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New Clause—(Personal Allowance— 100 Per Cent Disablement)

Volume 529: debated on Tuesday 29 June 1954

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The following section shall be added to Part VIII of the Income Tax Act, 1952:—

"228A. If the claimant proves that during the whole of the year of assessment—
  • (a) he has been in receipt of a war disablement pension or an industrial injury pension granted by the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance and determined by reference to one hundred per cent. disablement, or
  • (b) though not in receipt of a one hundred per cent, war disablement pension or industrial injury pension he nevertheless is disabled in manner and degree equivalent to one hundred per cent, disablement, he shall be entitled to a deduction from the amount of income tax with which he is chargeable equal to tax at the standard rate on one hundred pounds."—[Mr. Willey.]
  • Brought up, and read the First time.

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

    The purpose of the Clause is to provide that a person who, during the whole year of the assessment is suffering to the extent of 100 per cent. disablement as a result of a war or industrial injury, shall be entitled to a personal allowance of £100.

    We concede that special provision is made by way of tax-free grants in the case of wound and disability pensions to ex-Service men, but those of us who have put down the new Clause believe, as the Royal Commission believe, that such provisions do not by any means cover the whole field which ought to be covered if real justice is to be done between taxpayers. I concede also that there are administrative difficulties. It would not serve our purpose to deny that. But we believe, as the Royal Commission believe, that the difficulties are not insuperable and that they ought to be faced.

    To illustrate the hardship that we have in mind, I will quote a letter that I have received from a disabled person. He writes:
    "My case is a typical example of this injustice. I am paralysed in the arms and legs and have never been able to walk. Although I pay at least £4 a week for male attendants, there is no statutory allowance for this and only a small compassionate allowance. Consequently, I have to pay the full rate of tax, and have done this since the beginning of the last war, on money which has already been paid out through my infirmity."
    We are suggesting a limited concession only in such cases. When I pointed out to my correspondent what we proposed to do by means of the new Clause, he very properly pointed out to me:
    "… I shall still be under a financial penalty on account of my disablement, because I shall still have to pay tax on money which I have already paid out for attendants and other expenses incurred through my infirmity. As the minimum allowance of Income Tax for me will be £100, but as I usually pay a minimum of £4 a week for male attendants, on this item alone I shall still have to pay tax amounting to almost £50 which I am very sure is unfair because it is penalising me and putting me at a financial disadvantage because of my infirmity, and there must be many like me."
    There are many like my correspondent. I would point out that it is only a limited alleviation for which we are pleading.

    I shall quote one more case which may have escaped the attention of the Economic Secretary. A letter appeared in the "Sunday Express" a short while ago. In view of the powerful lobby which the Beaverbrook Press exercises on the Government, I should like to quote the letter:
    "Four years ago in the last week of April at the age of 54 years, I had a leg amputated above the knee. I returned to work on 1st September on crutches. Thus, as now, I had to engage a taxi to take me to and from my work at a cost of £174 4s. in amount. I approached the Inland Revenue about a possible tax rebate and received a courteous reply regretting no rebate was possible."
    We always receive a courteous reply, whether the answer is satisfactory or not, because no one can deny that the Chancellor and the other Treasury Ministers possess the Parliamentary quality of courtesy.

    6.15 p.m.

    There are hundreds of such cases, and I should have thought that the Committee as a whole would have been anxious to take the opportunity of doing something to help such disabled persons. After all, that is the view taken by the Royal Commission, which said:
    "The taxpayer's own disability is hardly recognised under the existing system. Yet there are many kinds of disability (putting aside age, which is provided for by a special relief) so severe that they modify the whole conditions of a person's life and impose upon him a constant levy of extra expense that may fairly be said to affect the taxable capacity of his Income."
    We accept that, and we are trying to support the conclusions reached by the Royal Commission. The Royal Commission faced the practical difficulties and said that there should be some clear definition of disability. We propose in our Clause to accept the recommendation made by the Royal Commission. The Royal Commission had to estimate what a proper allowance would be, and it suggested a figure of not less than £100. After considering the matter, it recommended:
    "Grave incapacity (comparable to the 100 per cent. disability recognised in the administration of war pensions) should give rise to a claim for a tax allowance, which should be at least £100. This would supersede the anomalous and limited relief that is now available in those cases where an incapacitated taxpayer has an unmarried daughter to look after him."
    Surely this is a plain straightforward case on the basis of the examples which I have given, and they could be repeated by the score by my hon. Friends. The Clause has the support of the authority of the Royal Commission. As in the case of the old-age pensioners, the Government will probably say that they must wait. The Government's reply to the case put to the old-age pensioners is that everyone concedes that the old-age pensioners are entitled to a concession, but the Government say, "Let us find some pretext or other and wait."

    Surely the Government will not adopt that formula in this case, saying that they want the opportunity of looking at the whole field in order to ensure that justice is done to all cases. That is not good enough. This case is patent and obvious. It is recognised without reservation or qualification by the Royal Commission. The Committee ought to say quite plainly that this is an injustice which ought not to be tolerated any longer. The Government should recognise that hardship is involved and that they will have to face up to the problem sooner or later and might as well face up to it today.

    Let the Economic Secretary tell his officials that he knows very well the patient way in which they examine the whole field of taxation but that this matter has been thrust before him on the initiative of the Opposition and that it affords him an opportunity to make a concession. Without saying more at this stage, I hope the Economic Secretary will indicate that he is willing to accept the new Clause and so remedy the anomaly and put an end to this hardship forthwith.

    I have very much pleasure in supporting the proposed Clause.

    The Exchequer, when all is said and done, can assume only a given liability. Many calls are made upon it to do something more than has been done in the past, and in every case the question which arises is whether the claim which is being put forward is one which ought to be supported. All sorts of claims are made, and the Exchequer has to balance one against another. This claim ought readily to be received by the Treasury, because it is an attempt to do something more for ex-Service men who are 100 per cent. disabled. Not only that, but it brings in the men in industry who have been injured while at their work, and, by that means, it tends to be equal to all those injured in a similar way.

    The question is: is there anything outstanding about these particular claims? Some may ask why should we have a special benefit for men who already have an income from the State in the shape of a pension. Such people argue that instead of these men being worse off than the ordinary man, they are in a much better position. I do not think that that is quite the view that should be taken.

    Take the case of an industrial man who has a 100 per cent. disability pension. What is his position? He may have disablement and other benefits, but we should remember that in all probability if he were in a position to earn he would have on the average £10 a week. Because of his disability his income is reduced to £5 or £4 a week. Even if there is an allowance for the injury and the harm suffered, that does not in any way meet his position and he is far from being as well off as he was before he was injured.

    This Clause calls attention to the fact that he has not been fully compensated for the disability sustained. He is in a very much worse economic position than he used to be, and the point we are trying to emphasise is that there are men throughout the country who have a tremendous liability because of incapacity. Most of us will admit that any man, no matter how he may be incapacitated, is under a disability compared with those who do not suffer as he has. Therefore, any of these men who have the grit, determination and courage to go into the labour field with this disability are entitled to special consideration and should be given whatever relief is possible for Income Tax purposes.

    The question then rises: how much can the Exchequer give? But there is something in addition to that. There is the question of holding the balance. Which of these particular cases should receive benefit? On this Motion we cannot discuss other cases and the consideration which should attach to other payments and allowances. What we have to do is to ask ourselves whether the Exchequer, despite the number of claims on it, examines the claims that are existing and does justice in the way that it helps the worst kind of case. To my mind, it does not. This Government have not done it, and I would not say that past Governments have done it either. The Exchequer has a responsibility to allocate whatever money can be spared to the most deserving cases, and I think that the class of people we have in mind in this Clause come under that category.

    In 1953 the Government decided to place in a specially advantageous position not the aged people in the ordinary sense, but the aged people with about £15,000 in investments who wore getting between £600 and £700 a year from those investments. They were so hard up that they had to get some extra advantage over and above what they had before. They were allowed another £100 on which they could claim Income Tax deductions.

    That is a typical case of the Government stepping out to help a particular class of the community which has behind it thousands of pounds, and which was given the additional advantage of extra relief. The Government have applied some special relief to another section of the community, the companies. The rich companies are given an investment allowance. I know that I am getting out of order, and I must return quickly to the subject under discussion.

    We admit that there are administrative difficulties, but if that be so, on the other hand, there are no administrative difficulties for the men in the Armed Forces or for the men receiving disablement benefits under insurance. The chief difficulty is applying this particular Clause to others who have not come under the system of examination and have not been declared 100 per cent. disabled.

    All I want to stress is that if this Clause will create administrative difficulties—that is something with which we do not altogether agree—I would appeal to the Government to consider the matter in the light of the need for it. The Government have a discretion. They can overcome the administrative difficulties and extend to these disabled people the relief which we are now advocating.

    How much will it cost? How many men are there who are 100 per cent. disabled, either through industrial injury or through the Armed Forces? A good many will not qualify for taxation relief because they do not pay tax at all. So a very big percentage will not be able to claim this relief or the full amount. It is likely, therefore, that this will cost a small amount, and in dealing with these cases let us remember that we are dealing with ex-Service men and men from industry who have given the best of their lives in the service of their country. Now that they are disabled they have a special claim on us all.

    We appeal to the Government to try to work the scheme proposed in this new Clause. If the wording is not acceptable then we hope that its principle will be.

    6.30 p.m.

    I should like to support the plea which has been made by my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey) and my hon. Friend the Member for Wallsend (Mr. McKay) for special consideration for this new Clause. If it were one on which the British people could give an opinion, there would be general support for it. What are we seeking to do? We are seeking to give some financial relief to those within our society who are suffering the greatest hardship.

    The case has been well put, particularly for the ex-Service men and for the workers coming under the Industrial Injuries Acts. I do not want to cover that ground, but the claim of those born with a disability or of those who have subsequently developed a disability making them almost completely dependent upon others, is one which the hon. Gentleman ought to try to accept here and now.

    I know of one or two cases of people born paralysed, people who, from the day they were born up to the present time, are completely dependent upon the kindness, sympathy, tolerance and patience of others. And because of the kindness and sympathy and tolerance shown to them they have overcome a severe physical handicap to a large extent and have fitted themselves to be useful members of our society. Some of them are making a worthwhile contribution to society, but to do so they have to meet expenses which no able-bodied person has to face. One man I know needs a male nurse to attend to him each morning and evening and has to be conveyed from his home to his place of employment. He has to meet the total cost of that.

    Let us assume, however, that he had come from a home which had neglected him and that, by the time he had become an adult, he was incapable of following any occupation or of doing anything for himself. In those circumstances, the State would have had the responsibility of providing hospital or nursing treatment, and it would have cost us a lot more to have given what a Welfare State demands shall be given to people in those circumstances than it would cost to meet this Clause.

    Therefore, I hope that the Economic Secretary will consider this matter seriously. I hope he will recognise that the people on whose behalf we are speaking today are entitled to our admiration and consideration because they have refused to lie down under conditions which have broken thousands. These are the people who, with tenacity and willpower, have overcome tremendous physical handicaps. They are the people we need because they are an example to those of us who have been more fortunate.

    I hope that the pleas which have been made will not fall upon deaf ears and that the Chancellor will see fit to grant this concession immediately, without waiting for the other reforms which presumably he will bring in as and when he decides to review the Income Tax law in the light of the report quoted in this debate by some hon. Members.

    I want to devote myself to that part of the proposed Clause to which reference has just been made, namely, paragraph (b)—

    though not in receipt of a one hundred per cent. war disablement pension or industrial injury pension he nevertheless is disabled in manner and degree equivalent to one hundred per cent. disablement.
    It is already admitted as a principle of taxation that it is the resources available that should be taxed. If we accept that, we must take it into consideration for Income Tax purposes and recognise certain income as being exempt from taxation when it can be shown to be expended in a special way. Nobody will deny that a person handicapped 100 per cent. finds it much more costly to live than does an able-bodied person because he lacks those things which need to be done and for which payment has to be made.

    The House itself has recognised that for, in the National Insurance Act, we give to a section of handicapped people 18s. a week more than to the ordinary recipient of National Assistance because of their handicap of being blind. The same is true of those suffering from tuberculosis. We do not want to deal with this in any sentimental or emotional way, but it is easy to stir the emotions when we see the difficulties of some types of cripple.

    For instance, a person suffering from hemiplegia always has to be carried about because he cannot walk. Again, a person suffering from cerebral palsy or with multiple sclerosis gains our sympathy when describing the difficulty of his life. Indeed, looking at these cases we sometimes wonder whether their lives are worth living at all, but we ought to make their struggle to live as easy as possible.

    This Clause does not do much more than say, "We recognise that you are not an ordinary individual and that it is not possible for you to live in the way that an ordinary person lives." And those coming within the Income Tax scale are handicapped to a greater extent than those who are living on Public Assistance, because the later are provided with service in addition to the amount of money they receive, and this is denied to those others.

    I do not want to make a long speech, but it is obvious that justice demands that we should recognise the position occupied by these people. Already, nature has dealt with them harshly. They have never suffered from an accident, there has been nothing sensational to bring about the conditions under which they live; they have just contracted a disease. Even a disease such as arthritis may be responsible for a man becoming a complete cripple. For these reasons, I hope that the Treasury will recognise that there is a just claim and will accept the proposed Clause.

    I have spent many years working among handicapped people and I had the privilege not long ago of introducing a deputation to the Financial Secretary on one of the special aspects of disablement in an endavour to elicit his sympathy on the very important matter which is now before the Committee. The disability with which I was concerned was that of blindness. We wanted to put to the right hon. Gentleman the position of those persons who have had the courage to take up professional training and have set up in the professional field for which they were trained. We put to the right hon. Gentleman the cost of being blind and I want to put it now to the Economic Secretary.

    My hon. Friend the Member for Tottenham (Sir F. Messer) has spoken of the position of those who suffer from other disabilities, who cause us such great distress when we meet them face to face and have to live with them. All these disabilities involve a special cost. A blind lawyer, for example, has considerably higher expenses than has his seeing colleagues. He has to have a reader, an amanuensis and special books, and new legislation must be put into Braille for him. These are additional expenses which should be considered by the Treasury in relation to the proposed new Clause.

    I have not the slightest doubt that the Economic Secretary is the most kindhearted person on the Front Bench opposite. [An HON. MEMBER: "That is not saying much."] All these disabilities entail an individual charge and it is one of the axioms of welfare services that work is of the finest therapeutic value. There is nothing that makes a man feel that he is as good as his neighbour, although he is deprived of one of his senses, than that he is able to go into the industrial, professional or commercial field and make his contribution on an economic basis. It exalts his spirit and makes him feel that he is as good as the next man. Therefore, I hope that for all these reasons the Economic Secretary will look with sympathy at the new Clause.

    I have no doubt that the Economic Secretary has a handful of reasons for doing nothing about this new proposal. Some of the difficulties about it, which no doubt he has in mind, were referred to in the relevant paragraph of the second interim Report of the Royal Commission, upon whose recommendations the new Clause is based. There are here two major problems, one of equity and the other of administration. Apart from both those problems there is always the natural reluctance of any Chancellor to introduce a new form of Income Tax relief, because he is never sure where it will lead him. He looks with special caution upon any new move into the blue. That is why the Chancellor sticks to the well-tried allowances in the Income Tax code. He feels that there is greater safety in them.

    The Royal Commission referred to the cautious approach which they felt it necessary to make and they confined their proposals to 100 per cent. disablement. The question arises of those who are 80 per cent. or 60 per cent. disabled. Is there a proportionate expense of a lower order incurred by those whose disablement is not the full 100 per cent.? We have to admit the limitations of a proposal which is confined to 100 per cent, disablement, freely acknowledge it and experiment with it. I do not think that there is anything which need deter the Chancellor from making an experiment with a new allowance of this kind.

    The condition of 100 per cent. disablement is easily ascertainable in the case of those who are drawing disablement pension under the war disabilities scheme or who are in receipt of an industrial injury pension. It is not so easy to decide when the person concerned suffers from a congenital deformity or is a cripple who is not subject to medical assessment for pension purposes. The Royal Commission dealt with the problem of administration. Somebody has to decide whether a claimant is 100 per cent. disabled.

    Would not that be done by the tribunal which sits for the purposes of the Disabled Persons Act?

    6.45 p.m.

    I am quite sure, and I was about to make the point, that notwithstanding that difficulty some authoritative source of medical assessment of disablement could be made available. After all, it has been made available already in other matters which lead to considerably more expenditure of State money than does Income Tax relief.

    As for the administration, as long as the Inland Revenue knew what its source of authority was to be, it would be wholly a matter of medical assessment of the degree of disablement and any appeal against the medical assessment would have to be made to the body that was responsible for it and not to the Inland Revenue authorities. In a matter of this kind the Income Tax authorities cannot be the judges of whether the claimant is entitled to relief or not. That evidence must be provided by those who are in a position to do so. If we had that made clear, that duty would not be mixed up with the administration. Inland Revenue officials are many things, but they are not doctors.

    Another difficulty which must be borne in mind and frankly faced is the problem of 100 per cent. disablement arising from advancing age. Age relief is already given to the taxpayer when he or his wife reaches the age of 65. Where age relief is due, earned income relief is given to the relief of unearned income when the taxpayer is getting old. That is a concession to old people who may be living on the yield of investments saved during their lifetime. They are given an income relief which normally applies to pensions.

    Here we have the case of an old person who is completely disabled by old age and who claims to be entitled to this relief on the same footing as a younger person who has a physical or mental disablement, which is more clearly recognisable as a disablement than is the process of getting old. The Royal Commission deals with this matter in paragraph 204 of its Report. It suggests that at an advanced age—it may be 75 or 80 and it could be 93 in the case of my father—the 100 per cent. disablement allowance could apply automatically. It is a matter of argument whether it should be done that way.

    The alternative would be to enable persons of any age to claim the relief and if those persons became 100 per cent. disabled because of the declining years they could claim it on the same footing as a younger person who was 100 per cent. disabled. That would leave out of the relief the hale and hearty octogenarian, proud of his vigour and vitality, who can do 10 miles a day and who might spurn being regarded as 100 per cent. disabled when, obviously, he is not.

    I hope the Economic Secretary will give us a little more comfort on this matter. It seems a little discouraging to have to wait for the Report of the Royal Commission before we can do anything about allowances and then for the Chancellor to say, "I cannot do anything about anything until I can do something about everything." That is a very disappointing doctrine. Here is something on which, apart from all other allowances and reliefs which the Chancellor may have to consider arising out of the Royal Commission's Report, he can make so bold as to meet the wishes of the Committee and, I believe, of the general public, by giving a new allowance. With all its difficulties of administration and other problems it would surely be a worthwhile adventure for an otherwise cautious Chancellor of the Exchequer.

    I do not apologise for taking a few minutes of the time of the Committee to say, in the first place, that I do not think there would be any difficulty, medically, in stating whether a case was 100 per cent, disability or not. For war pensions and under the Industrial Injuries Scheme we already have schedules and we know what is meant by 100 per cent. disability.

    If any cases cropped up which were doubtful—for instance, disseminated sclerosis—knowing that the medical tribunals are assessing these cases from day to day and are quite used to doing so under guidance from the Ministry, there would be no difficulty in being able to advise the Inland Revenue as to whether a case was 100 per cent. disability or not.

    Obviously, people blind in both eyes are disabled 100 per cent. and so are those who are paralysed in both lower limbs—the paraplegic, who has to shuffle his way through life with the aid of crutches or two sticks because his muscles are wasting and he can hardly walk. These are obviously assessed at 100 per cent. disabled.

    In so many of these cases it is true that they have expenses of living not normally met with by people who enjoy full activity and vigour or reasonably full activity and vigour. One or two cases have been quoted. I have one in mind in Stoke-on-Trent of a solicitor who, whilst a young officer in the Army, developed a transverse myelitis of the spinal cord. As a result, both lower limbs are completely paralysed, and will be so long as he lives. With the lion-hearted courage of people of his kind—which we should encourage—he qualified as a solicitor, is in active practice, and has been ever since he qualified.

    Such people have to have a special house in which to live; they cannot climb up stairs and have to have a bungalow. That is an obvious expense. If they are to have transport, with all the courage they have available they learn to drive a car specially adjusted with special controls; maybe they use a wheel chair. Some of these people have to have special assistance to get into bed, to bathe or to be helped out of a bath, and so on.

    We realise that as we are dealing with such a limited number of cases the expense to the Treasury can never be very high. We know the number of people adjudged to be 100 per cent. disabled amongst the war pensioners. That number runs into only a very few thousand, so the Economic Secretary could very well give us a favourable answer.

    We hear so much in this House about offering people incentives to strive with all their might to enrich the country, to increase production and to make businessmen keen to develop new markets. Why should we not offer an incentive to people who have shown sufficient courage to be able to live when many of us cannot understand how they can survive at all? I think we have made a reasonable claim for the sympathy of the Economic Secretary.

    I speak with, for me, unusual modesty and some difficulty on this subject because it is a subject with which I have been living for the last 30 years at least. I want to stress the plea for those industrially disabled. That does not mean that one could not say a great deal about war disabilities of various kinds, either from diseases or wounds. Disabilities from industrial injuries or disease are just a fraction of the difficulty and disability from which these people suffer. It is very much easier in the case of surgical injuries, disablements and ailments. One can always tell that a disabled limb is different from a quite normal limb.

    In addition to accidental injuries, disablement of limbs and of different parts of the body we have a whole series of industrial disabilities from diseases. We have only to pick up a list of the diseases now scheduled as due to industry to see the great difficulty of proving which are due to industry or a particular section of industry because of the constant fight put up by the employers when they are either exaggerating disabilities a man bad before he started his job or trying to minimise the disability from which he suffers through disease.

    In the course of a year I deal with many cases of lead poisoning and often those cases are dealt with by the best men, even by men employed by firms like Imperial Chemical Industries. Those doctors work exceptionally well in industrial cases, but I am constantly trying to see that trade unionists get a fair deal. It is not an easy problem medically, although many people talk as if it were a case of looking at a man and saying, "Disabled by industry," or "Not disabled by industry." From a medical point of view it sometimes takes, not days, but at intervals, weeks of repeated examination to come to the conclusion that in a particular case a man is suffering as the result of his work and should receive compensation up to the percentage to which he is entitled.

    Sometimes the disability is near 100 per cent. for a certain period whilst for another period it is very much less. People talk of a 100 per cent. pension for disability as if the disability were actually continual and static at the same level all the time. That is not so. A man may be capable of doing certain work on one occasion, but during the next three months he may be quite disabled because of the same sort of disability. We tend to regard these cases as neurotic when they are nothing of the kind.

    7.0 p.m.

    It is not an easy problem. Doctors are not correctly taught, either on the surgical or the medical side, with regard to industrial disability. I only wish that every trade union had its medical officer and that every school had a proper department to instruct the students on mental and surgical disabilities in industry. It is difficult to tell a lay audience about these things. It is difficult to decide whether the present condition of a man Jesuits from his work or if it is a recrudescence of something from which he suffered before starting his present employment. We need much more research and study in connection with these problems. We should ensure that these cases are treated as illustrative of a particular form of disability resulting from a man's occupation and the risks which he may run in carrying it out.

    I know that certain doctors employed by insurance companies tend to regard a man with prejudice as soon as he comes to be examined. They consider that he is trying to "put it on," when the man is doing nothing of the kind. The man may be frightened by the strange circumstances in which he finds himself, although he is anxious to justify his case and to prove that he is not normal. I hope that the Home Office, or whichever Department deals with these matters, will take these facts into consideration so that justice may be done to these men.

    I could quote case after case where, after careful examination, I have given an opinion, and said that the case must be fought. But afterwards I have felt that I might have been wrong. These kind of cases are special cases which the authorities should see are properly handled by the medical schools, by the hospitals and by everyone involved. I am sorry if I have not explained myself properly, but it is difficult to do so with the clarity that one would desire. I am satisfied, or at any rate I think, that the men are receiving increasing justice, and that we do not now experience the rank injustices which occurred at one time.

    I wish to support my hon. Friends who have spoken in favour of this new Clause in a series of excellent speeches which were well informed and extremely convincing. I hope that the Economic Secretary will not say that he can do nothing about this, because it is one of a number of proposals in the Royal Commission's Report, and that he cannot do anything about any of those proposals. At an earlier stage he implied that that was the attitude which the Government took on the matter. I hope that I have misunderstood him, because I think it a very unreasonable attitude to adopt.

    One could understand, where there were special complications—special inter-lockings as the hon. Member put it—that some care was necessary before committing oneself to a particular measure. But to say off-hand that you will reject completely all these proposals, whatever they may be, is quite unsatisfactory. Of all the proposals we are putting forward, and which happen to coincide with the Report of the Royal Commission. I think that this one will command the greatest amount of support, both in this Committee and in the country generally. I ask, therefore, that the Economic Secretary should give it very special attention.

    I may say that even had it not been included in the Report of the Royal Commission, there is good reason to suppose that we should have put forward something of this kind, because there is a growing feeling that the present arrangements about taxation in relation to disability are most unsatisfactory. The case has been very well argued already, and I do not propose to detain the Committee by repeating what has been said by others far better than I can say it. But I think that the Royal Commission itself summed up the position extremely well in paragraph 203 of its Report, where it states:
    "Yet there are many kinds of disability (putting aside age, which is provided for by a special relief) so severe that they modify the whole conditions of a person's life and impose upon him a constant levy of extra expense that may fairly be said to affect the taxable capacity of his income."
    I think that that exactly sums up the case for this proposed new Clause.

    As I said earlier, the law relating to tax allowances for disability is not satisfactory. It is not true to say that no provision whatever is made. There is a provision, which we discussed last year, by which, if an infirm or aged person is maintained by a daughter, there is granted an allowance of £40. I think that sum was increased from £25 to £40 last year.

    I understand that in the case of these disabled people the Commissioners have a discretion. They can make a compensating allowance. But that is not a statutory right, and, therefore, identical cases do not necessarily receive identical treatment.

    My hon. Friend has made a valuable contribution to my general argument, that the law as it stands is not satisfactory and cannot be left as it is. As the Royal Commission pointed out, there is no particular reason why an allowance should be granted statutorily in respect of the case where an infirm person is looked after by a daughter, and not granted in other cases where there does not happen to be a daughter. That being so, the Treasury must face the problem and try to find a solution.

    We have adopted in the new Clause the solution proposed by the Royal Commission. I need not say anything more about that. Admittedly, there are weaknesses in it. My hon. Friend the Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton) pointed out, with others, the difficulties of drawing the line at the 100 per cent. disability, but most hon. Members would agree that that disability is much the worst. As my hon. Friend the Member for Sowerby and the Royal Commission say this is surely an instance where it would be wise to experiment by granting allowance in these cases.

    What are the possible objections? First, we must ask whether it will cost a great deal. I cannot suppose that the cost is a serious objection. I am glad to see that the Economic Secretary shakes his head, I think to agree that it is not a serious objection. Indeed, it could fairly be said that one of the limitations of the new Clause is that there are bound to be a great many disabled persons who would not be paying any Income Tax at all or would be paying at a very low rate, and, therefore, would not get a great deal out of it. That is no answer to the proposition that when they pay tax they should get the relief. It does, however, suggest that the cost will not be at all serious.

    Then, is it the administrative difficulty? I can well understand that, as so often happens, the official brief will point out all the administrative complications, but I must say that I was impressed by what my hon. Friends argued on this subject. Here we have, so to speak, a ready made method by which we can test whether a person will be entitled to the allowance. We have the medical tribunals already in existence. They are doing the work all the time in connection with industrial injuries or war pensions. I cannot see that there is any special difficulty about extending their range to cover these persons—as is implied by paragraph (b) of the new Clause—who do not happen to be receiving either a war pension or an industrial injuries pension. Therefore, I cannot see that there should be any special administrative difficulty. For the moment, I cannot think of any other possible objection.

    I hope that the Economic Secretary will be able to give us a favourable answer. The Treasury, in this Finance Bill, has been extremely rigid and obstinate and unwilling to make any concessions at all. I think that the most that we have had is a few vague promises that possibly something might be looked at on Report. Indeed, now I come to think of it, the only significant concession that has been made was the one made yesterday by the Financial Secretary to his own back benchers in respect of Estate Duty. That certainly gives away quite a lot of money on grounds that I should say are wholly unjustifiable.

    I must say to the Chancellor and the Economic Secretary that some of us feel that it is most unsatisfactory that the Government should make concessions to people who are already extremely well off but be quite unwilling to relieve hardship in the way in which it is proposed to be relieved by the new Clause. I am very glad to support it and I hope that we shall now have a favourabe answer from the Government.

    The subject of disability is one which this Committee would always treat with very great and very special interest and care. There is obviously no denying the arguments that people who suffer from 100 per cent. disablement are entitled to receive special consideration and assistance from the Government. What we must consider is what is the best form for that assistance to take.

    Up till now I think it is right to say that successive Governments have taken the view that it is better to assist the 100 per cent. disabled through direct payments rather than through tax remissions. It has always been the practice of Governments to give to the 100 per cent. disabled direct payments which are free from tax. Unlike many other allowances under the National Insurance system, such as family allowances which are subject to tax, the disability allowances are tax-free.

    The principle which has been followed by successive Governments is that the best way of meeting the manifold circumstances of extensive disability in individual cases is by direct tax-free benefit from the State rather than by tax remission. In the case of tax remission it is clear that only those people who pay tax get the benefit of it and the higher a person's income the greater the benefit he gets because he is paying tax at a higher rate.

    7.15 p.m.

    Therefore, in so far as the State recognises and carries out its obligation to assist these people, we consider that the better way of doing it is by way of direct assistance. I think that it is on this ground that, for example, the previous Government did not feel that they could accept in previous years the plea made for a constant attendant allowance—a matter which has often interested both sides of the Committee. It was for that reason that the previous Administration felt that these matters should be dealt with by direct payment rather than by tax remission.

    The Royal Commission, in its Report, quite clearly gave its opinion that there should be alternatives. Either we should have a tax remission or we should have direct tax-free payments, but we should not have both. I think, at first sight, that there is a good deal to be said for that point of view. That is not the proposition in this proposal. I understand that owing to the rules of order it could not be brought forward, because one cannot propose to take away from people concessions which they have at present. However, it is very much worth considering whether the right way of dealing with the problem should or should not be, if we are to give a tax concession, that we should at the same time make a rule that people cannot draw both the tax concession and tax-free disability relief.

    Then, of course, there is the question of the services of a daughter—the allowance of £40 for a daughter assisting an old or infirm taxpayer. Although the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Leeds, South (Mr. Gaitskell) did not mention it, I think that the Royal Commission recommended that that should be withdrawn. I am not sure that that would be the right thing to do, but it must be considered with the other proposals.

    Then there is the question of the taxpayer over 75 years of age, to whom the hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton) referred. There is the interesting suggestion that people over 75 should automatically be given the entitlement to this new relief as an alternative to the age relief.

    Those are all suggestions which have been put forward by the Royal Commission and they are worthy of very careful consideration before we come to a conclusion on these matters. It is true, also, as has been suggested by several hon. Members in their speeches, that in many ways the proposal would not cover the whole field. It covers the position of a taxpayer who is himself 100 per cent. disabled, but there is a strong claim to come from the taxpayer whose wife is 100 per cent. disabled. There is the question of 90 per cent. or 80 per cent. disability.

    One or two hon. Members anticipated that I would raise the point of administrative difficulty which the Royal Commission mentioned. There is undoubtedly a difficulty there, but I am prepared to agree that it is not insuperable, though it would be considerably increased if we brought in not only the 100 per cent. but the 90 per cent, or the 80 per cent. disability.

    It is my impression, particularly from what I have heard from my own constituents, including the British Legion in my constituency, that there is a feeling among many people that while a good deal has been done by successive Governments for the 100 per cent. disabled people, those on a lower degree of disablement tend to be overlooked and their claims are not properly attended to. I cannot help feeling that there is a case for thinking that, if anything of this kind is to be done, we should consider whether we could not bring in also the people at a lower disablement than 100 per cent.

    I have introduced all these considerations to show why, in our opinion, we do not think it would be right now to proceed with this proposal.

    The hon. Gentleman has referred to people who are actually getting monetary benefit from the State. He has not dealt with the people who are born with an incapacity or who subsequently develop an incapacity and who receive no benefit from the State.

    I agree that there is a case for doing something there. It is very strong, but I should have thought that the argument holds good that it is better to try to extend direct benefits from the State rather than to extend tax concessions which benefit less the people at the lower range of income.

    This new Clause commends itself to the sympathies of hon. Members. There is always the feeling that whenever the State can provide additional assistance to any citizens, the disabled, and particularly the 100 per cent. disabled, have one of the strongest claims of all. That my right hon. Friend will continue to bear in mind.

    But I say once again that I think we should consider seriously whether it is not better, in principle, to continue to give and extend, and, as soon as possible, increase, direct tax-free payments rather than introduce a new principle of a tax remission, which would only help that limited class of people concerned who are taxpayers.

    Do we understand the Economic Secretary to be giving any promise or undertaking that the Government have such proposals for increased expenditure in mind?

    I had not come to my final words.

    I was going to say that along with the other points which we have discussed earlier this afternoon, this is a matter which my right hon. Friend intends to consider in the course of the next year. He also, as I have said on many occasions, will have in mind continuously the case, not only of the old age pensioner, but also of the disability pensioner. It would be right for my right hon. Friend to link in his consideration both disability pensions and the possibility of tax allowances for the disabled. In those circumstances, my right hon. Friend, though certainly sympathetic with many of the views advanced with such sincerity and force by hon. Members, does not feel, for the reasons I have tried to explain, that he can at this time accept this proposal.

    I have listened with great interest to the debate, as the Committee will appreciate, since for three years I held the office of Minister of Pensions and had a great deal of experience in the administration of 100 per cent. disability pensions and the like.

    At the end of my three years, I left that office very strongly of opinion that many of the hardest cases which had ever come to my attention were those not of people who had received a 100 per cent. war pension, but of those who had received a war pension at a lower rate of assessment but were, nevertheless, 100 per cent. disabled. Among such men will be found very many examples of severe hardship and great human suffering.

    It so happened by a strange coincidence that I received only this morning from the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance a letter relating to a constituent of mine. I shall not go into the whole story, but here is a man—a man with one eye, as it happens—who was called up for war service and who left the service in a state in which he was almost unable to work. He received a 60 per cent. pension in respect of a condition which was recognised as being aggravated by, but not attributable to, war service.

    Subsequently that condition deteriorated, and the man is now admitted by all his medical attenders to be completely unfit for work. His pension, however, is only 60 per cent. He does get an unemployability supplement. If his pension were less than 50 per cent., he would not get even that. But because he is only 60 per cent. war disabled, though 100 per cent. physically disabled, he cannot get the constant attendant allowance; he cannot get the comforts allowance. When his wife had to give up her work, making some pitiful little earnings by charring and that kind of thing, to look after him, he is ineligible for the constant attendant allowance, too, because he is not technically 100 per cent. war disabled.

    That sort of case is extremely hard indeed. My constituent would not benefit by any concession under Income Tax, because the whole of his income consists of tax-free allowances. Even if it were not tax-free, it is such a small weekly sum that I dare say he would not pay tax even under the ordinary arrangement. The point I wanted to make is that if at some future date—we have no guarantee whatever about it—any improvement is to be made in the present war pensions system, it is particularly necessary in that direction. That is why I was glad to see on the Order Paper that the proposed new Clause provided for tax relief not only to those in receipt of 100 per cent. war pension or 100 per cent. industrial injuries grant, but also to those who are, in fact, 100 per cent. disabled.

    We have listened with some interest, without surprise, and with considerable regret, to the Economic Secretary telling as how difficult all this is. We have heard him say that he appreciates the problem and that he is sympathetic, but that there are all kinds of difficulties in the way of doing what we ask. At the same time,

    Division No. 182.]

    AYES

    [7.26 p.m.

    Adams, RichardFletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
    Albu, A. H.Follick, M.MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
    Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)Foot, M. M.Mainwaring, W. H.
    Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)Forman, J. C.Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
    Awbery, S. S.Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
    Bacon, Miss AliceGaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.Mann, Mrs. Jean
    Baird, J.Gibson, C. W.Manuel, A. C.
    Balfour, A.Glanville, JamesMarquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
    Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.Gooch, E. G.Mason, Roy
    Bartley, P.Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.Mayhew, C. P.
    Bence, C. R.Grey, C. F.Mellish, R. J.
    Benn, Hon. WedgwoodGriffiths, David (Rother Valley)Messer, Sir F.
    Benson, G.Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Mikardo, Ian
    Beswick, F.Grimond, J.Mitchison, G. R.
    Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)Hale, LeslieMonslow, W.
    Bing, G. H. C.Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.
    Blackburn, F.Hamilton, W. W.Morley, R.
    Blenkinsop, A.Hannan, W.Mulley, F. W.
    Blyton, W. R.Hardy, E. A.Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.
    Boardman, H.Hargreaves, A.Oldfield, W. H.
    Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. GHarrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)Oliver, G. H.
    Bowden, H. W.Hastings, S.Orbach, M.
    Bowles, F. G.Hayman, F. H.Oswald, T.
    Braddock, Mrs. ElizabethHenderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis)Padley, W. E.
    Brockway, A. F.Herbison, Miss M.Paget, R. T.
    Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Hewitson, Capt. M.Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)
    Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Hobson, C. R.Paring, Will T. (Dewsbury)
    Brown, Thomas (Ince)Holman, P.Palmer, A. M. F.
    Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)Holt, A. F.Pannell, Charles
    Callaghan, L. J.Houghton, DouglasPargiter, G. A.
    Champion, A. J.Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)Parker, J.
    Chetwynd, G. R.Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)Paton, J.
    Clunie, J.Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Pearson, A.
    Coldrick, W.Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Plummer, Sir Leslie
    Collick, P. H.Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)Popplewell, E.
    Cove, W. G.Isaacs, Rt Hon. G. A.Porter, G.
    Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Janner, B.Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
    Crosland, C. A. R.Jay, Rt. Hon D. P. TPrice, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
    Crossman, R. H. S.Jeger, George (Goole)Proctor, W. T.
    Cullen, Mrs. A.Jeger, Mrs. LenaPryde, D. J.
    Daines, P.Jenkins, R. H (Stechford)Pursey, Cmdr. H.
    Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.Johnson, James (Rugby)Rankin, John
    Darling, George (Hillsborough)Jones, David (Hartlepool)Reeves, J.
    Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)Jones, Jack (Rotherham)Reid, Thomas (Swindon)
    Davies, Harold (Leek)Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)Reid, William (Camlachie)
    Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)Keenan, W.Roberts, Rt. Hon. A.
    de Freitas, GeoffreyKenyon, C.Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
    Deer, G.Key, Rt. Hon. C. WRoberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
    Delargy, H. J.King, Dr. H. M.Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
    Dodds, N. N.Kinley, J.Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
    Donnelly, D. L.Lawson, G. M.Ross, William
    Driberg, T. E. N.Lee, Frederick (Newton)Royle, C.
    Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)Shackleton, E. A. A.
    Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley
    Edelman, M.Lewis, ArthurShinwell, Rt. Hon. E
    Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)Lindgren, G. S.Short, E. W
    Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)Lipton, Lt.-Col. MShurmer, P. L. E.
    Edwards, w. J. (Stepney)Logan, D. G.Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
    Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)MacColl, J. E.Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
    Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)McGhee, H. G.Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
    Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)McGovern, J.Skeffington, A. M.
    Fernyhough, E.McInnes, J.Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke-on-Trent)
    Fienburgh, W.McKay, John (Wallsend)Slater, J. (Durham, Sedgefield)
    Finch, H. J.McLeavy, F.Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)

    he has indicated that possibly, some time in the future, his right hon. Friend may consider doing something to increase war pensions. We on this side have considered it, and we know perfectly well what we would do: we would increase them here and now. Therefore, we shall indicate in the Division Lobby our disappointment with this reply.

    Question put.

    The Committee divided: Ayes, 238; Noes, 280.

    Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)Wilcock, Group Capt C A. B
    Snow, J. W.Thornton, E.Wilkins, W. A.
    Sorensen, R. W.Timmons, J.Willey, F. T.
    Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir FrankTomney, F.Williams, David (Neath)
    Sparks, J. A.Usborne, H. C.Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
    Steels, T.Viant, S. P.Williams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'll'y)
    Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.Wade, D. W.Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
    Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.Warbey, W. NWilliams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
    Stross, Dr. BarnettWatkins, T. E.Willis, E. G.
    Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.Weitzman, D.Wilton, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
    Swingler, S. T.Wells, Percy (Faversham)Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
    Sylvester, G. O.Wells, William (Walsall)Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
    Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)Wheeldon, W. E.Wyatt, W. L.
    Taylor, John (West Lothian)White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)Yates, V. F.
    Taylor, Rt. Hen. Robert (Morpeth)White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
    Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)Wigg, GeorgeTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
    Mr. Wallace and Mr. Holmes.

    NOES

    Aitken, W. T.Drayson, G. B.Jones, A. (Hall Green)
    Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)Dugdale, Rt. Hon. Sir T. (Richmond)Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W
    Alport, C. J. M.Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.Kaberry, D.
    Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)Duthie, W. S.Kerby, Capt. H. B.
    Amory, Rt. Hon. Heathcoat (Tiverton)Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir D. M.Kerr, H. W.
    Arbuthnot, JohnEden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)Lambert, Hon. G.
    Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.Lambton, Viscount
    Aster, Hon. J. J.Erroll, F. J.Lancaster, Col. C. G
    Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.Finlay, GraemeLangford-Holt, J. A.
    Baldwin, A. E.Fisher, NigelLeather, E. H. C.
    Barber, AnthonyFleetwood-Hesketh, R. FLegge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
    Barlow, Sir JohnFletcher-Cooke, C.Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)
    Baxter, Sir BeverleyFord, Mrs. PatriciaLindsay, Martin
    Beach, Maj. HicksFort, R.Linstead, Sir H. N.
    Bell, Phillip (Bolton, E.)Foster, JohnLlewellyn, D. T.
    Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton)
    Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale)Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)
    Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)Galbraith, Rt. Hon. T. D. (Pollok)Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.
    Bennett, William (Woodside)Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)Longden, Gilbert
    Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)Gammans, L. D.Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)
    Birch, NigelGeorge, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. LloydLucas, P. B. (Brentford)
    Bishop, F. P.Glover, D.Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
    Black, C. W.Godber, J. B.Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.
    Boothby, Sir R. J. G.Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.McAdden, S. J.
    Bossom, Sir A. C.Gough, C. F. H.McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S
    Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.Gower, H. R.Macdonald, Sir Peter
    Boyle, Sir EdwardGraham, Sir FergusMackeson, Brig. Sir Harry
    Braine, B. R.Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)McKibbin, A. J.
    Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)
    Braithwaite, Sir GurneyHall, John (Wycombe)Maclay, Rt. Hon. John
    Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.Harden, J. R. E.Maclean, Fitzroy
    Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)Hare, Hon. J. H.Macleod, Rt. Hon. Iain (Enfield, W.)
    Brooman-White, R. C.Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)
    Browne, Jack (Govan)Harris, Reader (Heston)Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)
    Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. THarrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)
    Bullard, O. G.Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)
    Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)
    Burden, F. F. A.Harvie-Watt, Sir GeorgeManningham-Buller, Rt.Hn. Sir Reginald
    Butcher, Sir HerbertHay, JohnMarkham, Major Sir Frank
    Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (Saffron Walden)Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.Marlowe, A. A. H.
    Campbell, Sir DavidHeald, Rt. Hen. Sir LionelMarples, A. E.
    Cary, Sir RobertHeath, EdwardMarshall, Douglas (Bodmin)
    Channon, H.Higgs, J. M. C.Maude, Angus
    Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)Maudlins, R.
    Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)May den, LI.-Comdr. S. L. C
    Clyde, Rt. Hon. J. L.Hinchingbrooke, ViscountMedlicott, Brig. F.
    Cole, NormanHirst, GeoffreyMellor, Sir John
    Colegate, W. A.Holland-Martin, C. J.Molson, A. H. E.
    Conant, Maj. Sir RogerHollis, M. C.Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter
    Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. AlbertHope, Lord JohnMoore, Sir Thomas
    Cooper-Key, E. M.Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. HenryMorrison, John (Salisbury)
    Craddook, Beresford (Spelthorne)Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.
    Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.Horobin, I. M.Nabarro, G. D. N.
    Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. FlorenceNeave, Airey
    Crouch, R. F.Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)Nicholls, Harmar
    Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)
    Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Nortnwood)Hulbert, Wing Cdr. N. J.Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.
    Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)Hurd, A. R.Nugent, G. R. H.
    Davidson, ViscountessHutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'rgh, W.)Nutting, Anthony
    Deedes, W. F.Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M.Oakshott, H. D.
    Digby, S. WingfieldHylton-Foster, H. B. H.Odey, G. W.
    Dodds-Parker, A. D.Iremonger, T. L.O'Neill, Hon. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
    Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.
    Doughty, C. J. A.Jennings, Sir RolandOrr, Capt. L. P. S.
    Douglas-Hamilton, Lord MalcolmJohnson, Eric (Blackley)Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)

    Osborne, C.Savory, Prof. Sir DouglasThorneycroft, Rt.Hn. Peter (Monmouth)
    Page, R. G.Schofield, Lt.-Cot. W.Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
    Peaks, Rt. Hon. O.Scott, R. DonaldTilney, John
    Perkins, Sir RobertScott-Miller, Cmdr. R.Touche, Sir Gordon
    Peto, Brig. C. H. M.Shepherd, WilliamTurner, H. F. L.
    Pickthorn, K. W. M.Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)Turton, R. H.
    Pilkington, Capt. R. A.Smithers, Peter (Winchester)Tweedsmuir, Lady
    Pitman, I. J.Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)Vane, W. M. F.
    Pitt, Miss E. M.Snadden, W. McN.Vosper, D. F.
    Powell, J. EnochSpearman, A. C. M.Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
    Prior, Henry (Lewisham, W.)Speir, R. M.Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. Marylebone)
    Prior-Palmer, Brig, O. L.Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)Walker-Smith, D. C.
    Profumo, J. D.Spens, Rt. Hon. Sir P. (Kensington, S.)Wall, Major Patrick
    Raikes, Sir VictorStanley, Capt. Hon. RichardWard, Hon. George (Worcester)
    Ramsden, J. E.Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
    Rayner, Brig. R.Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
    Rees-Davies, W. R.Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.Watkinson, H. A.
    Remnant, Hon. P.Storey, S.Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
    Renton, D. L. M.Strause, Henry (Norwich, S.)Wellwood, W.
    Ridsdale, J. E.Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
    Roberts, Peter (Heeley)Studholme, H. G.Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
    Robertson, Sir DavidSummers, G. S.Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
    Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)Sutcliffe, Sir HaroldWilliams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
    Robson-Brown, W.Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)Wills, G.
    Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
    Roper, Sir HaroldTeeling, W.
    Ropner, Col. Sir LeonardThomas, Rt. Hon, J. P. L. (Hereford)TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
    Russell, R. S.Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)Sir Cedric Drewe and
    Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)Mr. Redmayne.
    Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.Thompson Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)

    On a point of order. I was wondering whether the next new Clause on the Order Paper—(Reduction of duty on hydrocarbon oils)—which stands in my name has either been accidentally overlooked, or whether it has been decided officially by the Chair that it is not to be called.