the correct figure is 3s. 10d.

Order. I must repeat again the well-known rule that unless the hon. Member who has possession of the Floor gives way, it is out of order for other Members to remain standing.

Order. Really, this is a very bad end to a good debate. I must ask hon. Members to keep order for the reply of the Minister.

On a point of order. Is it not the established practice of this House that when one hon. Member makes specific reference to another hon. Member, quoting and correcting something which the other hon. Member has said, then the hon. Member should give way if the other wishes to reply?

Generally that is a convenient course but when, as in this case, the hon. and gallant Gentleman is speaking against the clock, with a certain amount to say, it is often not possible to give way on every occasion.

Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the right hon. Lady of a speech which she made—[Interruption.]

I want to thank the hon. and gallant Gentleman for giving way. He said that I quoted a number of prescriptions. He will find from HANSARD tomorrow that I did not quote any number at all. Secondly, he said that I said that the average price of prescriptions was 3s. 8d. He will find in HANSARD tomorrow that I quoted from the speech made by the Minister of Health to the Lincoln Division of the B.M.A. in February, when the Minister of Health told the members that the average price was 3s. 8d.

I am grateful to the right hon. Lady. Now perhaps I shall not be wrong this time because I propose to quote the right hon. Lady from "The Times" of 26th October, 1949. Speaking at a meeting the previous night to the local Labour Party at Fulham, she said:

"Medical prescriptions have been costing the National Health Service 2s. 11d. …"

Yes. That, of course, was not the full total. That was the English figure and not the United Kingdom figure. She also said that:

"At a private meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party that morning Mr. Bevan endorsed the new imposition of Is, for every medical prescription, and Mr. Bevan had also said that he felt that the Health Service was being abused by many people and that doctors were complaining that their surgeries were absolutely packed out. …"

Will the right hon. Lady let me finish the quotation:

"… were absolutely packed out by people who were there with very minor complaints."
I should like the House to compare that with the impression which we got from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale today.

It was against that background that the Labour Government decided to insert a provision in the 1949 Act which would permit them to impose a charge on prescriptions. That was not imposed, of course, on the plea that other savings were being achieved, but, looking to the future, and knowing that the trend of events in their policy must be that charges would become inevitable, they put it in the Act. Sir Stafford Cripps said on 18th April that the power to charge still, of course, remainded, so that it could be used later, if needed. Most unfortunately, that time has now come.

What are the main objections which have been made today? It has been stressed time and again that people who suffer from chronic maladies such as diabetes and asthma have to obtain medicine frequently, and, therefore, will be harder hit than others. There is nothing whatsoever to prevent the doctor, if he sees fit, to prescribe sufficient of the necessary drugs to last weeks or even months.

Then, there was the objection stated in regard to the burden which it is suggested will be placed on those unable to afford the higher charge. It has been said already, and was stated by the Minister in opening the debate, that it is provided in the Bill itself, in Clause 6 (2), that persons in receipt of assistance will be able to claim repayment on production at the offices at which they draw their assistance of the receipt which they will receive on request from their chemist or doctor; and that war pensioners will be able to reclaim the charge which they have incurred by reason of their war disabilities.

I have to repeat these things because hon. Members opposite evidently have not grasped them yet. Similarly, those who are not receiving assistance but who are unable to meet the charge, may apply for relief to the National Assistance Board.

During the debate, we have been pressed to make arrangements for exemption from the charge, and not only to make refunds. Hon. Members have reminded the House that the Labour Government promised exemptions when they originally intimated their intention to levy a charge. I do not happen to know what passed in the counsels of the Labour Party, apart from the manoeuvres subsequently revealed in the Chamber by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale, but anyone who studies the problem will be led to guess, and it has been confirmed by the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, East, that difficulty in providing exemption led to the fate of their proposal.

It certainly appeared to us that no exemption scheme could be administered with any degree of equality unless the doctors were saddled with an unfair responsibility for identifying which patient would be in the exempted category and which would not. Instead of turning up a blind alley, we have set up a procedure which makes a refund as easy as possible for those whose need is greatest.

The right hon. Lady asked if we had gone back to the 19th century. May I assure her and the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken, as, in fact, they have been assured by my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain MacLeod), that we have not gone back to the 19th century, but that we have only gone back to the National Health Service Act, 1951, in which the Labour Government gave the power to the National Assistance Board to refund the shilling charge, and is contained in Clause 4 (2) of the Bill? The House will also remember that the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale and the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, East, told us earlier today that all question of making the charge had been abandoned long before that date.

The hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mr. Baird), and the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, East called attention to the fact that those insured under the old National Health Insurance schemes—that was 23 million of the population in July, 1948—had now, for the first time, been charged for medicine. In that connection I cannot do better than refer them to the speech made by their right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale on 9th December, 1949, reported in c. 2261–2 of HANSARD, where they will find the complete answer to their questions.

The right hon. Member for Greenock spoke about the difficulties of collecting the charge in rural areas. I agree that there are difficulties, and I sympathise with those dispensing doctors who are now being asked to undertake some additional work; but I cannot understand any argument that the doctors are being made tax collectors, and that the doctor-patient relationship is being undermined.

On a point of order. I admit that I have not been in this House as long as some hon. and right hon. Gentlemen present, but the procedure this evening is unprecedented in my experience, in that on a major issue of national importance a whole speech has been read from a brief, and it is not a reply to the debate. May I respectfully appeal to you, Sir, for a Ruling on this unprecedented manner of reading direct from a manuscript from A to Z, without a reference to the debate.

It is, of course, in general, out of order to read speeches in the House, but I have noticed Minis- ters frequently resort to the practice, on both sides of the House. The polite euphemism used in describing a Minister's speech is that he uses "copious notes."

Further to that point of order—[Interruption]—if Mr. Speaker gives me the right of addressing a point of order to him, I listen to Mr. Speaker and not to irresponsible Members opposite. Mr. Speaker, could you, for my guidance, tell me if there is any method by which back benchers on this side of the House can protect themselves from this new kind of debating introduced by hon. Members opposite?

Further to that point of order. Would it not have met the general convenience of the House better if this speech had been circulated?

I have expressed myself already on the question of reading speeches, and I have nothing to add to that. As to the earlier point of order, that the speech was not an answer to the debate: that must, of course, remain a matter of opinion; it is not a matter for me.

It is most unfortunate that these interruptions should prevent me from answering the debate, which it was my intention to do, and which I was endeavouring to do. It now happens that so much time has been taken up in that way—and taken up by Members who have attended almost none of this debate—that I shall have to draw to a conclusion as time is now short.

There are two points on which I wish to say a word before I resume my seat. The first of these is the argument that these charges have no relation whatsoever to our general economic difficulty, and, in particular, to our balance of payments. Every hon. Member must know that our basic problem today is to stimulate our export trade, and they must appreciate that any reduction of home demand is bound to be a factor operating in the right direction. That is no less true if the resources set free by any particular reduction in demand do not themselves contribute directly to our exports. We have to look at the economy of the nation as a whole.

The relevance of these Health Service charges are that, if people have to pay now for something which they received free before, to that extent their purchasing power for other goods and services—[Interruption]. There has been an allegation, which has been made so frequently from the benches opposite, that here is a wicked Tory Party seizing the chance to destroy the great Socialist conception. It was not a Socialist conception. It was the conception of the Coalition Government in 1944, fortified by a predominantly Conservative House of Commons.

If these modest charges on marginal items are held to destroy that conception, then the guilt is no more ours than it belongs to Gentlemen opposite, who, at least, let me say, had the courage to bow to realities a year ago. I submit that these charges proposed in this Bill are a more sensible way of meeting the critical situation which now faces us than by risking the collapse of more vital parts of the Health Service.

To my mind, and I am certain to the minds of the great majority of the people of this country, these charges are greatly to be preferred to any inroads on the essential features of the National Health Service, comprising, as they do, the services of the family doctor, together with specialists and hospital services, when they are necessary. So long as we can

Division No. 52.]

AYES

[1.13 a.m.

Aitken, W. T.Boyle, Sir EdwardCrowder, Petra (Ruislip—Northwood)
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)Braine, B. R.Cuthbert, W. N.
Alport, C. J. M.Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)Davidson, Viscountess
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)De la Bère, R.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.Deedes, W. F.
Anstruther-Gray, Maj. W. J.Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)Digby, S. Wingfield
Arbuthnot, JohnBrooman-White, R. C.Dodds-Parker, A. D.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)Browne, Jack (Govan)Donner, P. W.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.Doughty, C. J. A.
Astor, Hon. J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton)Bullard, D. G.Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Bucks, Wycombe)Bullock, Capt. M.Drayson, G. B.
Baker, P. A. D.Bullus, Wing Cmdr. E. E.Drewe, C.
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.Burden, F. F. A.Dugdale, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)
Baldwin, A. E.Butcher, H. W.Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.
Banks, Col. C.Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden)Duthie, W. S.
Barber, A. P. L.Carr, Robert (Mitcham)Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M.
Barlow, Sir JohnCarson, Hon. E.Eden, Rt. Hon. A.
Baxter, A. B.Cary, Sir RobertElliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.
Beamish, Maj. TuftonChannon, H.Erroll, F. J.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)Fell, A.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)Finlay, Graeme
Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston)Cole, NormanFisher, Nigel
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)Conant, Maj. R. J. E.Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.
Bennett, William (Woodside)Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. AlbertFletcher, Walter (Bury)
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)Cooper-Key, E. M.Fletcher-Cooke, C.
Birch, NigelCraddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)Fort, R.
Bishop, F. P.Cranborne, ViscountFoster, John
Black, C. W.Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Han. H. F. C.Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)
Boothby, R. J. G.Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale)
Bossom, A. C.Crouch, R. F.Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Crowder, John E. (Finchley)Gage, C. H.

preserve these, without financial impediment for their use, then we have not, in my judgment, betrayed the high ideals of the National Health Service which was founded in 1944.

I would, therefore, claim that judged by their actions and statements when in office, the objections to the Bill, put forward by the Opposition today, have no foundation whatever and the charges they have levelled against this Government reveal, once again, to the nation, their complete lack of any responsibility in opposition. Therefore, it is with every confidence that I now ask this House to give this Bill a Second Reading.

1.10 a.m.

rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House proceeded to a Division. Brigadier MACKESON and Mr. T. G. D. GALBRAITH were appointed Tellers for the Ayes, but, no Member being willing to act as Teller for the Noes, Mr. SPEAKER declared that the Ayes had it.

Question put accordingly, "That 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided: Ayes, 304; Noes, 279.

Galbraith, Cmdr T. D. (Pollok)Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G (King's Norton)Robertson, Sir David
Gammans, L. D.Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Garner-Evans, E. H.Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)Robson-Brown, W.
George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. LloydLockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Glyn, Sir RalphLongden, Gilbert (Herts, S.W.)Roper, Sir Harold
Godber, J. B.Low, A. R. W.Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Gomme-Duncan, Col A.Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)Russell, R. S.
Gough, C. F. H.Lucas, P. B. (Brantford)Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Gower, H. R.Lucas-Tooth, Sir HughSandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Graham, Sir FergusLyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas
Gridley, Sir ArnoldMcAdden, S J.Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)McCallum, Major D.Scott, R. Donald
Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Harden, J. R. E.Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight)Shepherd, William
Hare, Hon. J. H.McKibbin, A. J.Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W)
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)McKie, J. H. (Galloway)Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter
Harris, Reader (Heston)Maclay, Hon. JohnSmithers, Peter (Winchester)
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)Maclean, FitzroySmithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.)Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)Snadden, W. McN.
Harvie-Watt, Sir GeorgeMacmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)Soames, Capt. C.
Hay, JohnMacpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)Spearman, A. C. M.
Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)Speir, R. M.
Heald, Sir LionelMaitland, Patrick (Lanark)Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Heath, EdwardManningham-Buller, Sir R. E.Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Henderson, John (Cathcart)Markham, Maj. S. F.Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Hicks-Beach, Major W. W.Marlowe, A. A. H.Stevens, G. P.
Higgs, J. M. C.Marples, A. E.Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)Marshall, Sidney (Sutton)Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Hinchingbrooke, ViscountMaude, AngusStorey, S.
Hirst, GeoffreyMaudling, R.Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Holland-Martin, C. J.Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Hollis, M. C.Medlicott, Brig. F.Studholme, H. G.
Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)Mellor, Sir JohnSummers, G. S.
Hope, Lord JohnMolson, A. H. E.Sutcliffe, H.
Hopkinson, HenryMonckton, Rt. Hon. Sir WalterTaylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir ThomasTaylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Horobin, I. M.Morrison, John (Salisbury)Teeling, W.
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. FlorenceMott-Radclyffe, C. E.Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L (Hereford)
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)Nabarro, G. D. N.Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Howard, Greville (St. Ives)Nicholls, HarmerThompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)Thorneycroft, R. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)
Hulbert, Wing Cmdr. N. J.Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Hurd, A. R.Nugent, G. R. H.Tilney, John
Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)Oakshott, H. D.Touche, G. C.
Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)Odey, G. W.Turner, H. F. L.
Hutchison, James (Scotstoun)Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.Turton, R. H.
Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.Orr, Capt. L. P. S.Tweedsmuir, Lady
Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)Vane, W. M. F.
Jenkins, R. C. D. (Dulwich)Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare)Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Jennings, R.Osborne, C.Vosper, D. F.
Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Partridge, E.Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)Peake, Rt. Hon. O.Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)
Jones, A. (Hall Green)Perkins, W. R. D.Walker-Smith, D. C.
Johnson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.Peto, Brig. C. H. M.Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Kaberry, D.Peyton, J. W. W.Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)Pickthorn, K. W. M.Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Lambert, Hon. G.Pilkington, Copt R. A.Watkinson, H. A.
Lambton, ViscountPitman, I. J.Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Lancaster, Col. C. G.Powell, J. EnochWellwood, W.
Langford-Holt, J. A.Price, Henry (Lewisham, W)White, Baker (Canterbury)
Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Leather, E. H. C.Profumo, J. D.Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Raikes, H. V.Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Legh, P. R. (Petersfield)Rayner, Brig. R.Wills, G.
Lennox-Boyd, Rt Hon A. T.Redmayne, M.Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Lindsay, MartinRemnant, Hon. P.Wood, Hon. R.
Linstead, H. N.Renton, D. L. M.
Llewellyn, D. T.Roberts, Peter (Heeley)TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Brigadier Mackeson and
Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith.

NOES

Acland, Sir RichardBarnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.Boardman, H.
Adams, RichardBallenger, Rt. Hon F. J.Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.
Albu, A. H.Bence, C. R.Bowden, H. W.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Benn, WedgwoodBowles, F. G.
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell)Benson, G.Brockway, A. F.
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)Beswick, F.Brook, Dryden (Halifax)
Awbery, S. S.Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.
Ayles, W. H.Bing, G. H. C.Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)
Bacon, Miss AliceBlackburn, F.Brown, Thomas (Ince)
Baird, J.Blenkinsop, A.Burke, W. A.
Balfour, A.Blyton, W. R.Burton, Miss F. E.

Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Callaghan, L. J.Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)Rankin, John
Carmichael, J.Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Reeves, J.
Castle, Mrs. B. A.Hynd, H. (Accrington)Reid, Thomas (Swindon)
Champion, A. J.Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Reid, William (Camiachie)
Chapman, W. D.Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)Rhodes, H.
Clunie, J.Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)Richards, R.
Cocks, F. S.Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.Robens, Rt. Hon. A.
Coldrick, W.Janner, B.Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Collick, P. H.Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Cook, T. F.Jeger, George (Goole)Robinson, Kenneth (St Pancras, N.)
Corbet, Mrs. FredaJenkins, R. H. (Stechford)Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Cove, W. G.Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)Ross, William
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Jones, David (Hartlepool)Royle, C.
Crosland, C. A. R.Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)Schofield, S (Barnsley)
Crossman, R. H. S.Jones, Jack (Rotherham)Shackleton, E. A. A.
Cullen, Mrs. A.Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley
Daines, P.Keenan, W.Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.Kenyon, C.Short, E. W.
Darling, George (Hillsborough)Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.Shurmer, P. L. E.
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)King, Dr. H. M.Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)Lee, Frederick (Newton)Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Davies, Harold (Leek)Lever, Harold (Cheetham)Slater, J.
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
de Freitas, GeoffreyLewis, ArthurSmith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Deer, G.Lindgren, G. S.Snow, J. W.
Delargy, H. J.Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.Sorensen, R. W.
Dodds, N. N.Logan, D. G.Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Donnelly, D. L.Longden, Fred (Small Heath)Sparks, J. A.
Driberg, T. E. N.MacColl, J. E.Steele, T.
Dugdale, Rt. Hon John (W. Bromwich)McGhee, H. G.Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.McInnes, J.Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Edelman, M.McKay, John (Wallsend)Strauss, Rt. Hon George (Vauxhall)
Edwards, John (Brighouse)McLeavy, F.Stross, Dr. Barnett
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.Swingler, S. T.
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Sylvester, G. O.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)Mainwaring, W. H.Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)Taylor, Rt. Hon Robert (Morpeth)
Ewart, R.Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Fernyhough, E.Mann, Mrs. JeanThomas George (Cardiff)
Field, W. J.Manuel, A. C.Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Fienburgh, W.Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Finch, H. J.Mayhew, C. P.Thurtle, Ernest
Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)Mellish, R. J.Timmons, J.
Follick, M.Messer, F.Tomney, F.
Foot, M. M.Mikardo, IanTurner-Samuels, M.
Forman, J. C.Mitchison, G. R.Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Monslow, W.Usborne, H. C.
Freeman, John (Watford)Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.Viant, S. P.
Freeman, Peter (Newport)Morley, R.Wade, D. W.
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)Wallace, H. W.
Gibson, C. W.Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)Watkins, T. E.
Glanville, JamesMort, D. L.Webb, Rt. Hon. M (Bradford, C.)
Gooch, E. G.Moyle, A.Weitzman, D.
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.Mulley, F. W.Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)Murray, J. D.Wells, William (Walsall)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Wakefield)Nally, W.West, D. G.
Grenfell, Rt. Hon D. R.Neal, Harold (Bolsover)Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Grey, C. F.Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)O'Brien, T.White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Oldfield, W. H.Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Griffiths, William (Exchange)Oliver, G. H.Wigg, G. E. C.
Grimond, J.Orbach, M.Wilcock, Group Captain C. A. B.
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)Oswald, T.Willey, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)
Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)Padley, W. E.Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Hall, John (Gateshead, W.)Paget, R. T.Williams, David (Neath)
Hamilton, W. W.Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Hannan, W.Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Hardy, E. A.Panned, CharlesWilliams, Rt. Hon Thomas (Don V'll'y)
Hargreaves, A.Pargiter, G. A.Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Hastings, S.Parker, J.Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Hayman, F. H.Paten, J.Wilson, Rt. Hon Harold (Huyton)
Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.)Pearson, A.Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis)Peart, T. F.Woodburn, Rt. Hon A.
Herbison, Miss M.Plummer, Sir LeslieWyatt, W. L.
Hewitson, Capt. M.Popplewell, E.Yates, V. F.
Hobson, C. R.Porter, G.
Holman, P.Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Holt, A. F.Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Houghton, DouglasProctor, W. T.Mr. Wilkins and
Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)Pryde, D. J.Mr. Horace Holmes

Bill read a Second Time.

Motion made, and Question put, "That the Bill be committed to a Committee of the whole House."—[ Mr. Butcher.]

Division No. 53.]

AYES

[1.26 a.m.

Aitken, W. T.Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M.Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)Eden, Rt. Hon. A.Langford-Holt, J. A.
Alport, C. J. M.Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.Law, Rt Hon. R. K.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)Erroll, F. J.Leather, E. H. C.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)Fell, A.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
Anstruther-Gray Maj W. J.Finlay, GraemeLegh, P. R. (Petersfield)
Arbuthnot, JohnFisher, NigelLennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.Lindsay, Martin
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W)Fletcher, Walter (Bury)Linstead, H. N.
Astor, Hon J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton)Fletcher-Cooke, C.Llewellyn, D. T.
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Bucks, Wycombe)Fort, R.Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton)
Baker, P. A. D.Foster, JohnLloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr J. M.Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)
Baldwin, A. E.Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale)Lockwood, Lt. Col. J. C.
Banks, Col. C.Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David MaxwellLongden, Gilbert (Herts, S. W.)
Barber, A. P. L.Gage, C. H.Low, A. R. W.
Baxter, A. B.Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)Lucas, P. B. (Brantford)
Beach, Maj. HicksGammans, L. D.Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Beamish, Maj. TuftonGarner-Evans, E. H.Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G LloydMcAdden, S. J.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)Glyn, Sir RalphMcCallum, Major D.
Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston)Godber, J. B.McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.Macdonald, Sir Peter (I of Wight)
Bennett, William (Woodside)Gough, C. F. H.McKibbin, A. J.
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)Gower, H. R.McKie, J. H. (Galloway)
Birch, NigelGraham, Sir FergusMaclay, Hon. John
Bishop, F. P.Gridley, Sir ArnoldMaclean, Fitzroy
Black, C. W.Grimond, J.MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.)
Boothby, R. J. G.Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)
Bossom, A. C.Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Harden, J. R. E.Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)
Boyle, Sir EdwardHare, Hon. J. H.Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W (Horncastle)
Braine, B. R.Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N)Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W)Harris, Reader (Heaton)Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N. W.)Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)Markham, Maj. S. F.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.Harvey, Air Cdre A. V. (Macclesfield)Marlowe, A. A. H.
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)Marples, A. E.
Brooman-White, R. C.Harvie-Watt, Sir GeorgeMarshall, Douglas (Bodmin)
Browne, Jack (Govan)Hay, JohnMarshall, Sidney (Sutton)
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.Maude, Angus
Bullard, D. G.Heald, Sir LionelMaudling, R.
Bullock, Capt. M.Heath, EdwardMaydon, Lt.-Comdr S. L. C.
Bullus, Wing Cmdr. E. E.Henderson, John (Cathcart)Medlicott, Brig. F.
Burden, F. F. A.Higgs, J. M. C.Mellor, Sir John
Butcher, H. W.Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)Molson, A. H. E.
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden)Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshewe)Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter
Carr, Robert (Mitcham)Hichingbrooke, ViscountMoore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas
Carson, Hon. E.Hirst, GeoffreyMorrison, John (Salisbury)
Cary, Sir RobertHolland-Martin, C. J.Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.
Channon, H.Hollis, M. C.Nabarro, G. D. N.
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwick)Nicholls, Harmar
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W)Holt, A. F.Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)
Cole, NormanHope, Lord JohnNicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)
Conant, Maj. R. J. E.Hopkinson, HenryNoble, Cmdr. A. H. P.
Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. AlbertHornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.Nugent, G. R. H.
Cooper-Key, E. M.Harobin, I. M.Oakshott, H. D.
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. FlorenceOdey, G. W.
Canborne, ViscountHoward, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.Howard, Greville (St. Ives)Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
Crouch, R. F.Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare)
Crowder, John E. (Finchley)Hulbert, Wing Cmdr. N. J.Osborne, C.
Crowder, Petra (Ruislip—Northwood)Hurd, A. R.Partridge, E.
Cuthbert, W. N.Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)Peaks, Rt. Hon. O.
Davidson, ViscountessHutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.)Perkins, W. R. D.
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)Hutchinson, James (Scotstoun)Peto, Brig C. H. M.
De la Bère, R.Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.Peyton, J. W. W.
Deedes, W. F.Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Digby, S. WingfieldJenkins, R. C. D. (Dulwich)Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Dodds-Parker, A. D.Jennings, R.Pitman, I. J.
Donner, P. W.Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Powell, J. Enoch
Doughty, C. J. A.Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord MalcolmJones, A. (Hall Green)Profume, J. D.
Drayson, G. B.Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.Raikes, H. V.
Drewe, C.Kaberry, D.Rayner Brig. R.
Dugdale, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)Redmayne, M.
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.Lambert, Hon. G.Remnant, Hon. P.
Duthie, W. S.Lambton, ViscountRenton, D. L. M.

The House divided: Ayes, 303; Noes, 273.

Roberts, Peter (Heeley)Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)Turner, H. F. L.
Robertson, Sir DavidSpens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)Tweedsmuir, Lady
Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)Stanley, Capt. Hon. RichardVane, W. M. F.
Robson-Brown, W.Stevens, G. P.Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)Vosper, D. F.
Roper, Sir HaroldStewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)Wade, D. W.
Ropner, Col. Sir LeonardStoddart-Scott, Col. M.Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Russell, R. S.Storey, S.Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)
Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)Walker-Smith, D. C.
Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Savory, Prof. Sir DouglasStudholme, H. G.Waterhouse, Capt Rt. Hon. C.
Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)Summers, G. S.Watkinson, H. A.
Scott, R. DonaldSutcliffe, H.Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)Wellwood, W.
Shepherd, WilliamTaylor, William (Bradford, N.)White, Baker (Canterbury)
Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)Teeling, W.Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir WalterThomas, Rt. Hon J. P. L. (Hereford)Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Smithers, Peter (Winchester)Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)Wills, G.
Smyth, Brig, J. G. (Norwood)Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Snadden, W. McNThorneycroft, Rt. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)Wood, Hon. R.
Soames, Capt. C.Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Spearman, A. C. M.Tilney, JohnBrigadier Mackeson and
Speir, R. M.Touche, G. C.Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith

NOES

Acland, Sir RichardDeer, G.Hynd, H. (Accrington)
Adams, RichardDelargy, H. J.Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)
Albu, A. H.Dodds, N. N.Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Donnelly, D. L.Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell)Driberg, T. E. N.Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)Janner, B.
Awbery, S. S.Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.
Ayles, W. H.Edelman, M.Jeger, George (Goole)
Bacon, Miss AliceEdwards, John (Brighouse)Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)
Baird, J.Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)Jones, David (Hartlepool)
Balfour, A.Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)
Barnes, Rt. Hon A. J.Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)Jones, Jack (Rotherham)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)
Bence, C. R.Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)Keenan, W.
Benn, WedgwoodEwart, R.Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.
Benson, G.Fernyhough, E.King, Dr. H. M.
Beswick, F.Field, W. J.Lee, Frederick (Newton)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. (Ebbw Vale)Fienburgh, W.Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)
Bing, G. H. C.Finch, H. J.Lever, Harold (Cheetham)
Blackburn, F.Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)
Blenkinsop, A.Follick, M.Lewis, Arthur
Blyton, W. R.Foot, M. M.Lindgren, G. S.
Boardman, H.Forman, J. C.Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Logan, D. G.
Bowden, H. W.Freeman, John (Watford)Longden, Fred (Small Heath)
Bowles, F. G.Freeman, Peter (Newport)MacColl, J. E.
Brockway, A. F.Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.McGhee, H. G.
Brook, Dryden (Halifax)Gibson, C. W.McInnes, J.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Glanville, JamesMcKay, John (Wallsend)
Brown, Rt. Hon George (Belper)Gooch, E. G.McLeavy, F.
Brown, Thomas (Ince)Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Burke, W. A.Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.
Burton, Miss F. E.Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Wakefield)MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)Grenfell, Rt. Hon D. R.Mainwaring, W. H.
Callaghan, L. J.Grey, C. F.Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Carmichael, J.Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Castle, Mrs. B. A.Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Mann, Mrs. Jean
Champion, A. J.Griffiths, William (Exchange)Manuel, A. C.
Chapman, W. D.Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Clunie, J.Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)Mayhew, C. P.
Cocks, F. S.Hall, John (Gateshead, W.)Mellish, R. J.
Coldrick, W.Hamilton, W. W.Messer, F.
Collick, P. H.Hannan, W.Mikardo, Ian
Cook, T. F.Hardy, E. A.Mitchison, G. R.
Corbet, Mrs. FredaHargreaves, A.Monslow, W.
Cove, W. G.Hastings, S.Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Hayman, F. H.Morley, R.
Crosland, C. A. R.Healey, Denis (Leeds, S. E.)Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)
Crossman, R. H. S.Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis)Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)
Cullen, Mrs. A.Herbison, Miss M.Mort, D. L.
Daines, P.Hewitson, Capt. M.Moyle, A.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.Hobson, C. R.Mulley, F. W.
Darling, George (Hillsborough)Holman, P.Murray, J. D.
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)Houghton, DouglasNally, W.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)Neal, Harold (Bolsover)
Davies, Harold (Leek)Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)O'Brien, T.
de Freitas, GeoffreyHughes, Hector, (Aberdeen, N.)Oldfield, W. H.

Oliver, G. H.Shackleton, E. A. A.Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Orbach, M.Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir HartleyUsborne, H. C.
Oswald, T.Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.Viant, S. P.
Padley, W. E.Short, E. W.Wallace, H. W.
Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)Shurmer, P. L. E.Watkins, T. E.
Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)Silverman, Julius (Erdington)Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Pannell, CharlesSilverman, Sydney (Nelson)Weitzman, D.
Pargiter, G. A.Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Parker, J.Slater, J.Wells, William (Walsall)
Paton, J.Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)West, D. G.
Pearson, A.Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Peart, T. F.Snow, J. W.White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Plummer, Sir LeslieSorensen, R. W.White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Popplewell, E.Soskice, Rt. Hon Sir FrankWhiteley, Rt Hon. W.
Porter, G.Sparks, J. A.Wigg, G. E. C.
Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)Steele, T.Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)Willey, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)
Proctor, W. T.Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Pryde, D. J.Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)Williams, David (Neath)
Pursey, Cmdr. H.Stross, Dr. BarnettWilliams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Rankin, JohnSummerskill, Rt. Hon E.Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Reeves, J.Swingler, S. T.Williams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'll'y)
Reid, Thomas (Swindon)Sylvester, G. O.Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Reid, William (Camlachie)Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Rhodes, H.Taylor, John (West Lothian)Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Richards, R.Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Robens, Rt. Hon. A.Thomas, David (Aberdare)Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Roberts, Albert (Normanton)Thomas, George (Cardiff)Wyatt, W. L.
Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)Yates, V. F.
Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)Younger, Rt. Hon K.
Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)Thurtle, Ernest
Ross, WilliamTimmons, J.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Royle, C.Tomney, F.Mr. Wilkins and Mr. Horace Holmes.
Schofield, S. (Barnsley)Turner-Samuels, M.

Committee upon Monday next.