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Commons Chamber

Volume 641: debated on Friday 5 May 1961

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House Of Commons

Monday, 5th June, 1961

The House met at half-past Two o'clock

Prayers

[Mr. SPEAKER in the Chair]

Private Business

River Ravensbourne, &C (Improvement And Flood) Prevention Bill

GREAT OUSE WATER BILL

Queen's Consent, on behalf of the Crown, signified.

Bills read the Third time and passed.

Oral Answers To Questions

Ministry Of Aviation

Blue Streak

3.

asked the Minister of Aviation what is the present monthly cost of the Blue Streak programme of development.

But would not the Minister of Aviation agree that this is no reduction on the monthly total over the long period, and that even this figure probably does not take into account all the costs which might fairly be included in this programme?

It is not meant to show a reduction. The idea is to get some useful work done. This work has been going on so that if a general European scheme comes forward it will be in a good position to go forward.

4.

asked the Minister of Aviation whether he will now set a date for the abandonment, if favourable replies have not been received by then to his request for co-operation from allied countries, of the Blue Streak development programme.

Would not the Minister agree that, while it may be desirable to achieve this co-operation if it is possible, it is time that he told the German and other allied Governments concerned that we cannot go on indefinitely with this large monthly and annual expenditure without arriving at some conclusion, and that a date ought to be set when these negotiations must be brought to an end one way or another?

I fully appreciate the right hon. Gentleman's point about trying to reach a conclusion, but as I am expecting the decision of the Federal German Government following upon their technical evaluation of the project very soon now, I should prefer to await it before taking any further decision.

7.

asked the Minister of Aviation what reply he has received from the West German Government to his proposal that West Germany should co-operate in the development of Blue Streak as a satellite launcher.

Has the Minister told the German and other European countries that if they do not co-operate with us we are quite able and willing to do this project by ourselves and shall continue to produce it and that if they do not join in they will be missing a very great opportunity? Will he not be put off by my right hon. Friend the Member for Dundee, West (Mr. Strachey), for whom I have the very greatest admiration, but whose rather gloomy approach today befits neither him nor the position in which he is sitting today?

We all have a great admiration for the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dundee, West (Mr. Strachey), but I can assure him that I am by no means put off by him.

Will the Minister realise that most of us, at any rate, on these benches do think that this is one thing or the other—either we get European co-operation in this venture, or it is one which should not be pursued?

Tsr2 Aircraft

5.

asked the Minister of Aviation if he will make a statement on the progress which has been made in the development of the TSR2 aircraft.

No, Sir. I have nothing to add to what has already been said on this subject, and I doubt whether periodic statements on projects of this kind serve any useful purpose.

Surely, the right hon. Gentleman realises that since we first heard of this aircraft in December, 1958, a great deal has been said about this machine, which has pursued a very ragged course, since the development order was submitted last October? Can he tell us when we may expect to see the prototype? Secondly, can he say how much the aircraft will cost now as compared with the estimated cost when it was first projected?

The Russians do not inform us about the progress of their tactical bombers, and I do not see why we should announce ours.

On the second point raised by my hon. Friend, could not the Minister inform the House what was the estimated cost three years ago, and to what extent it has varied recently?

No. The Question does not refer to the cost. If the hon. Gentleman likes to put a Question down about the finances he can do so, but I do not give any guarantee as to the kind of answer he will receive.

Would not the Minister agree that the Russians do not enjoy a Parliamentary form of Government, and that there is something to be said for the British Parliament being kept informed about this very costly development, which it is very difficult to bring under Parliamentary control?

I accept that there is some distinction to be drawn between the two systems, but at the same time I ask the House to ponder well before pressing for information about the exact progress made with regard to important weapons. This, I think, is wrong.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this Question was originally put down to his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Air and transferred to the right hon. Gentleman because it was assumed that he had all the knowledge about the costs and progress of the aircraft? Can he tell us how the original estimated cost compares with the figure which is now expected for the completion of this aircraft?

No. This Question asks about progress which is being made upon it. As I said, I do not wish to make a statement on it.

Boac And Bea Employees (Union Membership)

6.

asked the Minister of Aviation what general directions he has given to the British Overseas Airways Corporation and the British European Airways Corporation with regard to membership by their employees of appropriate trade unions.

None, Sir.

In view of the fact that damages were rewarded to an employee of B.O.A.C. who was recently sacked with the co-operation of the trade unions and the Board of B.O.A.C., could I ask for an assurance that in future there will be at B.O.A.C. a strong Board which will not allow itself to be involved in political controversies? Is my hon. Friend aware that I do not think the Board of B.O.A.C. had any guts?

These are, of course, matters for the day-to-day management of the Board.

I am aware of the circumstances of the case to which my hon. Friend refers, but that would not justify my right hon. Friend in issuing any general directions.

Is my hon. Friend not interested in freedoms? Is it not a fact that the Conservative Party is attached to individual and collective freedoms?

I shall be very happy to discuss freedoms with my hon. Friend at any time she likes with particular reference to this case.

Would the hon. Gentleman not agree that a very important freedom is freedom of association in trade unions, which is involved in this?

Executive And Business Aircraft (Airfields)

8.

asked the Minister of Aviation which airfields will be made available both in the London area and elsewhere for use by executive and business aircraft.

The Air Pilot lists 159 aerodromes, including 11 within a radius of 25 miles of London, as available for use by business and executive aircraft. The possible use of other aerodromes is being discussed with representatives of business and private fliers.

Can my hon. Friend say how soon he expects to be able to come to a decision on sites such as Croydon and other airfields close to the centre of London?

The decision about Croydon is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Local Government.

Terminal Buildings, Abbotsinch

9.

asked the Minister of Aviation whether he has yet appointed an architect for the terminal buildings at Abbotsinch.

Yes, Sir. I am glad to say that Basil Spence and Partners have accepted the appointment.

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that answer, but could he tell us just a little about the architects who have been appointed? Would he arrange for the architects to meet the people in authority at Renfrew before their minds have been conditioned by his Department?

The House will be aware that the head of the firm is Sir Basil Spence, and he is personally taking a principal part in the design of the buildings. They will be starting work at once. I am sure they will bear in mind all relevant considerations.

Air Transport Licensing Board (Deputy Chairman)

10.

asked the Minister of Aviation whether he will make a statement with regard to the deputy chairmanship of the Air Transport Licensing Board.

Yes, Sir. Mr. A. H. Wilson, C.B., C.B.E., who only agreed to act temporarily as Deputy Chairman, will relinquish this position at the end of July but remain a member of the Board. I have appointed Mr. J. J. Taylor, O.B.E., as Deputy Chairman from 1st August, when he retires from his present employment. Meanwhile, Mr. Taylor will join the Board as a part-time member. His salary as Deputy Chairman will be £3,500 a year.

Ministry Of Health

Psychiatry

11.

asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been drawn to the Ninth Report of the United Nations World Health Organisation Expert Committee on Mental Health, which deals with the under graduate teaching of psychiatry; and what steps he proposes to take to bring its conclusions to the notice of those responsible for the medical curriculum.

I have no responsibility in this field.

Well, whether the Minister has direct responsibility or not, would he not appreciate that some action along the very modest lines which this Report recommends is an essential prerequisite to getting the psychiatric manpower which he will need in order to man the mental health services of this country, and could he not do something, at any rate in an informal way, in bringing this Report to the attention of those responsible for medical education?

I recognise the importance of strengthening in the National Health Service the element of psychiatric treatment and the psychiatric professional element, but that does not entitle me as Minister of Health to express an opinion—and I am sure that this is a right principle—upon the medical curriculum.

Prescription Charges

12.

asked the Minister of Health how many executive councils have protested to him about the increase in prescription charges.

In view of the fact that the Minister now admits that he has had representations from 48 executive councils protesting against the increase in prescription charges, is he not prepared to reconsider his decision to impose these charges, particularly in view of the fact that these people represent persons who have no particular political axe to grind, and have called attention to the hardship and disservice which his measures are doing to the welfare and health of patients?

No. This has been fully considered by the House, which has taken its decision. The executive councils know that I am ready to receive any evidence which they wish to put before me of ways in which the present arrangements are not working satisfactorily.

As the Minister has received representations from 48 different executive councils, is it unreasonable to ask him how many he has to have before he really reconsiders the whole scheme?

14.

asked the Minister of Health if he has studied the protest made by the Glamorgan Executive Council of the National Health Service against the increased prescription charges; and, in view of the matters contained therein, if he will reconsider his policy in this respect.

The answer to the first part of the hon. Member's Question is "Yes", and to the second, "No".

How does the Minister expect to get evidence when it largely lies in the absence of old people visiting their doctors or taking up prescriptions? Does he realise that he is condemning himself as a Minister without compassion or mercy by his attitude on these matters?

I am sure that there could not be any appreciable or widespread hardship without its coming to the notice of the doctors or the executive councils.

Is it not the case, as the Minister admitted, in answering Question No. 12, that he has knowledge of 48 executive councils who have protested, and who are entitled to say this to the Minister? What other evidence does he need, what better opinion can he get, than that of expert people engaged in administering this Service on his behalf and that of the patients?

I can only say that these bodies are well aware of my repeated undertaking to consider evidence of hardship and difficulty which is arising, but they have not so far put before me evidence to that effect.

Does not the Minister consider the drop of more than 20 per cent. in the number of prescriptions between February and March when the increased charge came in as evidence? What other evidence does he require before he will change his policy?

17.

asked the Minister of Health if he will now reconsider the amount charged for items of prescription in the light of the 20 per cent. decrease shown by the fall from 22,200,000 items in February, 1961 to 17,500,000 items in March, 1961.

Is not this adequate evidence of the failure of the policy with regard to the prescription charge? Has the Minister considered the additional evidence which I submitted to him of dispensing chemists in the Willesden area, where a chemist has been asked several times, when there are three items on the prescription list, which one is important because the mother cannot afford the other two until the end of the week? Has the Minister considered that letter? What further evidence does he require before he changes this appalling policy?

The second part of the supplementary question appears to relate to a different matter. As regards the fall between February and March, there are a great number of factors which no doubt played a part in this and which made the figure for March in itself of very little help and guidance. For example, the influenza epidemic came to an end before the end of February, and in this year March was an exceptionally fine month.

The Minister estimated a 2 per cent. fall in prescriptions. He has here a 20 per cent. drop. Does he not appreciate that this compares not only with the 2 per cent. that he estimated, but with the actual increase between February and March of last year? Is not this abundant evidence that people are not getting the prescriptions they need?

No, Sir. One cannot take individual months without regard to the circumstances, and certainly nothing less than the experience round the whole year can disclose any trends which are capable of being interpreted in a useful way.

In view of the differing evidence and opinions which have been expressed, and the fact that we have had some months' experience of the new charge, might it not be wise for the Minister to initiate some inquiry to try to find out what the situation is today?

I still think that it is too early for anything of that sort, but I am sure that the professions and the bodies which administer the Service will bring to my attention any evidence which comes their way.

Is the right hon. Gentleman implying that he has to wait 12 months or longer before he is prepared to take any action? Does he mean that he wants something drastic and outstanding to happen, such as people perhaps dying because they have not received medical attention, before he will take action?

I am sure that that would be brought to my attention, but the estimate to which the hon. Member for St. Pancras, North (Mr. K. Robinson) referred was an estimate for 12 months. All I said was that one could not judge how it was working out on a single month.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, I beg to give notice that I will seek to raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible opportunity.

Medical Students (Intake)

13.

asked the Minister of Health whether he is reviewing, in the light of the current and future needs of the National Health Service, the conclusions of the Willink Committee on the intake of medical students, and if he will make a statement on future policy in this respect.

18.

asked the Minister of Health how many general medical practitioners are needed in England and Wales to bring the service up to the strength that he estimates is now required.

21.

asked the Minister of Health if the recommendation of the Willink Committee that student intake by British medical schools should be reduced by 10 per cent. in 1962 is still in accordance with Government policy.

The Secretary of State for Scotland and I are reviewing the data and calculations which under lie the estimates in the Willink Committee's Report. The student intake is larger now than when the Committee reported.

I am very glad indeed to know that the Minister is reviewing this, but would he now appreciate that this was one of the most disastrous reports upon the Health Service ever acted upon by his Department, and will he now agree with the view of eminent people that there is a shortage of doctors in the National Health Service?

So far from a reduction of student intake following upon that Report, the intake is higher now than it was four years ago.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how much overcrowding in medical schools is due to the acceptance of some part of the Willink Report? Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many schools are overcrowded and what steps he has in mind for the future to diminish this overcrowding?

Not without notice, but I do not think the Report and its conclusions can have contributed to whatever may be the present state of overcrowding.

Would not the Minister agree that if the young registrars who help to staff particularly our provincial hospitals and who come from the Commonwealth were to be withdrawn—who may well not come in great numbers in the future—we should be in very great difficulty indeed?

I quite agree that this is an important factor in the statistical picture.

Effects Of Alcohol (Tablets)

15.

asked the Minister of Health if he will introduce legislation to prevent the sale of tablets purporting to modify the effects of alcohol.

Is my hon. Friend aware that pills called "Soberettes" are on sale in pubs and sweet shops, which are banned by the Pharmaceutical Society from being sold in chemists' shops, which might give the impression that drunken motorists can cure themselves from alcoholism by taking these pills? Is it not wrong that this sort of pill, which gives no evidence of any content, should be on sale giving a false assurance to people that they might be cured?

I am aware that such tablets are on sale. It is not quite correct to say that the Pharmaceutical Society has banned them. It has issued a notice advising chemists

"…in view of the possibility of misuse and the consequent danger to the public…"
they should not stock or sell these preparations, but the evidence available does not suggest that they are medically harmful.

Mental Health Workers

26.

asked the Minister of Health what is the current shortage of mental health workers; what is this figure as a percentage of the total required; and what steps are being taken to remedy the shortage.

The unfilled need for mental health workers, though it cannot be estimated precisely, is certainly very large. The establishment of a National Council for Social Work Training, and the provision of additional training courses, ought to help.

Is the hon. Lady aware that the Mental Health Act recently put on the Statute Book will be largely ineffective so far as local authorities are concerned if we do not solve these problems? Can she say what steps are being taken to encourage these people by means of wage increases, improved working conditions and the like?

I agree with the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question. Practical steps are being taken. Two-year full-time training courses are being started in September at the London County Council North-West Polytechnic, at the City of Birmingham College of Commerce and the Liverpool College of Commerce. I understand that there has been an excellent response from would-be applicants, and the hon. Gentleman might like to know that a course is being arranged for Scotland too.

Can the hon. Lady give an assurance that legislation to set up a national council for social work training will be introduced early in the next Session of Parliament?

Legislation is to be introduced. For obvious reasons, I cannot give the undertaking which the hon. Gentleman seeks.

Will the hon. Lady reply to the last part of the supplementary question from my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West (Mr. Hamilton)? Is the Minister taking any initiative in the matter of pay and conditions? Has not it been shown in the case of other public servants that unless pay and conditions are improved, although recruits may be obtained, they cannot be retained?

As the hon. Gentleman should know, that is a matter for the appropriate Whitley Council.

Hospitals

Medical Staffing

16.

asked the Minister of Health when he proposes to instruct regional hospital boards and boards of governors to review the medical staffing of their hospitals in accordance with the recommendations of the Platt Committee.

A decision on these recommendations will be reached when discussions with the professional bodies have taken place.

Is the Minister aware that before he can take action he will need some of this evidence in his hands? Will he ask for it now so that he is prepared to make more consultant posts ready after the discussions have ceased with the profession?

It is essential first to have the profession's view in principle on the recommendations of the Platt Report.

South-East Metropolitan Region (Locum Tenens)

19.

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that hospital out-patient services in Deptford and neighbouring districts are having to be curtailed as a result of the reduction in locum tenens sessions imposed by the South-East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board; and what steps he will take to ensure that an adequate out-patient service is provided.

28.

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware of the decision of the South-East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board to reduce the number of locum tenens available to consultants, senior hospital medical officers and registrars in the Greenwich and Deptford Hospital Group; and if he will ask the Regional Board to reverse their decision so as to avoid a consequent delay in the treatment of patients.

The Board has introduced a scheme to avoid extravagant use of locums. Difficulties have been anticipated over locums for two clinics in Deptford and Greenwich, but steps are being taken to ensure that these difficulties do not arise.

What steps are being taken? Is the hon. Lady aware that the venereal disease clinic is having its locum sessions cut from twenty-four to six, when the national incidence of venereal disease is rising? Also the tuberculosis clinic is having its number of locum sessions cut from thirty to twelve. In view of the fact that her right hon. Friend is so tough with patients, is it not about time that he got tough with the Regional Hospital Board to stop these cheeseparing tricks at a time when the out-patients departments' should be properly staffed for 12 months of the year?

The difficulties the hon. Gentleman mentioned are the anticipated difficulties of those departments because the Hospital Management Committee has not allocated its number of locums in the proportion which the Regional Hospital Board envisaged. Nevertheless, the Regional Hospital Board has increased the number of locums from its original proposal of 170 to 225—as I think the hon. Gentleman knows from his correspondence with the Board—and in turn my right hon. Friend has asked the Board to ensure that there should be no reduction in the amount of service available.

As the total reduction amounts to about 135 sessions in the Hospital Management Committee, can the hon. Lady say how it is possible to reduce medical attention by 135 locum tenen sessions and still have a Hospital Management Committee without causing intense hardship to patients in the Greenwich and Deptford area? Would not she also agree that the allocations which apparently were not to the liking of the Regional Hospital Board were made by the medical committees of this Hospital Management Committee which one would have thought were as capable as the Regional Hospital Board of getting medical staff?

As I say, the Regional Hospital Board has allocated 225 sessions this year for locum duties compared with an estimated 334 last year, but the purpose behind this proposal, which was initiated by the Regional Hospital Board, was to rationalise the provision of locums to combine at the same time as annual leave is envisaged the number of locums required for the job. Nevertheless, as I have said, my right hon. Friend has made clear to the Board that we expect service to be available. May I make one further point? Service in out-patient clinics usually tends to drop during the holiday period.

May I have an assurance that the out-patient clinics or departments for venereal disease and tuberculosis will not be cut this year? Does the hon. Lady not understand that this is most important in crowded areas such as Greenwich and Deptford, particularly when the incidence of both diseases nationally is disturbing?

I understand that, but this is a matter for the Board, working through the appropriate authority, which in this case is the Hospital Management Committee.

Doctors

22.

asked the Minister of Health in what areas, and in what specialities, there was a shortage of doctors in Great Britain in 1960.

I assume the hon. Member refers to hospital doctors. Vacancies in the grades of registrar and below were slightly under 9 per cent. of posts, varying between 6 per cent. and 17 per cent. in different regions, but some vacancies were filled by locums. In senior grades there were few vacancies apart from those arising in the ordinary course.

What long-term steps are being taken to remedy this state of affairs? In view of the founding of more universities, is the right hon. Gentleman having discussions with the University Grants Committee with a view to founding new medical schools in these universities?

I have referred in Answer to a previous Question to the steps being taken to revise the statistical basis of the estimates of doctor requirements.

But is the right hon. Gentleman taking any particular steps now? Surely with the new universities it would be possible to start one or two new medical schools almost at once?

Starting new schools is not a matter for me but some estimation of the requirements of the Health Service is, and I have referred to that in a previous Answer.

Regarding the shortage of consultant posts, would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the statement of the number of vacancies is not a fair assessment of the position, since large numbers of regional boards want additional posts established which his own Department does not permit them to establish?

Vacancies are the only statistical figures which I have available to give to the hon. Gentleman. But the number of posts in 1960 for which approval was withheld because there were no applicants available to fill them is comparatively few.

Visiting

23.

asked the Minister of Health whether he accepts the recommendations of the Platt Report with respect to unrestricted visiting in hospitals.

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Will he ensure that the recommendations are brought to the attention of regional hospital boards and by them to the management authority of the hospitals concerned?

Yes, they have been so conveyed, and the evidence is that the great majority of children's wards do allow visits on every day. But I intend to keep up pressure to ensure that there is a full implementation of these recommendations.

Almoners

25.

asked the Minister of Health what is the overall shortage of hospital almoners; what is this figure expressed as a percentage of the total required; what steps are being taken to overcome the shortage; and how soon he expects the problem to be completely solved.

I understand that about 260 vacancies were recently known to the Institute of Almoners but not all these were in the hospital service. New facilities for training almoners have been provided at six universities in England and Wales in recent years and the numbers employed in the hospital service are slowly increasing.

That does not quite answer the question. I asked the hon. Lady what is that figure, expressed as a percentage of the total required? Can she say, further, whether the trend is towards an improving situation? Can she also say how many of these almoners are among the 300,000 Surtax payers relieved in the last Budget?

Figures are not available to answer the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question because neither establishment nor recruitment is controlled separately, Nevertheless, the numbers are improving as I indicated. In general, there is no shortage of applicants. One of the difficulties arises because, as part of the training is practical, qualified almoners have to make time to train others, which limits the rate of progress. But it is improving.

Egypt (Compensation To British Subjects)

30.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what action he is taking to ensure that, in advance of a satisfactory agreement with the Egyptian Government, the Foreign Compensation Commission is able to pay reasonable compensation to British subjects whose service under the Egyptian Government was arbitrarily terminated.

I assume that my hon. Friend has in mind the case of British officials dismissed by the Egyptian Government in 1951. The Foreign Compensation Commission has no power to make any such payments to these British subjects, since, under the Foreign Compensation Act, 1950, the Commission can only be used to distribute money received by Her Majesty's Government from a foreign Government.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. What steps does he intend to take to ensure that British subjects dismissed in 1951–52 do receive adequate compensation? In assessing whether the compensation is adequate, will he bear in mind that assistance in compensation which has been received has had to be spent as income rather than being invested as a capital sum to yield income?

As I have explained on a previous occasion, a Commission was set up last summer to examine this matter and to make recommendations to the Egyptian Government. We now understand that the Commission has completed its work and put forward its recommendations to the Egyptian Ministers. We look forward to hearing their views in due course.

I speak from memory, but is not it the case that on 15th May my hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs referred to a Commission which would report on 20th May on this matter? Is he aware that the dismissed officials are in a particular category and that the shabby way in which they have been treated is brought into particular prominence by the fact that it is now proposed that the Egyptian Government shall employ further British teachers of English? Is my right hon. Friend aware that this is a special category of claimants, and will he give a more satisfactory answer?

My hon. Friend informed the House that the Commission would submit its report to the Egyptian Ministers on 20th May. We understand that that report has now been submitted and we are waiting for the decision or the Egyptian Ministers.

New Guinea Council (Inauguration)

33.

asked the Lord Privy Seal on what grounds the United Kingdom was represented at the inauguration of the New Guinea Council.

Her Majesty's Government were invited by the Australian and Netherlands Governments to send representatives to the inaugural meetings of the new Legislative Councils both in Netherlands New Guinea on 5th April and the Australian territory of Papua and New Guinea on 10th April. We naturally accepted these invitations from a fellow Commonwealth Government and from the Government of a friendly and allied nation.

May I ask the hon. Gentleman whether he will very carefully consider the implications of this action? Is not it the case that there is now a dispute between the Indonesian Government and the Government of the Netherlands regarding this area? Is he aware that an increasing number of Dutch politicians and businessmen, and British businessmen, are recognising that it is inevitable that West Irian will become part of Indonesia? Since even America refrained from sending an observer, would not it have been wiser to have abstained from this course of action?

No, Sir. Her Majesty's Government have always made plain that we recognise the Netherlands as being the sovereign Power in this area. We did not think it inappropriate to send representatives to what were the celebrations of an important step in the constitutional advance of this territory towards self-determination—something which I should have thought would have been welcomed by hon. Members on both sides of the House.

Faroe Islands (Fishery Limits)

34.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the Danish Government has made representations to Her Majesty's Government about the extension of fisheries limits round the Faroe Islands.

Will the Lord Privy Seal bear in mind that if such representations are made as has been suggested in the Press for the extension of the Faroese fishing limits, it will be an extremely severe blow to the middle-water section of the fishing fleet, and, coming on top of the extension of the Icelandic limits, would be a serious situation for the whole fishing industry?

I fully appreciate that. At the same time, by the terms of the Anglo-Danish Agreement of 1959 about the Faroese fisheries, if no general convention regulating the breadth of the territorial sea and fishing limits has been arrived at by 27th October this year, this Government and the Danish Government have to consider whether any modifications should be made to the Agreement.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Danish Foreign Minister has said that he intends to ask for an extension of the limit to 12 miles? Will he do his utmost to protect the interests particularly of the Scottish fishermen, in view of the fact that Aberdeen, for example, gets 42 per cent. of her catch from the Faroese waters? Secondly, what consultations have taken place and has any agreement been reached on the enforcement of the present fishing limits?

In reply to the last part of the question, I would point out that there are other Questions on the Order Paper to be answered later. Of course, Her Majesty's Government will do everything in their power to protect the interests of the British fishing industry in any consultations or negotiations which may take place.

Germany (Naval Vessels)

35.

asked the Lord Privy Seal why he has agreed through Western European Union to raising the limits on West German naval vessels from 3,000 to 6,000 tons and to their production of influence mines.

37.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether Her Majesty's Government supported the decision of the Council of Western European Union to lift certain restrictions upon German naval building and arms production; and whether, in particular, Her Majesty's Government approved the decision to allow the Federal Republic to build destroyers and other vessels of 6,000 tons each.

42.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on further revisions of the Brussels Treaty protocols agreed upon by the Council of Western European Union to permit West Germany to construct naval vessels of a larger tonnage than hitherto.

A full statement on the recent decision of the Western European Union Council, and on the attitude adopted by Her Majesty's Government, was given in my answer of 31st May to my honourable Friend the Member for Battersea, South (Mr. Partridge). The amendments were adopted unanimously by the Council and have the support of Her Majesty's Government. They have been recommended by the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and, as my right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence said on 31st May, they will enable Germany to contribute more effectively to the collective defence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation area.

Are not these excuses unpleasantly reminiscent of the Government's step-by-step rearmament of Germany in pre-war days? Is not the truth that these bigger destroyers are to accommodate missiles? Is the Minister trying to give the House the old "guff" that the nuclear warheads will be kept separately, since it must be obvious to him that in times of emergency they will be kept on the ships, thereby giving German officers power to start World War III?

These are not excuses. These are the reasons why the steps are being taken. As Germany has been integrated into N.A.T.O. in defence of the West, they are justified.

Is the Lord Privy Seal aware that these rather radical changes in the Treaty have been carried out, or decided upon, without submission to Parliament? Did not the House and the country understand when the Treaty was originally drawn that the arms limitation of the Federal Republic was one of the cardinal points in the Treaty? Is there not growing concern in the country about turning the Federal Republic, not into one of the members making a contribution to N.A.T.O., but into the dominant Power in Europe?

Provision was made in the revised Brussels Treaty for these amendments. That procedure has been followed in this case.

In the build-up of German forces of N.A.T.O. for Western defence, can my right hon. Friend say whether this will have any effect in lightening the burden on the British taxpayer?

It is obviously quite right that all members of the N.A.T.O. alliance should play their full part in contributing towards defence.

In order that the House may have full information, will the right hon. Gentleman consider publishing in the OFFICIAL REPORT the total tonnage of the present German Navy and the proposed addition compared with the total tonnage of the British Navy and also the percentage of the German Navy's tonnage compared with that of the N.A.T.O. allies?

Is it not a fact that these vessels are primarily designed to work in the Baltic? Since the Baltic is one of the weakest places we have at the moment, should we not be pleased that in that place the position is being strengthened?

Spain And Portugal (Foreign Secretary's Visit)

38.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement about the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs' official visit to Spain and Portugal.

43.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the visit to Madrid of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

51.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement concerning the recent visit of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to Spain and Portugal.

My noble Friend's visit to Lisbon and Madrid was made in return for visits to this country by the Foreign Ministers of Portugal and Spain last year. In addition to holding discussions with the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the two countries, my noble Friend called on the President and Prime Minister of Portugal and on the head of the Spanish State. This was not an occasion for negotiation, but in both capitals my noble Friend's discussions, which were, of course, confidential, covered the international scene and subjects of mutual interest. I cannot give details, but in Lisbon particular attention was paid to the situation in Africa, and in Madrid the discussions covered, among other things, Gibraltar and the position of the British and Foreign Bible Society in Spain.

In view of the very exiguous results of the Foreign Secretary's visit and also the very short time that the Foreign Secretary has spent at the Foreign Office in the last few months, is the Lord Privy Seal satisfied that the Foreign Secretary's visit was necessary at this time, especially as "Butlered up" in advance by the Home Secretary? Is the Lord Privy Seal aware that the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs has just announced that we would be failing in our duty if we remained silent after wanton destruction of human life and the accompanying violation of human rights in Angola? Do not the Government take that view also? Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House whether the Foreign Secretary discussed military—alliance or bilateral—questions with the Spanish Government during his visit?

I am sure my noble Friend's visit was indeed a valuable one. I have indicated some of the subjects he was able to discuss very frankly and freely with the Ministers of the two countries. As the Prime Minister has already made plain, there was no discussion of the military or N.A.T.O. matters to which the hon. Member referred.

As the Lord Privy Seal has admitted that the question of Gibraltar was discussed, does it mean that Her Majesty's Government are at last recognising the infamous way in which the Spanish Government have been treating the loyal Colony of Gibraltar? Has any settlement been arrived at and has any lifting of Spanish restrictions on Gibraltar been reached?

Her Majesty's Government always recognised the undesirable nature of the difficulties about Gibraltar and constantly press for the situation to be improved. This subject was reverted to by my noble Friend when he was in Madrid and in one aspect we are continuing to examine the possibilities.

Notwithstanding the irrational attitude of the Opposition to Spain, will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that there is broad support in the country for a closer association with this deeply religious and strongly anti-Communist country?

It is only by encouraging good relations between countries that we may hope to achieve some of the results we are seeking.

Can the Lord Privy Seal say whether the pilgrimages of the Home Secretary and the Foreign Secretary to unite the free world are now concluded, or are there some other Fascist tyrannies he would like to see invited?

Returning to the subject of Gibraltar, will my right hon. Friend make it clear to his right hon. Friend that, although many of us welcome the growing friendship between Spain and this country, until the question of free entry of Commonwealth subjects into Gibraltar is clarified we shall not feel that we can go so far as we should like to go?

Yes, Sir. Good relations between countries are a two-way affair and cannot come only from one side. Spain can greatly help by reviewing this aspect of the situation in Gibraltar.

Central Treaty Organisation (Iran)

40.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what communication Her Majesty's Government have received from the Government of Iran concerning the revision of that country's commitments under the Central Treaty Organisation.

In view of widespread speculation in recent weeks about future Iranian foreign policy, can the hon. Gentleman say whether any assurances have been sought about Iran's continued membership of the Central Treaty Organisation? Secondly, as under the Treaty this country has an obligation not only to aid Iran in the event of armed attack, but also to assist her in countering subversion, will he give an assurance that this obligation will not cover political activities which would not be regarded as subversive by British standards?

The new Iranian Government have specifically stated their respect, on the basis of their adherence to the U.N. Charter, for all Iran's undertakings and agreements. Their Prime Minister has publicly stated that Iran would not leave CENTO. Her Majesty's Government attach great significance to the part which Iran can play within CENTO.

In view of the serious state Iran is now in, financially and otherwise, could the hon. Gentleman tell us exactly what contribution Iran could make to CENTO?

Iran occupies an important position geographically within CENTO. I think it right that we should continue to welcome it within that organisation.

Vietnam

41.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, in view of the disturbed situation in Vietnam, he will join with the Soviet Co-Chairman in inviting the International Commission for Vietnam to submit a special up-to-date report on the extent to which the provisions of the Geneva Agreement regarding the introduction of arms and military personnel from outside have been, and are being, observed.

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the admitted intention of the American Government to reinforce their military personnel in South Vietnam and to send additional military supplies is a clear violation of the agreement? What steps do the Government propose to take to enable the International Commission for Vietnam to carry out its obligations?

The only announcement by the United States Government of which I am aware is that they intend to increase their assistance given to the South Vietnam Government to increase that Government's military personnel. It is proposed to help them with finance to do that. That is quite permissible under the Geneva Agreement.

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that there is very little point in sending an International Commission into Vietnam unless we get more co-operation from the Soviet Co-Chairman in enabling the International Commission to carry out its existing duties in Laos?

Spain

45.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what proposals Her Majesty's Government have made to or received from the Spanish Government for further incorporating Spain into the Western world.

I have nothing to add to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's reply to the hon. Members for Wednesbury (Mr. Stonehouse) and Ash-field (Mr. Warbey) on 1st June.

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that we all in the House would welcome the incorporation of Spain into the Western world provided that the Fascist rôgime were abolished, that there were a liberalisation of conditions in Spain and that there was an amnesty of all political prisoners?

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave examples of the way in which we had been able to help the movement of Spain towards the Western world. If the hon. Member likes to put forward further suggestions, we will gladly consider them.

Is the Minister aware that the whole moral basis of Western unity and Western defence is freedom and the preservation of the rights of minorities? Will he impress on his noble Friend in another place that any accession of Spain to a Western democracy would be a negation of all that we believe in?

I do not think the hon. Member means exactly what he said in his last sentence—that the accession of Spain to Western democracy would be a negation of all we believe in. We have constantly made it plain that the question of Spanish membership of N.A.T.O. is not under consideration. As for taking part in the defence of the West, Spain already grants military bases which play a part in that defence.

Since the Lord Privy Seal has asked for suggestions, may I suggest that the best way in which Spain can be brought closer to the Western world would be for the Spanish Government to show some respect for human rights inside Spain?

Laos

46.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement concerning the progress of the Geneva Conference on Laos.

Since the Conference began on 16th May all delegations present have stated their views on a settlement for Laos and certain proposals have been tabled. All speakers so far have agreed on the need for a unified, independent and neutral Laos but not yet on the means of achieving that neutrality. The Conference has been interrupted by doubts about the efficacy of the ceasefire in Laos. Attempts by the International Control Commission to investigate allegations of numerous infringements of the cease-fire, particularly of Communist attacks against Meo tribesmen incorporated into the Royal Laotian Army, have not so far been successful because of refusal by the Pathet Lao to permit the Commission to function in this way. My noble Friend has been trying to reach agreement with the Soviet Co-Chairman on new instructions to the International Commission which will enable it to carry out its functions but so far without success.

In view of that reply, will the right hon. Gentleman say whether he is prepared to make a further statement to the House and to keep the House informed of further developments?

Yes, I will do so. But I imagine that hon. Members will put down Questions week by week which will give me an opportunity to do so.

European Free Trade Association

47.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the size of the European Free Trade Association secretariat in Geneva; how many British nationals are employed therein; and what proportion of the annual budget is met by Great Britain.

The present staff of the Secretariat of the European Free Trade Association numbers thirty-nine of whom fifteen are British nationals. The United Kingdom pays 30 per cent. of the annual budget.

Are our financial commitments on a par with those of other members of E.F.T.A.?

The percentage was worked out on the share of intra-O.E.E.C. trade. That formed the basis for the contributions as between the seven members of E.F.T.A.

Brussels Treaty (Revisions)

48.

asked the Lord Privy Seal on how many occasions Western European Union has agreed to alterations in the Brussels Treaty in order to remove the limitations on German rearmament: and what was the latest date on which such an alteration was agreed.

65.

asked the Lord Privy Seal to what extent Her Majesty's Government have consented to modifications of the limits on German rearmament as laid down originally in the Brussels Treaty.

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to my Written Reply of 31st May to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Warbey).

Is it not the case that one of the main purposes of the Brussels Treaty was to impose limitations on any rearmament of Germany? Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that on each occasion when such an important change is proposed of lifting the limitation he should come to the House and get approval for it?

As I have stated previously, provision was made in the revised Brussels Treaty for the revision of the limitations. The procedure has been followed. That procedure does not require ratification by the House of Commons or Parliament.

Even if it is not a question of ratification, does not the right hon. Gentleman think that in questions affecting the rearmament of Germany, particularly those concerned with a Treaty which was deliberately instituted in the first place in order to limit German rearmament, it would be courteous to the House for the Government to seek the approval of the House before they go before Western European Union to advocate the raising of those limitations?

Hon. Members will recall that this matter has been under discussion in Western European Union for a considerable time. While it was going on, I explained to the House and particularly to the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) that the discussions were confidential. I gave the information about the decision as soon as it was reached. It was reached during the Recess and I gave the information to the House directly afterwards. If hon. Members wish to debate this, it is a matter for them and my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House.

If I remember rightly, in his previous answers the Lord Privy Seal did not state the number of occasions on which the limits had been raised, the dates of them and whether they had been accepted by the Government. May we have definite information of the occasions and the dates since the time the Brussels Treaty was passed on which these limits have been raised and the Government's attitude towards them? Is it now the Government's attitude that these limitations do not matter? Since the House of Commons was persuaded to agree to the whole thing on the basis that there would be these safeguards, may we have an opportunity to discuss whether there should be limits?

If the hon. Member refers to the answer which I mentioned in my main Answer, he will see that I gave full details of the three previous occasions on which amendments were made, and the date and the nature of the amendments.

Yes. On all occasions they were supported by the Government, If the hon. Member refers to that answer, he will find the full information given to him. Answering the last part of his question, I should have thought that the time taken and the opportunity for obviously thorough discussion which has gone on in Western European Union about the proposed amendment illustrate that, far from thinking that these things do not matter, the Government and the other Governments of Western European Union attach immense importance to them.

Do we understand from what the right hon. Gentleman said this afternoon and on previous occasions that Western European Union have the authority to revise the Brussels Treaty to enable the Federal German Government to manufacture nuclear weapons?

No, Sir. I never mentioned nuclear weapons in this at all. I said that under the terms of Article 2 of Protocol 3 of the revised Brussels Treaty a procedure is laid down for revising the restrictions on the manufacture of armaments except for those relating to atomic, biological or chemical weapons.

I emphasise that it does not include revisions or amendments in respect of atomic, biological or chemical weapons.

There is another slant to this important point. Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the Soviet Government are very sensitive to the obvious rearmament of Western Germany, remembering what their country suffered at the hands of the Germans in the last war. Before any further serious steps are taken to rearm Germany, will my right hon. Friend bear that in mind?

I realise the Soviet Government's attitude to this. There is a Question later on the Order Paper in reply to which I refer to the note which was sent to us recently about this matter by the Soviet Government. I point out that Germany is integrated into the Western Alliance, that as such a member she must be treated as a normal full member, and that this arrangement is the best guarantee for the security of Europe.

In view of the alarmingly unsatisfactory nature of the answers which the Lord Privy Seal has just given, may I give notice that I shall seek to raise the matter on the Adjournment at some convenient date?

Status Of Women Commission

49.

asked the Lord Privy Seal in view of the resolution passed by the Status of Women Commission at its meeting in Geneva in March, 1961, that the membership of the commission should be increased, if he will advise the United Kingdom delegate to the Economic and Social Council to support the resolution by voting for the increase.

It is not the practice to reveal in advance the instructions sent to the United Kingdom Mission in New York. However, as my hon. Friend knows, Her Majesty's Government voted in favour of the resolution in the Status of Women Commission, and I have no reason to believe that there will be a change in our attitude when this matter is voted on in the Economic and Social Council.

I thank my hon. Friend for that Answer. When he is thinking this matter over, will he remember to inform the delegates that at present the Status of Women Commission is orientated towards the West and it is rather essential that there should be representatives of other countries, particularly Africa, on the Commission in future?

Yes. We will, of course, take note of that. Her Majesty's Government take great interest in the status of women in all matters.

Zanzibar (Riots)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement on the riots which have recently taken place in Zanzibar.

I regret that, as hon. Members will know, there has been serious rioting and loss of life in Zanzibar. The disturbances, which began on 1st June during the election poll, are the result of tension between the African and Arab communities, and started with a number of sudden isolated incidents which took place at polling stations in Zanzibar town. The situation quickly deteriorated. Large crowds gathered in open spaces and small gangs in the maze of small streets in Zanzibar town attacked individuals. There has been a number of incidents on each following day.

The British Resident declared a state of emergency on 1st June and has imposed a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. The police have been reinforced by two General Service units of the Kenya Police, and by the 5th Battalion King's African Rifles, and two companies of the 6th Battalion. I regret to say that, so far, 47 persons have been reported dead, and that, among some 300 injured, 78 have been admitted to hospital. The total number of arrests to date is 575, including gangs attempting to loot.

The security forces have now been deployed throughout the two islands of Pemba and Zanzibar, and the latest report is of quieter conditions. I am in close touch with the British Resident.

Will the Under-Secretary accept that we on this side would like to express our condolences to the relatives of those who have lost their lives? I have two specific questions to ask him. First, is it not a fact that the security forces were under-manned, since it appears that it was only after the riots broke out that the Resident sent for 200 police from Kenya, thus increasing the security forces that he had with him by no less than 50 per cent.? Does not this show some lack in the intelligence services, since the Resident was not aware of the need for security forces?

Secondly, have the riots had any effect on Tanganyika? I sincerely hope that they have not.

As to the first part of the supplementary question, the elections in January took place without any untoward event. The rioting which broke out last week was very sudden and of an unexpected nature. The police did their duty. I think that the situation is now improving. I cannot be much more hopeful than that. I ask the House at this stage to back and support the security forces in the restoration of law and order, which must be our first objective.

Is my hon. Friend aware that during the past few months the Zanzibar National Party has been pouring out anti-British propaganda from its Cairo office and that one of the stated objects of the party is to obtain the independence of Zanzibar under the protection of the U.A.R., which would be intolerable for the majority race on the island?

Can the hon. Gentleman say at what stage the 47 deaths occurred? Was it a continuing sequence over a number of days, or did they all take place on the first day? What some of us would like to be reassured about is that the security forces were got there as quickly as possible.

As far as I know, the great bulk of the deaths occurred within the first twenty-four hours. My latest situation report, dated nine o'clock this morning, is that the rural areas are now being patrolled and we have spotter aircraft looking into any possible source of rural difficulties.

On the question of the forces being moved as quickly as possible, if the hon. Gentleman will look at the schedule of arrival he will find that the first two units of police from Kenya and the advance guard of the battalions arrived at the shortest possible notice.

The Under-Secretary asked the House to give support to the security forces. I am sure that the whole House will do this. Will he also ask the House to give support to the elected Government in Zanzibar, whose Prime Minister has shown great generosity and imagination in asking the leader of another party to become Chief Minister in order to ease the racial situation in Zanzibar?

Yes, Sir. The political leaders of all the parties in Zanzibar are at this moment touring the area asking for support in the preservation of calm and the restoration of order.

As my hon. Friend said that he was aware of the anti-British propaganda being poured out to Zanzibar, may I ask him what steps were taken to counteract this? Is he aware that far too much anti-British propaganda seems to go unanswered?

My right hon. Friend has been informed that anti-British propaganda has been flowing largely from Cairo Radio and other areas over which we have no control.

Do we not find ourselves in a slightly paradoxical position, because we are vigorously and by arms supporting a highly unpopular and anti-British Government against a pro-British and popular alternative?

At this stage, the main concern is the restoration of law and order on the island of Zanzibar. This is my main intention.

Will my hon. Friend tell the House, first, how long it took the reinforcements to reach the island from the time they were first demanded and, secondly, whether the Kenya police are likely to be replaced by further forces from somewhere else in the near future?

No, Sir. I believe that the situation is now being got under control. I will keep the House informed of any further developments.

On a point of order. Will the Under-Secretary answer the second part of my supplementary question? There have been some disturbing reports about Tanganyika. Is it perfectly certain that there has been no effect on Tanganyika as a result of these riots?

So far, one right hon. Gentleman and one hon. Gentleman are both rising simultaneously on what is said to be a point of order. The first one was not. Let us now try to deal with the second.

On a point of order. I do not think that the Under-Secrecary can have heard my question, because he did not answer it.

Order. There is some confusion. The right hon. Gentleman was asking for an answer to something. I do not know whether some answer was given or intended to be given to him.

I will answer the right hon. Gentleman, who asked about Tanganyika. It is obviously a matter of grave disquiet to everyone in East Africa that these riots should have broken out, but it would be unrealistic and not true to go beyond that.

Further to the question asked by the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. John Hall), does the Under-Secretary know how long elapsed between reinforcements being requested and the time of their arrival? If he does know, how long was it?

I think that I am right in saying that the first police contingents were there within a matter of hours of being requested, as I said in my reply to the right hon. Gentleman. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I am sorry. I will certainly give a schedule to my hon. Friend stating precisely how long it took for the various units—the 5th Battalion K.A.R.s, the two companies from the 6th Battalion K.A.R.s, and the Kenya police—to arrive in Zanzibar.

Orders Of The Day

Licensing Bill

As amended ( in the Standing Committee), considered.

New Clause—(Liqueur Chocolates)

(1) No provision of the Licensing Act, 1953, the Licensing (Seamen's Canteens) Act, 1954, or this Act as to the sale, supply or consumption of intoxicating liquor, except subsection (2) below, and no enactment requiring the authority of an excise licence for the sale or supply of intoxicating liquor shall have effect in relation to intoxicating liquor in confectionery which—

  • (a) does not contain intoxicating liquor in a proportion greater than one fiftieth of a gallon of liquor (computed as proof spirit) per pound of the confectionery; and
  • (b) either consists of separate pieces weighing not more than one and a half ounces or is designed to be broken into such pieces for the purposes of consumption.
  • (2) Intoxicating liquor in confectionery shall not be sold to a person under sixteen, and if any person knowingly contravenes this sub section he shall be liable on a first conviction to a fine not exceeding ten pounds and on a subsequent conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty-five pounds.—[ Mr. Vosper.]

    Brought up, and read the First time.

    3.40 p.m.

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

    This new Clause deals with a small but troublesome matter, the sale of liqueur chocolates, and it follows an undertaking which I gave in Committee to my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. W. Clark). At present, the sale of liqueur chocolates is governed by the licensing laws, and anyone who wishes to sell liqueur chocolates has to obtain a full justices' licence, with all the procedure and expense involved. This gives rise to three difficulties. First, it entails a confectioner obtaining a justices' licence. Secondly, the law is frequently disregarded. Thirdly, it gives rise to anomalies in the sense that, if chocolates are filled with paste, instead of free spirits, they may escape the protection of the law. For some time, the position has been troublesome, and representations were made to my right hon. Friend and myself during earlier stages of the Bill. My hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South moved an Amendment in Committee.

    We have considered various ways of dealing with the matter, and the new Clause provides, I think, the right answer. It seems that two requirements are necessary: first, that there should be some protection for children; and, secondly, that there should be a limit to the alcoholic content of the chocolates. The new Clause provides a limit to the alcoholic content and, to meet a point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Sir C. Black) to the size of the chocolates. Secondly, it prohibits the sale of liqueur chocolates to persons under the age of 16. Subject to those two requirements, the sale of liqueur chocolates will be freed in future from the licensing laws and they may be sold by a confectioner in the ordinary course of business. This seems to us to be a sensible approach to what has been a long troublesome matter, and I hope that the House will approve.

    I do not oppose the Second Reading of this new Clause, although there is one rather curious point of drafting which, perhaps, the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor-General will consider. Subsection (2) provides that

    "Intoxicating liquor in confectionery shall not be sold to a person under sixteen".
    That does not create an absolute offence, because the subsection goes on to say:
    "and if any person knowingly contravenes this subsection"
    and so forth.

    Since the Government have chosen that form of drafting, I should like them to say what is the effect of the first words. Do not they impose a limitation on sales without supplying any correlative sanction? If somebody sells confectionery to a young person under the age of 16 not knowing that he is under 16, presumably no offence is committed and there is no sanction whatever to reinforce the carrying out of the prohibition.

    That is a drafting point, but it is one which should be considered by the Government. I hope that, when the Bill goes to another place, the Ministers responsible will do what I think can correctly be described as changing the language so as to produce the result that the whole of the new Clause is effective instead of only part of it. I do not want to take time on a purely drafting point. I think that the new Clause itself is sensible and I myself strongly support the