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Clause 2—(Powers Of Authority)

Volume 529: debated on Monday 21 June 1954

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

I beg to move, in page 4, line 13, to leave out "with the Authority," and to insert:

"made with the Authority and approved by the Postmaster-General."
This is an Amendment which I am sure the Assistant Postmaster-General will be glad to accept. The purpose is to require the Authority before entering into a contract with a programme contractor to submit it to the Postmaster-General for his approval. The reasons why we think it should be submitted to the Postmaster-General are inherent in practically every speech the Assistant Postmaster-General has made except his periodic "Trust the Authority" speech. I hope that his answer on this occasion will not be just "Trust the Authority."

It will be a question of helping the Authority. The Authority will be faced with the somewhat dubious task of trying to carry out the provisions of the Bill, and that will, of course, depend upon the interpretation which the Authority puts upon them, and that may not be the same as the Assistant Postmaster-General's interpretation. None the less, a number of very serious obligations are laid upon the Authority, and it seems to me that the Authority is likely anyway to go to the Postmaster-General and ask for his advice. The purpose of the Amendment is to make sure that he gives the advice and, furthermore, that he takes responsibility to this House for contracts which are made with the I.T.A.

I will briefly give some of the reasons why it is essential that the Postmaster-General should approve the contracts. First of all, there is the selection of the programme contractors. We know that the Assistant Postmaster-General knows the potential programme contractors a great deal better than the I.T.A. will be able to in the short time it will have in which to get to know them. The hon. Gentleman has met some of them and already has some opinions about who would be suitable. It would be wrong that the Authority should not seek his very expert advice based on his frequent encounters over lunch and at other times with the candidates for these jobs.

6.0 p.m.

The second point connected with that reason is the fact that he is pledged also, and so is the Authority, to achieve competition and to carry out certain provisions with regard to control. Here again it is proper that the Postmaster-General should be consulted; indeed, I believe that on reflection, when the hon. Gentleman has heard the arguments from this side of the House, he will agree that this is a reasonable and modest Amendment.

There are certain other provisions in the Bill that are dear to the heart of the Assistant Postmaster-General which I am sure he, his noble Friend and his right hon. Friends will want to see carried out. One particular proposal, which does not appear in the Bill but on which nevertheleses he has expressed a wish, is that the programme contractors should in due course share their profits with the I.T.A. We considered putting down an Amendment but, owing to the operation of the Guillotine, there was no time. However, we rely on the Assistant Postmaster-General to ensure that this wish which is so dear to his heart will be incorporated in the contracts of the programme contractors.

May I remind him of his words in the debate on Government policy in regard to television development? He said he hoped that there would be
"Some arrangement whereby the corporation, possibly after an initial period, will share in the profits which the programme companies are making."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th December, 1953; Vol. 522, c. 55.]
That was a precise suggestion, not merely a vague one that they would share in the blessings which came from the programme contractors. I hope, therefore, that the hon. Gentleman will indicate later whether that is the kind of thing he would like to see in the contracts and how, if they are not submitted to him, he can hope to ensure that his wishes in this matter are fulfilled?

This is a simple Amendment. We regard the legal provisions of this Bill as so extremely complicated that it will be unfair to expect the I.T.A. to bear the full responsibility for translating them into legal contracts. Therefore, it is desirable that the Postmaster-General, with the full weight of support from the Law Officers, the Treasury Solicitor and his own Department, should be involved in this matter. We in the House will then also be in a better position to keep an eye on what is done in this matter, to question the Postmaster-General, and to ensure that the purposes as declared by himself and other Government speakers will be fulfilled.

In view of the nod that I saw the hon. Gentleman give his hon. Friend below the Gangway, I can only conclude that he will not accept the Amendment, but I hope he will give further consideration to our proposals.

I rise to second this Amendment for two main reasons. The first is that throughout our discussions in Committee, and now on Report, it has become clear that the power of the programme contractors has been increasing steadily, whereas, when the White Paper was presented, and as the Bill was presented to us originally, the power of the Authority vis-à-vis the programme contractors was to be far greater than it has emerged during the course of the Bill through the House.

If we are to maintain adequate control over the programme contractors through the I.T.A., it is necessary that the Postmaster-General should have the authority and the power to exercise that control. It is not enough for him to have the powers provided in the Bill to control and give directions in certain ways to the Authority. It is necessary that he should have direct control through the I.T.A. over the programme contractors, and it is only in this way that direct control can be instituted.

The second reason is not only that it is necessary for us to have the power to question the Assistant Postmaster-General in the House regarding these contracts, but that we shall have a certain amount of control over the Authority to see that it fulfils its obligations. The Authority has so much power given to it in the Bill, and it will be responsible for this new medium of commercial television, of which we have no experience and which nobody really wants except a few people who are forcing it upon the Government. It is important, therefore, that this new medium should be subject to control because, if the I.T.A. is to fulfil the obligations imposed upon it by the Bill, the Postmaster-General must have the power to control the Authority.

Inasmuch as the Authority makes its own contracts with the programme contractors, and does not have to submit them to the Postmaster-General for his approval, he has no direct control over the companies. I submit it is essential that the Postmaster-General should intervene in this matter. Only by accepting this Amendment will he have that measure of control which we consider necessary for this House to retain over the Authority. Frequently during our debates the Assistant Postmaster-General has pointed out where, and in what way, we can question him regarding the duties of the Authority and the carrying out of its functions. In my view the hon. Gentleman stretched that a little far. He was so anxious to satisfy the House that he told us that we would be able to question him about this and that which, in my view, is going a little beyond what is normally considered to be Ministerial responsibility. I warn the hon. Gentleman, however, that we shall hold him to that. It is on the record now that he can be questioned over a large number of matters, and we shall put down those Questions and demand the answers. If the hon. Gentleman hides behind the iron curtain of no responsibility, as Ministers do frequently, we shall draw his attention to what he has stated during these debates.

As the Assistant Postmaster-General knows so well, we have harboured suspicions as to the personnel who will be responsible for the programme contractors. We have serious misgivings as to the type of person who will be put in control, and if our suspicions are justified, it is more than ever important that there should be control through the Postmaster-General, through the I.T.A., over those persons and we cannot delegate to them the power of operating their companies through the I.T.A. without responsibility to the Postmaster-General.

Therefore, we ask the hon. Gentleman to accept this Amendment and to accept the necessity for his approval of the contracts which the I.T.A. makes with the programme companies. Only thereby will we in this House have sufficient control through him of what is going on. In view of our suspicions, we see no reason why this responsibility should not be accepted by the hon. Gentleman through the I.T.A., through the programme contractors, to this House.

The Authority is to have numerous duties but no teeth. We shall have to examine later the efficacy of the false teeth which are provided in the Bill. They consist entirely of carrying out duties by means of contracts. It is important to know what kinds of duties have to be carried out.

First of all the Authority has to secure by means of the contracts
"that the tone and style of the programmes are predominantly British."
That is a species of boloney—if that is a Parliamentary expression. It is only through the contracts that the Authority can hope to do so. It is only through the contracts that the Authority can exclude matters which offend against
"good taste or decency."
The next point is the "tightrope" paragraph, that they have to secure that the programmes
"maintain a proper balance in their subject-matter and a high general standard of quality."
That can only be done through the contracts. Presentation of news with
"due accuracy and impartiality"
can only be done through the contracts. I need not go through the whole of these extraordinary requirements, this mass of verbiage which constitutes the definition of the duties of the Authority. It is upon their execution of these duties and upon forcing the programme contractors to carry them out, that the proposed public benefits will depend.

Then there is the question of competition and of disqualified persons. It is through the contracts, and only through the contracts that the Authority can give effect to its duties to secure proper competition. It has nothing else. The Assistant Postmaster-General time and time again has refused to accept Amendments which would have given the Authority effective teeth corresponding to all these duties.

The position now is simply that the Authority, poor toothless thing, badgered about by the programme contractors, is to have cast upon it by Parliament a lot of duties embodied in all this verbosity. It is now to be left to stand by itself, equipped with its false teeth and only with its false teeth, to carry out all these things. Surely the Assistant Postmaster-General ought to protect his master's child a little. He ought to see that the contracts are both efficient and sufficient for the purpose. If the Authority is only to have false teeth the Assistant Postmaster-General ought to see that the Authority does not forget to put them in in the morning, and that the contracts allow the Authority to maintain some means of carrying out its duties.

This is all very confidential. Will the hon. and learned Gentleman speak up?

6.15 p.m.

If we seek to ask the Assistant Postmaster-General a Question about the maintenance of proper balance and all the rest of it, he will simply retreat behind the Bill. He will say, "This is entirely a matter for the Authority. It is nothing to do with me that the Authority has not provided itself by contract with any means whatever of carrying out its duties." In consequence, the main purposes of the Bill and such protection as it seeks to give to the public will have completely failed. The hon. Gentleman will say, "I cannot be questioned on that. There is nothing I can do about these contracts." We now ask him to assume responsibility for the contracts and to see that they contain proper provisions for the purposes of the Bill.

The hon. Member for Preston, South (Mr. Shackleton) assumed so charmingly that I could not resist his Amendment that I hate to have to tell him that I can, and that we cannot possibly accept the Amendment because it would seriously detract from our trust and confidence in the Authority. [HON. MEMBERS: "Ah."] I do not mind saying that dozens of times. The whole Bill is based upon it. There is nothing wrong, surely, in saying that we shall have confidence in the Authority that we are setting up.

We have no confidence in the Assistant Postmaster-General.

I am sorry about that. After all the pleasant evenings we have had together I hoped that I might have engendered a little more confidence in me than when we started.

These contracts will basically be commercial, and it would be inappropriate for the Government to interfere with them, especially as many points have already been specified in the Bill and the Postmaster-General has to be consulted in certain directions. The hon. Member for Enfield, East (Mr. Ernest Davies) referred to the powers of the Authority, but many special powers are given to the Postmaster-General with regard to the working of the programme contractors and I do not want to add to them. We must therefore take the attitude either that the Authority can be trusted to embody in its contracts the obligations which are laid upon it in the Bill, or that the Government should interfere in the purely commercial matters on which the Authority has to agree with the programme contractors.

I shudder to think what the business of the House of Commons would and could be like if every contract had to be submitted to Parliamentary Question. It would be intolerable. These contracts are commercial. If every commercial contract could be brought under review in this House, it would be an intolerable state of affairs. We should have to consider such details of the working of the system as the hours allotted to each programme contractor, the arrangements for network operation, and matters of payment. Our Question time would be impossible.

Does not the hon. Gentleman recollect that his Department does just that thing in regard to the MacBrayne mail contract? Exactly the same thing happens in regard to the B.B.C. Secondly, are these really commercial contracts? How is the Authority to preserve the tone, style, balance, competition and all the rest of it if these are to be regarded simply as commercial contracts and yet constitute the Authority's only means of carrying out its obligations?

I shall answer the second question first. The answer is that we regard the Authority as a responsible body and hon. Gentlemen opposite do not. If that is the view of the hon. and learned Gentleman, we must disagree on the matter. He has used a phrase about false teeth about three times in his speech. We regard the Authority as a responsible body entrusted under Act of Parliament with a very responsible job, and we believe that it should be allowed to carry out the job. The hon. and learned Gentleman does not believe that, so we must disagree upon it.

The Assistant Postmaster-General says that it is wrong that the contracts should be subjected to examination in this House. There is no suggestion in the Amendment that the contracts would be made public or laid before the House. We are merely asking that the Postmaster-General should be responsible for them.

The hon. Gentleman is ingenuous if he thinks that, because whatever the Postmaster-General agrees to can be subject to Questions in this House. That is the whole point about it, and I think the House realises that.

With regard to MacBrayne's contract, I am perfectly certain that I can be asked Questions about it. Here we are setting up an Authority to do a job, and I suggest that we let it do it. For those reasons, I regret that I cannot accept the Amendment.

I really must say a word on this subject. On a number of occasions the Assistant Postmaster-General has said that we must trust the I.T.A., and then, when we question it, he says, "Well, we must differ between the two sides of the House." He differs with himself on the point. He tells us to trust the I.T.A., but the whole Bill arises from the fact that he himself does not trust it. There would be no need for a Bill laying down these complicated checks, balances and all the rest, if he trusted the Authority.

Why, if he trusts it, has the Postmaster-General set up a committee mandatory on the I.T.A.? If he trusts it, why has he inserted the Clause forbidding prize programmes? If the Postmaster-General really trusts the I.T.A., as he asks us to trust it, why does he do that? The hon. Gentleman says that it is purely commercial business, but, in fact, these contracts deal with types and classes of goods dealt with in Clause 4. They are referred to in the Clause just because they are more than commercial matters. They are the whole body and being of the programmes; the whole of the thing about which we are talking.

The truth is that everything depends on these contracts if the Bill is to make sense. Nothing can be enforced except through the contracts. The Assistant Postmaster-General says that the I.T.A. has great authority, but when we trace the transmission of this Authority down to what happens in the programme, we find that there are many weak links in that transmission. If there are any defects in these contracts, then none of the things we want and none of the things which the hon. Gentleman says he wants can be enforced, when it all turns on these contracts.

At no point in the whole of the Bill is the Postmaster-General in relation with the programme contractors. He is in relation with them only indirectly through the Authority, and the Authority can enforce its desires only by the contract. Therefore, if, as we suggest in this Amendment, the Postmaster-General comes into relation with the contractors at one point, only then can any of the elaborate structure in the Bill be effective. The hon. Gentleman does not like the reference to "false teeth" in regard to the Bill. But he has created this great, fierce-looking watchdog of the I.T.A. and has then equipped it with false teeth. That is why we feel very strongly indeed about this Amendment, and why we must take the matter to a Division.

I wish to raise two points The Assistant Postmaster-General's case would have held good if in the Bill she had taken to himself the same powers as he has over the B.B.C., but up to the present he has refused to do that. In the last analysis, as I have said on two or three occasions—and the Assistant Postmaster-General is agreed on this—the hon. Gentleman can exercise power even over the programmes of the B.B.C. In practice, that is not done, and, therefore, it was necessary for us to table this Amendment

Now I come to the hypothetical matter raised about asking Questions concerning the network over which the programmes are to be sent out. I do not see anything particularly wrong in that, and it seems

Division No. 161.]


[6.28 p.m.

Aitken W. T.Cary, Sir RobertFisher, Nigel
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)Channon, H.Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F
Alport, C. J. M.Churchill, Rt. Hon. Sir WinstonFletcher-Gooke, C.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)Ford, Mrs. Patricia
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)Fort, R.
Arbuthnot, JohnClyde, Rt. Hon. J. L.Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)Cole, NormanFyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.Colegate, W. A.Galbraith, Rt. Hon. T. D. (Pollok)
Baldwin, A. E.Conant, Maj. Sir RogerGalbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)
Barber, AnthonyCooper, Sqn. Ldr. AlbertGammans, L. D.
Barlow, Sir JohnCooper-Key, E. M.George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd
Baxter, Sir BeverleyCraddook, Beresford (Spelthorne)Glover, D.
Beach, Maj. HicksCrookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.Godber, J. B.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)Crouch, R. F.Gough, C. F. H.
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)Gower, H. R.
Birch., NigelCrowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)Graham, Sir Fergus
Bishop, F. P.Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)Grimond, J.
Boothby, Sir R. J. G.Deedes, W. F.Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)
Bossom, Sir A. C.Digby, S. WingfieldGrimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. ADodds-Parker, A. D.Hall, John (Wycombe)
Boyle, Sir EdwardDonaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McAHare, Hon. J. H.
Braine, B. R.Doughty, C. J. A.Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)Drayson, G. B.Harris, Reader (Heston)
Braithwaite, Sir GurneyDrewe, Sir C.Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.Dugdale, Rt. Hon. Sir T. (Richmond)Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)
Brooman-White, R. C.Duthie, W. S.Hay, John
Browne, Jack (Govan)Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir D. M.Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. TEden, Rt. Hon. A.Heath, Edward
Bullard, D. G.Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)Henderson, John (Cathcart)
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.Higgs, J. M. C.
Burden, F. F. A.Erroll, F. J.Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)
Campbell, Sir DavidFinlay, GraemeHinchingbrooke, Viscount

to me that it might be necessary, particularly if the programmes cause interference with other types of traffic. To take a more concrete example in which hon. Members on this side of the House are more interested, why should we not have the power to ask whether the fair wages clause is being operated vis-à-vis the actors and actresses who will be taking part in these performances? At the present time, we can do that in regard to any Government contract. Why should we not be able to do it with regard to the Independent Television Authority? That seems to be quite a reasonable proposition.

In this debate today, the hon. Gentleman has proceeded to build up the traditional house of cards and then to knock it down with his own arguments. There is nothing objectionable in this Amendment. It is an attempt to get in respect of the I.T.A. precisely the same powers as the Minister has over the B.B.C., and I am very disappointed that, on consideration, the Assistant Postmaster-General does not see fit to incorporate the Amendment in the Bill.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 263; Noes, 240.

Hirst, GeoffreyMarshall, Douglas (Bodmin)Shepherd, William
Holland-Martin, C. J.Maude, AngusSimon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Holt, A. F.Maudling, R.Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Hope, Lord JohnMaydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L C.Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. HenryMedlicott, Brig, F.Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.Mellor, Sir JohnSnadden, W. McN.
Horobin, I. M.Molson, A. H. E.Soames, Capt. C.
Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir WalterSpearman, A. C. M.
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)Moore, Sir ThomasSpeir, R. M.
Hulbert, Wing Cdr. N. J.Morrison, John (Salisbury)Spens, Rt. Hon. Sir P. (Kensington, S.)
Hurd, A. R.Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'rgh, W.)Nabarro, G. D. N.Stevens, Geoffrey
Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.Neave, AireyStewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.Nicholls, HarmarStoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Iremonger, T. L.Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)Storey, S.
Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)Nield, Basil (Chester)Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Noble, Cmdr. A. H. PStudholme, H. G.
Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)Nugent, G. R. H.Summers, G. S.
Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.Oakshott, H. D,Sutcliffe, Sir Harold
Kerby, Capt. H. B.Odey, G. W.Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Kerr, H. W.O'Neill, Hon. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Lambert, Hon. G.Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.Teeling, W.
Lambton, ViscountOrr, Capt. L. P. S.Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
Langford-Holt, J. A.Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Leather, E. H. C.Osborne, C.Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Page, R. G.Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Loch, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)Peake, Rt. Hon. O.Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N
Linstead, Sir H. N.Perkins, Sir RobertTilney, John
Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)Peto, Brig. C. H. M.Touche, Sir Gordon
Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)Peyton, J. W. W.Turner, H. F. L.
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.Pickthorn, K. W M.Turton, R. H.
Longden, GilbertPitman, I. J.Vaughan-Morgan, J K
Low, A. R. W.Powell, J. EnochVosper, D. F.
Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. LWakefield, Sir Wavell (St. Marylebone)
Lucas-Tooth, Sir HughProfumo, J. D.Walker-Smith, D. C
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.Raikes, Sir VictorWall, Major Patrick
McAdden, S. J.Rayner, Brig. R.Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.Redmayne, M.Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Macdonald, Sir PeterRees-Davies, W. R.Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C
Mackeson, Brig. Sir HarryRemnant, Hon. P.Watkinson, H. A.
McKibbin, A. J.Renton, D. L. M.Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)Ridsdale, J. E.Wellwood, W.
Maclay, Rt. Hon. JohnRoberts, Peter (Heeley)Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Maclean, FitzroyRobertson, Sir DavidWilliams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.)Robson-Brown, W.Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)Roper, Sir HaroldWilliams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)Ropner, Col. Sir LeonardWills, G.
Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)Russell, R. S.Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.Wood, Hon. R.
Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hon. Sir RSavory, Prof. Sir Douglas
Markham, Major Sir FrankSchofield, Lt.-Col. W.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Marlowe, A. A. H.Scott, R. DonaldMr. Kaberry and
Marples, A. E.Scott-Miller, Cmdr. RMr. Richard Thompson.


Acland, Sir RichardCallaghan, L. JEdwards, W. J. (Stepney)
Adams, RichardCarmichael, J.Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)
Albu, A. H.Castle, Mrs. B. AEvans, Edward (Lowestoft)
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)Champion, A. J.Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)
Alton, Scholefield (Crewe)Chetwynd, G. RFernyhough, E.
Awbery, S. S.Clunie, J.Fienburgh, W.
Bacon, Miss AliceColdrick, W.Finch, H. J.
Baird, J.Collick, P. HFletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)
Bartley, P.Cove, W. G.Follick, M.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.Craddook, George (Bradford, S.)Foot, M. M.
Benson, G.Crosland, C. A. R.Forman, J. C.
Beswick, F.Cullen, Mrs A.Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)
Bing, G. H. C.Daines, P.Freeman, John (Watford)
Blackburn, F.Darling, George (Hillsborough)Gibson, C. W.
Blenkinsop, A.Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)Gooch, E. G.
Blyton, W. R.Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C
Boardman, H.Davies, Harold (Leek)Greenwood, Anthony
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. GDavies, Stephen (Merthyr)Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)
Bowdon, H. Freitas, GeoffreyGriffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)
Bowles, F. G.Deer, G.Griffiths, William (Exchange)
Brockway, A. F.Delargy, H. J.Hale, Leslie
Brook, Dryden (Halifax)Dodds, N. N.Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Donnelly, D. L.Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)Hamilton, W. W.
Brown, Thomas (Ince)Edelman, M.Hannan, W.
Burke, W. A.Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)Hargreaves, A.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)

Hastings, S.Messer, Sir F.Skeffington, A. M.
Hayman, F. H.Mikardo, IanSlater Mrs. H. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.)Mitchison, G. RSlater, J.
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis)Monslow, W.Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Herbison, Miss M.Moody, A. S.Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Hewitson, Capt. M.Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.Snow, J. W.
Hobson, C. R.Morley, R.Sorensen, R. W.
Holman, P.Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Holmes, HoraceMorrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)Sparks, J. A.
Houghton, DouglasMort, D. L.Steele, T.
Hoy, J. H.Moyle, A.Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Hubbard, T. F.Mulley, F. WStrachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)Nally, W.Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. JStross, Dr. Barnett
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)Oldfield, W. H.Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Oliver, G. H.Swingler, S. T.
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Orbach, M.Sylvester, G. O.
Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)Oswald, T.Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.Padley, W. E.Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
Janner, B.Paget, R. T.Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.Paling, Ht. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Jeger, Mrs. LenaPaling, Will T. (Dewsbury)Thornton, E.
Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)Palmer, A. M. F.Timmons, J.
Johnson, James (Rugby)Panned, CharlesTomney, F.
Jones, David (Hartlepool)Pargiter, G. A.Turner-Samuels, M.
Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)Parker, J.Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)Parkin, B. TViant, S. P.
Keenan, W.Paton, J.Warbey, W. N.
Key, Rt. Hon. C. WPearson, A.Watkins, T. E.
King, Dr. H. M.Peart, T. F.Weitzman, D.
Kinley, J.Plummer, Sir LeslieWells, Percy (Faversham)
Lawson, G. M.Popplewell, E.Wells, William (Walsall)
Lee, Frederick (Newton)Porter, G.West, D. G.
Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)Wheeldon, W. E.
Lever, Harold (Cheetham)Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)Proctor, W. T.White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Lewis, ArthurPryde, D. J.Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Lindgren, G. S.Pursey, Cmdr. H.Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B
Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.Rankin. JohnWilkins, W. A.
Logan, D. G.Reeves, J.Willey, F. T.
MacColl, J. E.Reid, Thomas (Swindon)Williams, David (Neath)
McInnes, J.Reid, William (Camlachie)Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
McKay, John (Wallsend)Robens, Rt. Hon. A.Williams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'll'y)
McLeavy, F.Roberts, Albert (Normanton)Willams, W. R. (Drolyisden)
McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S)
Mainwaring, W. H.Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)Willis, E. G.
Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)Ross, WilliamWoodburn, Rt. Hon. A
Mann, Mrs. JeanRoyle, C.Wyatt, W. L.
Manuel, A. C.Shackleton, E. A. A.Yates, V. F.
Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.Short, E. W.Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Mason, RoySilverman, Julius (Erdington)
Mayhew, C. P.Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mellish, R. J.Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)Mr. Wallace and Mr. John Taylor.

I beg to move, in page 4, line 26, after "than," to insert "as."

This Amendment is to correct a grammatical error. It is probably the first, and to judge from the Assistant Postmaster-General's present mood, the last Opposition Amendment which the Government are likely to accept. I do not blame them for the slip—the Bill was obviously drafted by advertising agents.

I am glad that the hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) has found something really effective to which he can object. I am grateful to him for drawing atten- tion to this grammatical error and I shall be pleased to accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move, in page 5, line 26, to leave out from "under," to "section," in line 27.

This is purely a drafting Amendment. The Wireless Telegraphy Acts, 1904 to 1926, have ceased to operate as from 1st June, and Part I of the 1949 Act is now in force in their place.

Amendment agreed to.