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Commons Chamber

Volume 655: debated on Tuesday 13 March 1962

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House Of Commons

Tuesday, 13th March, 1962

The House met at half-past Two o'clock


[Mr. SPEAKER in the Chair]


Prescription Charges

Mr. Speaker, I beg to ask leave to present a Petition, signed by no fewer than 810,000 old-age pensioners and others in Great Britain. This Petition, signed by such a large number of our citizens, expresses a widespread and growing belief that the increase in prescription charges is a danger to the health of the people, particularly the old-age pensioners.

The Petition sheweth
That the increased charges for prescriptions will mean a deterioration in the health of the nation inasmuch as if these charges are not abolished pensioners and others will not be in a position to pay for prescriptions and will, therefore, not see the doctor when it is necessary.
Wherefore your humble Petitioners ask that all prescription charges shall be abolished forthwith.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound will ever pray, etc.

To lie upon the Table

Oral Answers To Questions


Development Corporation (Investment Offers)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the offer by the North Borneo Government to invest $250,000 in the Borneo Development Corporation and a similar offer by the Sarawak Development Finance Corporation have yet been accepted; and if he will make a statement.

The Borneo Development Corporation is a whollyowned subsidiary of the Colonial Development Corporation and I understand that the offers of the North Borneo Government and the Sarawak Development Finance Corporation are acceptable to the Corporation. I am at present considering the Corporation's application for sanction for additional capital for investment in the Borneo Development Corporation.

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that if the proposals for Greater Malaysia proceed with the speed that is intended, unless a really early decision is arrived at about the possible investment of this money in North Borneo it may be too late to act under the C.D.C. operation?

Are we to understand from that supplementary question and answer that it is the intention of the Government to bring North Borneo—700 miles from Malaya—into the Malaysian Federation?

The hon. Gentleman's supplementary question goes much wider than my hon. Friend's Question, which was devoted to a particular investment project.

British Guiana



asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what inquiry has been held into the causes of the recent disturbances in British Guiana; and what persons, firms, or organisations are shown by this inquiry to have been mainly responsible for instigating them.

Dr. Jagan, the Premier of British Guiana, has asked me to appoint a Commonwealth Commission of Inquiry with terms of reference "to inquire into the recent disturbances in British Guiana and the events leading up to them and to report thereon". I have informed Dr. Jagan that I will do so, and the necessary preliminary steps are being taken.

Why was the substance of the right hon. Gentleman's Answer released by a spokesman of his Department last night? Is that not rather unusual—and rather disrespectful to the House—when a Question for Oral Answer is on the Order Paper for the next day?

I do not think so. I did have that point much in mind, but Dr. Jagan was making the request to me; and they wanted to publish it, and I thought it right to do so.

Will the Secretary of State look at that point again? Has it not been the usual practice when there have been riots in a territory like British Guiana for the announcement of a Committee of Inquiry to be made, in the first instance, in this House? As to the composition of the Commonwealth Commission, while we welcome that it is to have a Commonwealth membership, will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the riots arose out of industrial disputes involving most industrial unions and civil servants in the territory? Will he, therefore, make sure that on the Commission there is a member with really good trade union standing?

I will certainly bear that in mind. In this particular case, it is rather important to stress that the request came from Dr. Jagan himself and wins made on his own initiative. That is very important for the future success of the Commission.

Northern Rhodesia



asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the alterations now proposed in the constitution of Northern Rhodesia conflict with the undertakings given to the Federal Government at the time of the referendum in Southern Rhodesia; and whether he will make a statement.

No, Sir. I have nothing to add to the reply I made in response to a supplementary question from my hon. Friend the Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison) on the occasion of my statement of 28th February. I made it clear then that there had been no departure from any undertaking by Her Majesty's Government.

Will my right hon. Friend clarify that earlier answer? Is he denying that the undertaking was given on 25th June to the Federal Prime Minister, or is he suggesting that the changes he announced on 28th February were not a sufficient departure to constitute a breach of the undertaking? Is he aware that on 6th March the Federal Prime Minister described the answer to which my right hon. Friend has referred as misleading in part and incorrect wholly?

It is for the House to judge the value of my Answers. In June we put forward certain proposals which we hoped would be definitive. Subsequently, in September, it was made clear that we were prepared to receive representations over a limited area of dispute. In view of our responsibilities to the people of Northern Rhodesia, we were prepared to do so.

Even if my right hon. Friend is correct, is he not aware that these charges of bad faith and sharp practice are being made from Salisbury? Is that not very damaging to Anglo-Rhodesian relations? What are Her Majesty's Government going to do about restoring good relations between the two Governments?

We are obviously anxious that the relations between the two Governments should be as cordial and as close as possible. For that reason nothing has been hidden by me from the Prime Minister of the Federation. I do not think we could get any further by bandying charges against one another.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps he is taking to preserve law and order in Northern Rhodesia in view of the decision of the United Federal Party to resist the proposed new Constitution by unconstitutional means.

Has not the right hon. Gentleman seen the minutes of the emergency congress of the United Federal Party's officials at Broken Hill last September at which Mr. Julian Greenfield, the Federal Minister of Law, said that he would be prepared to use unconstitutional means in order to stop the June proposals being implemented? Is not this subversive attitude of mind among Federal leaders most dangerous, and will not the right hon. Gentleman take steps to make sure, therefore, that no Federal troops are ever allowed inside Northern Rhodesia?

I have seen Press reports of what is supposed to be a document which emerged from a party meeting, but it is not for me to comment on the authenticity or otherwise of that document. In any case, I know of no decision by the United Federal Party to resist the proposed new Constitution I have recently announced.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if, in view of the declaration by the United National Independence Party that the new constitution for Northern Rhodesia is unworkable, he will prepare new plans for that country.

May I ask the Minister whether, if he is contemplating any further legislation, he will bear in mind that many of my hon. Friends and myself believe that the paramount need is the preservation of the Federation?

United Nations Convention (Education)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies to what extent the principles of the United Nations Convention against discrimination in education have already been applied to those parts of the educational system in Northern Rhodesia for which Her Majesty's Government are responsible; and how many multi-racial schools exist in the territory.

As the responsibility of the Northern Rhodesia Government for education is confined to African education other than higher education, the question of racial discrimination in the Government schools does not arise. The aim of that Government is universal primary education as resources permit. All tuition is free. There is one private multi-racial school.

Will the Colonial Secretary enter into consultations with the Governor of Northern Rhodesia with a view to seeing that a multi-racial policy in education is carried out in Northern Rhodesia? In view of the fact that his responsibilities are limited, will he consult with other education authorities responsible for other sections of education in Northern Rhodesia to try to negotiate an agreement for a multiracial policy?

I think the hon. Member has forgotten the drift of my original reply, which was that the Northern Rhodesian Government are responsible for the African education. Therefore, the point about multi-racialism does not arise.

Precisely because of that, will the right hon. Gentleman negotiate with both the Northern Rhodesian and the Federal Government to try to arrive at an agreement for a non-discriminatory policy in education in Northern Rhodesia?

I think that raises much wider questions than the general policies of the Federal and territorial Governments.

Is not the situation in which European education is the responsibility of the Federal Government and African education is the responsibility of the territorial Government discriminatory and an offence against this Convention?

I am not so sure on that point. I think that if one examines the facts one finds that African education has been extremely well advanced in these territories.



asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how long it will take to demarcate constituencies and prepare for a general election in Northern Rhodesia; and what political parties have indicated their intention of taking part.

Before constituencies can be delimited it is necessary for registration to be completed. This will be undertaken without delay, and I hope that all processes can be completed for an election this autumn. From reports which I have received, it would appear that the political parties generally propose to contest the elections, subject, in the case of the U.N.I.P., to certain conditions.

It is very satisfactory that all political parties intend so far as they can to contest the election, but, since it took over twelve months to work out the constituencies in Nyasaland, does not my right hon. Friend think that he may be a little optimistic about the date? In any case, is not nine months a long time when events in Central Africa will be moving very fast, and would it not be wiser to get on with the Federal Review as soon as possible, not waiting for the election?

The subject of the Federal Review is rather wide of this Question, I think. I may be optimistic in my estimate of dates. It is the best I can make, and I shall do my best to keep to it.

Is the Minister aware that most of us on this side of the House regard two years after the Monckton Report recommended that there should be an African majority Government in Northern Rhodesia as a very long time, and will he do what he can to shorten the period before the elections are held?

I will make it as short as I can, but there is a good deal of necessary work to be done before elections can be held.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when he is arranging the election in Northern Rhodesia; how he is delineating the constituencies; and what steps he is taking to ensure a fair election in view of threats of unconstitutional action by the United Federal Party.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when it is proposed to hold the elections in Northern Rhodesia.

As I have said, I hope that the elections will be held in the autumn. Delimitation of the constituencies will be a matter for an independent Commission. I am not aware of any threats of unconstitutional action, but I am satisfied that the Governor will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure a fair election.

Why do we have to wait until October for the election? Cannot it be speeded up, particularly in view of the fact that the Federal elections are now to be held within a few weeks? Are the major parties, like U.F.P., being consulted about the drawing-up of constituencies?

In reply to an earlier question, I think I said that before we can have an election we have to have constituencies and a register and that that will take a good deal of time.

Is it not the case that the proposal for an election, at least along those lines, has been published for six months or so and that the only question at issue has been the precise way in which the franchise will be distributed? In that case, why has there not been some preparation made for this? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he can have no discussions, as he himself admitted, on the future of the Federation until there has been an election in Northern Rhodesia? Is it not very urgent indeed to have this election, in view of the fact that Sir Roy Welensky intends to have what The Times called a "provocative and dangerous tribal war dance" in the Federation next month?

Before one can proceed with a register one must know who are the people to be qualified as electors and how many constituencies there are to be. None of these facts could have been settled until the announcement which I made recently. Therefore, it has not been possible to go ahead with the appointing of an independent commission.

In view of the angry noises made by the U.F.P., will the right hon. Gentleman give a guarantee that he will continue to be directly responsible for law and order between now and the time the elections take place?

I am not answerable for angry noises from any source, but Her Majesty's Government do not intend to dispose of any of their responsibilities in the Federation.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the U.F.P. has threatened violence unless the proceedings went the right way for them in Northern Rhodesia?

There have been far too many threats from far too many quarters in Rhodesia in recent years, and I hope that they can now cease.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Government of Northern Rhodesia propose to alter the law under which persons who have served prison sentences are ineligible for election to the Legislative Council.

Does the Minister appreciate that under the present state of the law, anyone who serves a six months' sentence, even for political offences, is disqualified from elections for five years? Is not that quite indefensible in any case and at any time?

Would the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind when he is considering this matter further, as he has promised, that if this disqualification were to apply elsewhere, then many of our Colonies might lose their Prime Ministers and that we in this House would lose some of our distinguished Members?

That is a very interesting speculation, but whether it is relevant or not I am not sure.

Colonial Territories

United Nations Convention (Education)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether Her Majesty's Government have now ratified the United Nations Convention against discrimination in education and have fully applied its provisions to Colonial Territories.

As to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's Question, I have nothing to add to the reply given on the 21st February by my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs to the hon. Members for Dundee, East (Mr. G. M. Thomson) and Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway). As regards application of the Convention to Colonial Territories, I am in consultation with the Governments concerned with a view to deciding whether its provisions should apply to them.

Can the Colonial Secretary say why Her Majesty's Government are dragging their feet about ratifying this Convention, which is against the colour bar in schools? Is he not against the colour bar in schools in the Colonies? Is it not his policy to eliminate discrimination as quickly as possible? Therefore, why will the Government not ratify this Convention and get on with the job?

We have expressed the hope that as many overseas territories as possible will accept the Convention, but it is not our practice—and never has been—to apply international conventions to overseas territories without prior consultation and agreement with the Governments of those territories.

Will the right hon. Gentleman take responsibility for saying that where his writ runs he will carry out the provisions of the Convention wherever it is in his power in education to do so?

It has been made quite clear that where legislation of an administrative kind on the part of overseas Governments is concerned it is not our practice—it is wise that we should act in this way—to take action without prior consultation and agreement with the Governments concerned.


Constitutional Conference


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will now make a statement in detail of the problems discussed and decisions reached at the recent Kenya Constitutional Conference.

The position remains as indicated in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) and the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) on 6th March.

Has the Minister realised that a great many of the frustrations which have occurred at this conference arose from the fact that the conferees entered the conference with rigid preconceptions and insisted upon them instead of tackling the relevant problems in the true spirit of conference?

I think there is a great deal in what the hon. and learned Member has said. We are hoping to get a more forthcoming spirit in the conference and we think that is developing.

Ex-Colonial Civil Servants (Pensions)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many ex-members of the Colonial Service or Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service are receiving pensions from the Government of Kenya; and how many of these are receiving increases less than those received under the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1959, of the United Kingdom.

I have asked the Acting Governor for further information and will write to my hon. Friend as soon as I have it.

Is it not surprising that the figures have been supplied to me from the Crown Agent and that my right hon. Friend does not know?

I am not sure that I have been completely caught out this time. I hope to prove that I have not been.

Does this pleasant rather late co-operation betoken a change of heart after Lord Boyd's speech in another place?

I do not quite follow the drift of my hon. Friend's question, but if there is ever a change of heart I am sure that it is for the better. I am not quite sure what she is referring to.

West Indies



asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, following the visit of the official delegation from the Federal Parliament of the West Indies, he will make a further statement with regard to the future of the West Indies.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on his discussions with the Prime Minister of the Federation of the West Indies.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on his discussions with Sir Grantley Adams and others in respect of a future federation of the West Indies and of the smaller islands.

I received the Prime Minister of the Federation of The West Indies and the Parliamentary delegation. They expressed their disagreement with the policy of Her Majesty's Government but no new reason was advanced for varying the decision I announced to the House on 6th February, which itself was taken after consultation with the Federal Government.

Will my right hon. Friend indicate to the House if it is his policy to encourage the federation of the remaining eight islands of the Eastern Caribbean as they themselves apparently wish? If so, what financial assistance are Her Majesty's Government prepared to provide to help them? Could he also inform the House what his arrangements are for the Federal civil servants who have lost their employment prospects through no fault of their own?

On the first point, I am awaiting the report of a conference of the eight island Governments, which I expect to receive very soon, and then I shall go into it very urgently. On the second point, I think all concerned have a very serious responsibility to the Federal civil servants, and ways and means of meeting that are being considered.

Will the right hon. Gentleman say if he does not appreciate that there is a real demand for some kind of association or federation of what are called the "Little Eight"? Dr. Arthur Lewis has given a provisional estimate of the cost of making the area viable. If such an idea is not adopted, is the Minister contemplating the turning back of these Colonies to purely colonial status?

We regard this idea of the "Little Eight" as a promising development, but we are awaiting more detailed studies which are to be made. Professor Lewis is engaged on the financial implications.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the relations with the Federal Government: seem to have been muddled and mishandled in a way which is certain to give the impression of discourtesy? Was it not rather shabby to introduce the West Indies Bill to the House of Lords in the very week when the Federal Government delegation was here and in advance of an interview with the Federal Prime Minister? Is it conceivable that if Dr. Banda had wanted to secede from the Central African Federation the same treatment would have been accorded to Sir Roy Welensky? Will the right hon. Gentleman ensure that the official Federal delegation, apart from the secession of Jamaica, shall be given adequate time for consultation about alternative arrangements for the rest of the area?

I cannot accept that at all. When I was in Port of Spain I discussed with the Federal Government and explained in great detail what I proposed to do and the timing of it. Subsequently they decided to send a delegation to this country to express opposition to Her Majesty's Government, but that was not without having been forewarned of what we proposed to do and not without consultation.

Could my right hon. Friend confirm that the Federation broke down because Jamaica was not prepared to share its relative wealth with the poorer islands and that it had nothing to do with Her Majesty's Government here at home?

I do not want to go into the causes or to assign blame for this, but when I was in Port of Spain earlier this year every single island Government agreed that the existing Federation must be dissolved and new arrangements made.




asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps he is taking to deal with the present industrial unrest in Aden.

I do not accept that a situation amounting to industrial unrest exists in Aden.

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that Aden was on the brink of a general strike, and does he not know that two trade unionists are serving long prison sentences because of the part they were playing in organising the trade unions there? Would not a general strike constitute industrial unrest, and what does he propose to do about it?

A general strike would constitute industrial unrest, but the figures I have show that whereas in 1959 and the first half of 1960 there were 118 strikes, in the whole of 1961 there were only three. We should not, I think, exaggerate.

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the great diminution in the number of strikes was due to the ordinance which he had passed prohibiting strikes? In the circumstances, would it not have been better to make that quite clear with reference to the causes and the extent of industrial difficulties which exist in Aden at present?

The effect of the ordinance was that although there were 99 industrial disputes last year 96 were settled by the machinery envisaged in the industrial relations ordinance. It has been very successful.

Solomon Islands

Harmful Magic (Prosecution)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why a man in the Solomon Islands was recently sentenced to one month's imprisonment for being in possession of two pieces of magic wild ginger.

He pleaded guilty to an offence under the Preservation of Order Regulation, the relevant section of which provides that "any person who has in his possession, without lawful excuse, an article normally associated in native minds with harmful magic shall be guilty of an offence". The maximum penalty for such an offence is imprisonment for six months or a fine of £20.

Since the Minister is himself responsible, with previous Ministers, for such legislation, does that mean that he and other Ministers believe in the magic properties of this ginger? Further, since the laws are based on laws of the United Kingdom, if any hon. Member were to be in possession of it would he be liable to go to prison in this country?

I do not think that that would apply. I understand that among the Solomon Islanders wild ginger is a well recognised instrument of sorcery in the seduction of women.




asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken to construct an aerodrome on the Seychelles up to full international standard.

A reconnaissance survey team visited Seychelles last year to examine possible sites for an airfield and its report is awaited.

May I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply and recommend to him that improvement of communications would probably be the key to the future of this almost "Cinderella" group of islands, the Seychelles?

Budget Proposals


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps he is taking about the Budget proposals for the Seychelles, following the unanimous vote of the unofficial members of the Legislative Council against them.

I am satisfied that the Budget proposals are sound and that the Governor was entirely correct in using his casting vote in favour of the Appropriation Bill as a matter of urgency. I, therefore, do not propose to intervene.

Is it not the constitutional position that, when the unofficial members of the Legislative Council are unanimous, the Governor may not use his vote without the consent of the Secretary of State for the Colonies? Has the right hon. Gentleman given that consent? Will he put in the Library the Budget proposals so that we may make up our minds about them?

I will put in the Library all the information I can. I have satisfied myself that the Governor's action is entirely in accordance with constitutional practice and with the undertakings given in the past.




asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what constitutional proposals he has received from the new Government of Malta.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies when he received a request from the new Prime Minister of Malta for independence for the island; and what was his reply.

I have received no constitutional proposals from the new Government as yet, but before taking office Dr. Borg Olivier made it clear that he will wish to raise certain questions with me.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that there is a large body of people in the island holding the opinion that they would not want to enjoy a lesser status in the Commonwealth than that accorded to Cyprus, and will he agree that once the problems of viability and defence have been solved there is no reason why Malta should not be an independent State within the Commonwealth?

I am looking forward to an early meeting with the new Prime Minister of Malta. I do not think that I should comment on any particular issue before then.

Is the Colonial Secretary aware that the Prime Minister declared some time ago that the present constitution is unworkable, that he represents 50 per cent. of the electorate and that the Labour Party represents 30 per cent., all that 80 per cent. being in favour of independence and freedom? Will he now say that he is prepared to give these people freedom at a specific date and not make a general and vague statement?

No, Sir; I do not think that I can make a statement to that effect today.



asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what complaints he has received concerning irregularities during the recent general election in Malta; what inquiries are being made; and if he will make a statement.

Two days before the elections the Governor received certain written representations from the Malta Labour Party, which he discussed with a delegation from the Party on the same day. The delegation was unable to produce direct evidence in support of their allegations. No further complaints have been received.

Is the Minister aware that the whole of the Maltese Press and the foreign Press of the world was full of the irregularities taking place during this election, and, in view of the statement made to him in a memorandum from the Labour Party of Malta and amplified to the Governor, will he now hold an inquiry into the whole position? The right hon. Gentleman was asked to send someone down there during the period of the election and he refused to do it. Will he now hold an inquiry into the allegations that have been made?

No. I do not think there is any substance in that. The Governor has discussed the representations received from the Malta Labour Party, and my own impression is that the authorities in Malta did a very good job in conducting the election.

East Africa

Ex-Colonial Civil Servants (Pensions)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many ex-members of the Colonial Service or Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service are receiving pensions from the East Africa High Commission; and how many of these are receiving increases less than those received under the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1959, of the United Kingdom.

As my information is incomplete, I have asked the Secretary-General for further information and will write to my hon. Friend as soon as I have it.


Antarctic Treaty


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the extent and assumed economic or other value of the Antarctic area now formally deemed a British Colony; whether it will have any permanent human settlement; and what agreements have been reached with other Governments in respect of the peaceful use of British territory and the whole Antarctic region.

The new British Antarctic Territory, which was formerly part of the Colony of the Falkland Islands and Dependencies, consists of the land and islands lying south of latitude 60° South and between 20° and 80° of longitude West. No minerals of economic importance have yet been found, but the territory is valuable as a site for scientific work. I do not expect that there will be permanent habitation in the foreseeable future though there are several permanent research stations in the territory.

The Antarctic Treaty to which the United Kingdom is a party came into force on 23rd June, 1961. Article 1 of that Treaty provides that Antarctica should be used for peaceful purposes.

Her Majesty's Government accepted all the recommendations made at the first Consultative Meeting of Antarctic Treaty Powers held in Canberra last year. I will place a copy of the report in the Library of the House.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many people are living in this area? Secondly, is it not almost grotesque that, having divested ourselves of a colonial empire, we should now, apparently, be trying to compensate ourselves by acquiring this waste land? Has not the right hon. Gentleman considered the possibility of the whole Antarctic area being placed under some kind of international supervision rather than being divided up into colonies?

There is some misunderstanding here. We are not in any way seeking to extend our territory but to rename and divide a particular part of it, the reason being that our Antarctic territory bore previously a name derived from the disputed area outside the Treaty area. We thought it better to change it in the interests of general agreement and working together in the area.

Central Africa

Mr Greenfield (Talks)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on his official talks with the Minister of Law of the Central African Federation.

Mr. Greenfield was present when my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and I met Sir Roy Welensky and Sir Edgar Whitehead on 1st March; but, apart from this, I have had no official talks with him.

In view of the fact that the Colonial Secretary admitted earlier in answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) that he did not know whether or not Mr. Greenfield's threat to adopt unconstitutional action on hard lines to preserve the Federation were authentic or not, may I ask him why he did not take this opportunity to ask Mr. Greenfield himself, in view of the fact that he occupies, ironically enough, the position of Minister of Law in the Federation, and has, presumably, taken an oath of loyalty to the Queen?

I have the impression that the report in question appeared in the Press after I saw Mr. Greenfield.

With respect, the report in question was referred to in this House by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) a week after the conference took place.

The report I have been referring to was the one in the Guardian of 6th March and, as I said, I saw Mr. Greenfield on 1st March.

Northern Rhodesia And Nyasaland

Federal Troops


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will now strengthen the police forces of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland and advise the Governors of both Protectorates not to invite Federal troops into the territories, in view of the danger that the use of these troops will provoke disorder and violence.

I am satisfied about the strength and capability of the Police forces in both Territories. The second part of the Question relates to a hypothetical situation.

Surely, if the Colonial Secretary is to be consistent with the answer given to my second supplementary question on Question No. 25, he will be quite firm that Federal troops will not be asked into Northern Rhodesia or Nyasaland? Is he not aware of the extreme danger that would result if Sir Roy Welensky's troops went into these two Protectorates?

The Federal Government are responsible for defence and have the right to station troops anywhere in the Federation. The use of troops in support of the civil power is only at the request of the Governor.

While we all welcome that assurance by the Colonial Secretary, may I ask him if he will now take steps to make inquiries into the authenticity of the reports that Mr. Greenfield and the U.F.P. threatened unconstitutional action?

I do not regard that as being the view of the United Federal Party or the Prime Minister.

Ought not the right hon. Gentleman to inquire into this matter more closely, in view of the fact that, at the emergency congress already referred to, it was decided to make a request to the Federal Government to keep as many Federal troops in Northern Rhodesia as possible in order to show the flag? Is not this the direct use of Federal troops for political intimidation?

I do not think so. I have already said that Federal troops are for defence purposes and must remain the responsibility of the Federal Government.

Ministry Of Works

Horse Guards Parade (Car Parking)


asked the Minister of Works which persons are authorised to park their cars on the Horse Guards Parade, and under what circumstances.

A limited number of the occupants of the surrounding buildings and of visitors to them, are authorised to park on the edges of the Parade when it is not required for ceremonial purposes. The selection of those to whom permits are issued is the responsibility of the Departments concerned.

Will not my right hon. Friend agree that the Horse Guards Parade is not in any sense an adjunct to any of these Departments which surround it, and that the result has been that we have a parade pockmarked with over 100 cars stretching 40 or 50 yards into the middle of the parade ground, and if this is a suitable place for parking 100 cars should it not be a case of "first come, first served"?

I do not think I could accept my hon. Friend's statement that this cannot be said to be an adjunct to the Departments concerned. It borders on them.

It may be bordering on them, but is it not a fact that it is not an adjunct to the Departments in the sense that the courtyard of the Foreign Office is an adjunct of the Foreign Office or that Downing Street is an adjunct to these Departments, in so far as they are not public thoroughfares?

Is the Minister aware that the police always say that any space outside a hereditament or building is perfectly free for parking of the public unless there are ceremonial parades? If at a special time like Christmas this whole area can be used for parking cars, would it not be a more sensible arrangement merely to give notice that the parade ground is needed for ceremonial purposes?

I do not think so. So far as special periods like Christmas are concerned, I try to help as far as I can with the properties which come under my control, whatever the precedents may be.

Quantity Surveyors


asked the Minister of Works how many men are involved in the abolition of the post of Grade IV quantity surveyor's assistant in his Department; how many of these men have been in Government service for fifteen years or longer; and what steps he is taking for their alternative employment.

Seven quantity surveying assistants, Grade IV, have been declared redundant in the Ministry of Works as part of current staff reductions; this comprises the total staff in that grade. Only one of these has been in Government service for fifteen years or longer. I have had inquiries made of local authorities and other Government Departments in an attempt to find them alternative employment. So far two offers of employment have been made, and others are in prospect.

Is the Minister aware that the one to whom he refers is a constituent of mine; that he has worked for Government Departments for over twenty years and that now that he is over 50 years old it is a pretty shabby trick simply to shake him off as though the Government have no obligation to him? That is what is happening now. Will the Minister look into the matter again and see that this competent person is provided with some alternative employment?

I hope that the hon. Member has had a letter with regard to his constituent—

It may be unsatisfactory, but it is the truth. We have done all we can to help this man. I am advised that he will not be prejudiced in his chances of future employment. We have done a great deal for him.

Whitehall Banqueting Hall


asked the Minister of Works when the removal of exhibits from the Whitehall Banqueting Hall will be completed.

The disposal of the exhibits is a matter for the Royal United Service Institution, which is considering what should be done. I am sure that there will be no undue delay.

Abingdon Street (Open Space)


asked the Minister of Works when the open space opposite the Victoria Tower and in front of the Abbey Walls is to be filled in and laid out.

The Westminster City Council is preparing plans for the construction of an underground garage on this site. My plans for the treatment of the surface are being developed at the same time. I hope shortly to be able to inform the House how and when it is proposed to deal with this most important area.

No 10 Downing Street


asked the Minister of Works what steps he has taken to ensure that home-grown timber is used in the rebuilding of No. 10 Downing Street.

None, Sir. In view of the special requirements at No. 10 Downing Street I have thought it inadvisable to limit the architect's choice, but I understand that home-grown oak is being used to replace oak floors.

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the great need to encourage the growing of home-grown timber? Does not he think that it would be well worth his Department's while to encourage growers by specifying the use of home-grown timber wherever possible?

The operative words are the last used by my hon. Friend, namely, "wherever possible". If that means "wherever wise" I quite agree, but I do not think it would be right to go beyond it.

Whatever timber is used, is the Minister taking steps to ensure that it is adequately treated with creosote or some anti-dry-rot mixture? We have had an awful lot of dry-rot in No. 10 Downing Street in recent years.

I shall do my best to see that the new structure lasts for a very long time.

Wireless And Television

Independent Television (Programmes)


asked the Postmaster-General if in view of the poor quality of entertainment programmes now transmitted by the Independent Television companies, he will take powers to ensure an improvement of such programmes.

No, Sir. Under the Television Act it is the duty of the I.T.A. to satisfy itself that so far as possible its programmes maintain a proper balance in their subject matter and a high general standard of quality. The Authority assures my right hon. Friend that the provisions of the Act are being complied with.

Has the right hon. Gentleman satisfied himself that the Authority is carrying out its responsibilities? Is the Minister not aware that too many old films are being used for the sole purpose of aiding the companies in their fight with Equity? Will not the Minister have a very close look at the position in order to save himself from being exposed to the charge of strikebreaking? Will not he take the necessary powers to see that his Department is not used in that way?

Is is the duty of the Authority and not of my right hon. Friend to see that a correct balance is kept. We all admit that the entertainment value of these films is a matter of personal judgment. Ultimately, the viewer is the final arbiter, and he has the choice of turning to the alternative programme.

Is not the hon. Lady aware that some of these I.T.A. programmes—especially under regional contractors—are rapidly becoming a bore solely because they consist of repeated Westerns and old films? If her Department is not prepared to do anything about it, will not she consult the Television Advisory Committee in order to see what its observations are?

I can assure the hon. Member that we watch these things very carefully indeed.

Reception, North Antrim


asked the Postmaster-General what plans he has for improved television reception along the north Antrim coast, and particularly at Ballycastle.

Both the B.B.C. and the I.T.A. are well aware of the poor reception conditions in Ballycastle and other places on the North Antrim coast, and have the area in mind in their planning of future stations.

Will my hon. Friend please encourage the B.B.C. to give the highest priority to its service in this area? The North Antrim coast is a well-known resort and visitors are being driven away by the impossibly bad television reception there.

I am sure that the B.B.C. will take note of what my hon. Friend has said.

Advertisements (Smoking)


asked the Postmaster-General, in view of the danger to health involved in cigarette smoking, recent evidence of which is contained in the Report of the Royal College of Physicians, a copy of which has been sent to him, if he will take steps to amend the Second Schedule to the Television Act, 1954, to deal with cigarette advertising.

As mentioned yesterday by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, the Government are studying the measures recommended in the Report of the Royal College of Physicians which include restriction of tobacco advertising. My right hon. Friend cannot make any statement at this stage with regard to such advertising on television.

But has not the hon. Lady herself observed the linking of romance, sex appeal and cigarette smoking in a deliberate appeal to young people on this the most powerful medium for influencing ideas the world has ever known? Should not the Government at least implement this part of the Royal College's Report by completely banning cigarette advertising on television?

We all have this problem very much in mind, but my right hon. Friend cannot make any further statement at the present time.

Can we have an early statement from the Postmaster-General on this aspect? Is it not rather silly to send out circulars to local authorities begging them to take action while at the same time the television programmes are counteracting the effect of those circulars?

My right hon. Friend is looking at this matter with the greatest urgency.

Will the hon. Lady represent to the I.T.A. that it might try to find actors who are capable of acting on television without continually having cigarettes in their mouths, or bottles or glasses in their hands?

I am sure that the Authority will take note of the right hon. Gentleman's remarks.

Secretary Of State For War (Title)


asked the Prime Minister whether, for greater accuracy and in order to make clear that United Kingdom policy is non-aggressive, he will substitute for the title of Secretary of State for War the title of Secretary of State for the Army.

I agree that the title "Secretary of State for War" is an anachronism, but I do not believe that it gives rise to any serious misunderstandings either here or overseas.

In view of the fact that the word "war" in some way implies aggression and that we have now adopted the word "defence" to show that we mean no aggression—and in any case since the Secretary of State for War is really the Secretary of State for the Army—would it not be wise to make this description more accurate so that it complies with present conditions?

It would be convenient at a convenient moment, but legislation is necessary and I hardly think that it is justified.

In view of some of the exchanges in this House in the past week and the general opinion—expressed by the Government also—that there is no actual defence against nuclear attack, would the right hon. Gentleman consider substituting for the title of "Minister of Defence" the title of "Minister of Retaliation"?

Deputy Prime Minister


asked the Prime Minister if he will appoint a Minister to the post of official Deputy Prime Minister.

No, Sir. As far as I know, the office of Deputy Prime Minister is not a formally recognised office under our Constitution. Nevertheless, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary not only gives me special assistance over a wide range of public duties but presides over the Cabinet in my absence.

Can the Prime Minister tell us what consideration made him appoint the Home Secretary before the Leader of the House or the Chancellor of the Exchequer?

I have explained that this is not an appointment which is recommended. All appointments are made by the Crown on the recommendation of Ministers. So far as I know, under our Constitution there is no provision for an appointment of Deputy Prime Minister to be made by the Crown.

Cabinet Ministers


asked the Prime Minister whether he will now extend his policy of alleviating the burdens of Ministers by appointing two Cabinet Ministers in certain Departments and appoint an assistant Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury to assist him in his duties.

I am glad that the hon. Member has now come to see the value of certain dispositions which I have made, but I hope that, being a new convert, he will beware of the dangers of excessive zeal.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he should not be so defensive about our kindly thoughts on his behalf? I am not really a convert at all. If he thinks that two Cabinet Ministers sitting in Admiralty House is not a good idea, can he say why two Ministers sitting in great Offices of State like the Treasury or the Foreign Office is such a good idea?

I have explained that under the dispositions we made in the autumn I was able to make this arrangement by using an office that was at my disposal—that of Paymaster-General. As for the Deputy Prime Minister, as I have already pointed out there is no such post for recommendation to the Crown.

Yes, Sir. He and his friends have kept it in mind very carefully.

Summit Conference


asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the recently expressed misgivings of Mr. Khrushchev, he will now give an assurance that Her Majesty's Government will seek to arrange a summit conference before any resumption of atmospheric testing.

The essential need is for an agreement on the banning of nuclear tests. I hope that the negotiations now taking place in Geneva will show us the way towards such an agreement. As I said in my message to Mr. Khrushchev on 6th March, I am ready to go to Geneva at any stage when it appears that such action can be of positive value.

Can we be assured that in the event of the Geneva negotiations proceeding satisfactorily successful results will not be jeopardised by a resumption of atmospheric tests on Christmas Island or anywhere else?

The President has said that the tests will not begin until well after the beginning of the coming meetings at Geneva, and this will provide a real opportunity to see whether the Russians are ready to negotiate seriously.

Will the Prime Minister make a little clearer his views of the circumstances in which a summit conference might be valuable? Is it not the case that in addition to the idea that the summit conference would put the seal upon any agreement which was reached between the Foreign Ministers it might also be extremely important to prevent a complete breakdown in the negotiations?

That is a point to which I did refer in my letter to Mr. Khrushchev.

Since atmospheric tests can already be detected by existing means, why could not agreement now be reached to the extent of accepting the ending of tests which are able to be detected by existing national means?

My own view is that it should be possible to reach full agreement on the whole problem. If there is serious negotiation, I am sure that both the President and I would wish to take full advantage of that.

The Prime Minister has said that he is taking personal responsibility for our share in the disarmament committee, and we all welcome that statement. Does he think, however, that he can do that in any significant sense unless he takes part in the Committee's deliberations at an early stage and revisits it from time to time?

What I have tried to say represents the facts. The conference is just about to open, and it has been generally agreed that it should not be attended by Heads of Government at the opening stage.

Nuclear Tests


asked the Prime Minister what is the number of nuclear tests which he has agreed with the United States President will be conducted at Christmas Island; and what is the total amount of fall-out which it is estimated will result from this test series.

I am not prepared to disclose the details of the test programme; but the scale of the tests will be as limited as possible. As President Kennedy has said, they will be within limits that restrict the fall-out to an absolute minimum.

Are we to take it from the reply to the first part of my Question that the right hon. Gentleman does not know the number or that he will not tell? On the second part of the Question concerning the scale of the fall-out, even though the right hon. Gentleman says that it will be limited to the minimum, can he tell the House and the country the calculation made by the British and American Governments of the genetic effects of this series of tests? Exactly what calculations have been made in advance?

I see no reason at this stage why we should publish the programme of tests. The Russians did not do so with theirs. President Kennedy has made it clear that there will be the minimum possible fall-out, and that it is not expected to add seriously to any of the dangers to which the hon. Gentleman refers.

When the right hon. Gentleman says that he is not publishing the number of tests because the Russians would not reveal the number of theirs, are we to understand that the British and American Governments model themselves on the Russian Government in this matter? As the number of tests obviously affects the whole question as to whether the nation should approve of them or not, why does not the British Government make an effort to tell the public the truth about what is happening? Has not the public the right to know the facts so that it can judge for itself?

It would be unwise and quite wrong at this moment to publish the programme, which is not actually completely fixed at the moment.

Does the right hon. Gentleman remember that a few years ago it was accepted by our scientists that for every megaton of explosion we must expect approximately within a generation a thousand extra deaths from cancer of the bone and about a thousand extra deaths from leukemia? As well as the evil genetic effects of these explosions, will the right hon. Gentleman bear that factor in mind?

Yes, Sir. I would not accept the figures quoted by the hon. Gentleman and would like a specific question about them, since I do not carry them in my head. But I think he will remember that the general conclusion after the first alarm about milk, following the latest massive Russian tests, was rather reassuring.



asked the Prime Minister if he will convey in his next letter to Mr. Khrushchev the wishes of the British people for a successful outcome of the proposed disarmament talks between the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the Soviet Union and all other nations interested in bringing the arms race to an end.

I am sure that the whole House will be glad of this opportunity to express its wishes for a successful outcome of the Geneva Conference. I, for my part, am sending my noble Friend the Foreign Secretary a message of good wishes which he will convey to the Conference in his opening speech.

Is the Prime Minister aware that he will take with him the good wishes of the British nation if he goes forward with a genuine attempt to bring about a disarmament agreement, but that if he uses this again as an election gimmick he will receive the condemnation of the British people?

While I welcome the spirit in which the Question was put and also the first half of the supplementary question, I would very humbly say that I do not think that the hon. Gentleman has added by his closing remarks to the weight of the message he wanted to go from this House.

Post Office

Shipping (Direction-Finding Service)

40 and 41.

asked the Postmaster General (1) how many ships at sea have requested radio direction-finding bearings from Post Office coastal radio stations in the four months ended 31st January, 1962; and what action has been taken on such requests;

(2) what was the cost of providing radio-telegraphy direction-finding bearings to ships at sea in the year ended 30th September, 1961, or nearest convenient year.

The answer to the first Question is 17. The ships were informed that the direction-finding service at British Coast Stations ceased from 1st September, 1961, and that bearings could not be given. In three of the cases the ship requested the transmission of a signal enabling it to take a bearing on the Coast Station by means of its own direction-finding apparatus, and such signal was provided. The cost of providing bearings to ships at sea during the year ended 31st March, 1961, was £5,176.

Is my hon. Friend aware that £5,000 is a very small sum compared with the loss which might be sustained by one ship going aground? Is she further aware that when the "Princess Victoria" was lost in the Irish Sea her radar equipment was out of action, there were no other ships in the area, it was impossible for aircraft to fly, and that if these shore wireless stations had not been operating we should probably have lost the entire complement of the ship? Will she not look into this matter again?

As my hon. Friend probably knows, the cost of this service is borne by the Ministry of Transport, and responsibility for the safety of lives at sea is a question for the Minister of Transport.

Does the hon. Lady realise that this system of direction finding is a most valuable scientific invention which may do much to save life at sea and shipping? Will she do everything possible to encourage its use?

National Finance



asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether coordinated Government plans now exist for dealing with the economic consequences of general disarmament.

No, Sir. These consequences must depend on the conditions under which disarmament is put into effect. I do not think special plans are called for at this stage for a situation which might take many different forms. But one assumption which can safely be made is that any process of general and complete disarmament will be spread over a number of years and that there will be time to adjust the economy.

Since the United Nations has thought it fit and necessary to appoint an economic commission to investigate the economic and social consequences of disarmament, is it not equally necessary for Her Majesty's Government to apply their mind to the consequences which will flow in the event of a disarmament agreement being reached internationally?

Of course, this is an important subject, and the first part of the report of the panel of experts appointed by the Acting Secretary-General has been published and is under consideration. But I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we in the United Kingdom do not expect any difficulty in finding useful outlets for resources released by disarmament or that the latter event could possibly cause unmanageable dislocation.

Many of us feel that this is a problem more easily soluble in this country than perhaps in others where there is a very heavy armaments expenditure and greater difficulty in mobilising resources for social purposes. Nevertheless, will the Financial Secretary give an undertaking that when the Government have completed their study of the United Nations Report they will seek an appropriate opportunity to make a statement in the House?

I will, of course, bring what the right hon. Gentleman has just said to the notice of my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I was glad to hear the first part of his supplementary question, with which I certainly very much agree.

If, fortunately, we were to have complete and general dis- armament, would not it bring mass unemployment to the engineering industry? [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Are plans being made to prevent that happening to this industry?

I would ask my hon. Friend not to speak in those alarming terms. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I repeat what I have already said to the House. We in this country do not expect any difficulty in finding useful outlets for resources which may be released by disarmament. I should have thought that the country which led the world in the Industrial Revolution and which is still one of the great trading nations could use these resources in very many other ways.

In order to enlighten his hon. Friend the Member for Louth (Sir C. Osborne), will the Financial Secretary ensure that the United Nations Report is made available to hon. Members in the form of a White Paper?

I am sure that my right hon. and learned Friend will consider that suggestion.

New Member Sworn

Dick Taverne, esquire, for Lincoln.

Complaint Of Privilege

Yesterday, the hon. Member for Goole (Mr. Jeger) raised with me a complaint of breach of Privilege with regard to an article which appeared in last Sunday's Sunday Telegraph.

I have given very careful consideration to the hon. Member's complaint in the light of the precedents, and, in view of the opinion which I have formed, I think that I had better say as little as possible about the article.

It is my view that the article does not, prima facie, constitute a contempt of this House and does not, prima facie, involve a breach of any of its privileges.

That means that I cannot allow the hon. Member's complaint precedent over the Orders of the Day. But, of course, that has no effect on what the House might choose to do in the matter should it be raised on a substantive Motion.

On the point of order. Has it occurred to you, Mr. Speaker, that a claim of Privilege of this character, which introduces the names of other hon. Members, is rather an abuse of the procedure under which a claim of Privilege can be made? Has it not occurred to you, Sir, that that was the purpose of this claim of Privilege?

I see no ground on which I could take the view that there was an abuse. If the right hon. Member desires to press the matter, he can take appropriate steps to do so.

Business Of The House (Supply)


That this day Business other than the Business of Supply may be taken before Ten o'clock.—[Mr. lain Macleod.]

Monopolies Divestment

3.36 p.m.

I beg to move,

That leave be given to bring in a Bill to give to the Board of Trade power to require a limited liability company to divest itself of shares in any wholly or partly-owned subsidiary or associated company where the Monopolies Commission have ruled that the ownership of such shares is monopolistic in character and harmful to the public interest.
The House, and particularly the country, little knows, I think, that the Board of Trade has no powers in respect of monopolies divestment. On 30th January, the President of the Board of Trade made a statement in the House, from which I quote:
"If the merger"—
that was, the I.C.I.-Courtaulds merger—
"takes place, and if it operates in such a way that it appears to me to be acting against the public interest, then I would immediately make a reference to the Monopolies Commission … If, after considering the report of the Monopolies Commission, the Government were to decide that it was necessary for them to intervene, they would ask Parliament for any additional powers that were required."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 30th January, 1962; Vol 652, c. 896.]
There are two things implicit in this statement. First, and it is common ground between all of us in the House, that there can be a national interest in monopolies of this kind. There may well be a company interest, but the national interest must, and shall, override it. Secondly, there is implicit in this statement that the Minister has no power to ensure that the national interest shall override the company interest. The Bill which I seek leave to introduce would give my right hon. Friend powers now rather than in the future. That is very important, because it enables the Bill to be general instead of particular. I cannot imagine anything more invidious for a company than to be the XY Company Ltd., the particular cause of a special Bill linked specially to it.

If the House wishes there to be powers to stop mergers in the correct circumstances, then I think that now is the time to introduce such powers and not to wait until later. Under the Bill, there would be three hurdles. First, the suspect monopoly has to be referred to the Monopolies Commission and found to be a monopoly. Secondly, the Commission must find that the monopoly is harmful to the public interest. Thirdly, it is within the discretion of the President of the Board of Trade and is not mandatory on him to require a divestment.

The Bill deals with three types of situation. First, the 90 per cent. to 100 per cent. wholly-owned shareholding—because if you obtain 90 per cent. you are able to enforce acquirement of the balance—which is the sort of ownership leading to integration which I.C.I. originally announced it was going for. Secondly, the 51 per cent. shareholding ownership which gives not integration, but an absolute voting control over policy and management in a "subsidiary" company. Thirdly, there is the sort of figure of, say, 37 per cent. of an "associated" company which gives a similar controlling interest if, but only if, the shares held by the other 63 per cent. are scattered among a great number of small and dissociated shareholders. In the case of British Aluminium we saw that 49 per cent. did not give control because Tube Investments had a 51 per cent. holding. Therefore, there is a vital distinction as to whether the 37 per cent. is the big fish when all the other fishes are little fishes, or whether there is an even bigger fish knocking about somewhere.

I am sure that all Members agree that all of those three considerations could well be present in a monopoly which might be harmful to the public interest and would be bad. In the present circumstances it is clear that a 37 per cent. holding may well give effective control to the board of I.C.I. In other words, the Courtaulds' directors, who have got to get through their report and accounts each year, must continually look over their shoulder at the 37 per cent. solid holding which will be cast in one single cast vote, and may well be, in effect, the single controlling force.

The three conditions are imposed on the Minister; that such shareholdings must be held to be a monopoly, that such monopoly must be harmful and that discretion shall be exercised by the right hon. Gentleman in the last resort. These are very far from arbitrary powers which I seek to give to the Board of Trade. That is one side of the story, but what about the liberties and rights of the shareholders? What does divestment mean? There are two types of this. Either a taking over company could be required by the President of the Board of Trade to sell or place its shares in the open market, or it could be required to distribute them pro rata to all its existing equity shareholders.

In the first place, the ordinary shareholders do not suffer, in the sense that there will have been no great change. As shareholders they will revert to the status quo ante. There will have been an additional amount of issued capital but they will have an additional amount of cash which the company will have received in respect of that additional amount of capital created and issued. On the other hand, in the second case—the distribution of shares to the equity share or stockholders—there will be a greater change and may well be a loss, but I submit that it will be no hardship on them if they will have known in advance where they stand.

First, they will own direct what they would otherwise have owned indirectly. As owners of the ordinary stock of the taking-over company they own as property the shares of the taken-over company and it is only right that they should own those shares directly rather than indirectly. Secondly, and this is very important, they can then cast their votes directly rather than indirectly. The essence of the 37 per cent. control is that a block vote can be cast solid and if an undertaking is given to the Board of Trade that such votes will not be so exercised one will have made absolute nonsense of the Companies Act and the control of shareholders over their boards of directors. It is far better that votes should not be thus artificially sterilized, but should be used for the very purposes for which such votes have been created.

I submit that it is a good thing that we should ensure in such cases, by a divestment which distributes the shares, that the property is owned direct and that the votes are cast direct. There is another argument in favour of this; the directors and shareholders of all potentially taking-over or being taken-over companies need a greater degree of certainty in their present situation. They are approached, or they wish to approach, another company for a takeover bid and I think that they should know what powers the Minister is to have and that is why I want it known now. He should have definite powers, immediate powers, but they should be general and, above all, sufficient.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Sir James Pitman, Sir John Vaughan-Morgan, Mr. Robert Carr, Mr. Geoffrey Hirst, and Mr. Julian Ridsdale.

Monopolies Divestment

Bill to give to the Board of Trade power to require a limited liability company to divest itself of shares in any wholly or partly-owned subsidiary or associated company where the Monopolies Commission have ruled that the ownership of such shares is monopolistic in character and harmful to the public interest, presented accordingly, and read the First time; to be read a Second time upon Friday, 23rd March, and to be printed. [Bill 78.]

Orders Of The Day



Considered in Committee.


Civil Estimates And Estimate For The Ministry Of Defence, 1962–63


Motion made, and Question proposed,

That a sum, not exceeding £1,445,371,503, be granted to Her Majesty, on account, for or towards defraying the charges for the following Civil Departments and for the Ministry of Defence for the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1963, viz.:—

Civil Estimates

1. House of Lords89,000
2. House of Commons550,000
3. Treasury and Subordinate Departments1,500,000
4. Privy Council Office16,000
5. Post Office Ministers2,500
6. Customs and Excise6,900,000
7. Inland Revenue20,000,000
8. Exchequer and Audit Department260,000
9. Civil Service Commission225,000
10. Royal Commissions, etc.170,000

1. Foreign Service9,800,000
2. Foreign Grants and Loans9,600,000
3. British Council1,300,000
4. Commonwealth Relations Office3,500,000
5. Commonwealth Grants and Loans5,115,000
6. Development and Welfare (Commonwealth Relations Office)125,000
7. Colonial Office3,100,000
8. Colonial Grants and Loans6,800,000
9. Development and Welfare (Colonial Office)7,600,000
10. Department for Technical Co-operation10,500,000
11. Commonwealth War Graves Commission395,000

1. Home Office2,220,000
2. Scottish Home Department582,000
3. Home Office (Civil De fence Services)3,600,000
4. Scottish Home Department (Civil Defence Services)240,000

5. Police, England and Wales21,678,000
6. Police, Scotland137,000
7. Prisons, England and Wales7,000,000
8. Prisons, Scotland655,000
9. Child Care, England and Wales1,491,000
10. Child Care, Scotland187,000
11. Supreme Court of Judicature, etc.500
12. County Courts164,000
13. Legal Aid Fund1,000,000
14. Law Charges290,000
15. Law Charges and Courts of Law, Scotland166,000
16. Supreme Court of Judicature, etc., Northern Ireland30,000

1. Board of Trade2,153,000
2. Board of Trade (Promotion of Trade, Exports and Industrial Efficiency and Trading, etc., Services)3,062,000
3. Board of Trade (Promotion of Local Employment)18,742,000
4. Export Credits100
5. Export Credits (Special Guarantees, etc.)100
6. Ministry of Labour8,075,000
7. Ministry of Aviation77,000,000
8. Ministry of Aviation (Purchasing (Repayment) Services)9,000,000
9. Civil Aerodromes and Air Navigational Services3,000,000
10. Ministry of Transport1,899,000
11. Roads, etc., England and Wales44,517,000
12. Roads, etc., Scotland5,000,000
13. Transport (Shipping and Special Services)340,000
14A. Transport (British Transport Commission)50,000,000
15. Ministry of Power1,000,000

1. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food7,700,000
2. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland2,800,000
3. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Agricultural Grants and Subsidies)42,000,000
4. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland (Agricultural Grants and Subsidies)4,500,000
5. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Agricultural Price Guarantees)66,000,000
6. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland (Agricultural Price Guarantees)9,000,000
7. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Agricultural and Food Services)5,000,000
8. Food (Strategic Reserves)800,000
9. Fishery Grants and Services2,200,000

10. Fisheries (Scotland) and Herring Industry950,000
11. Forestry Commission4,000,000

1. Ministry of Housing and Local Government4,000,000
2. Housing, England and Wales26,500,000
3. Housing, Scotland9,500,000
4. General Grant to Local Revenues, England and Wales172,038,000
5. General Grant to Local Revenues, Scotland21,471,000
6. Rate Deficiency, etc., Grants to Local Revenues, England and Wales38,750,000
7. Equalisation and Transitional Grants to Local Revenues, Scotland6,264,000
8. Ministry of Education40,000,000
9. Scottish Education Department7,990,000
10. Ministry of Education (Teachers' Superannuation)100
11. Scottish Education Department (Teachers' Superannuation)100
12. Ministry of Health1,575,000
13. Department of Health for Scotland1,150,000
14. National Health Service (Hospitals, etc., Services), England and Wales140,109,000
15. National Health Service (Executive Councils' Services), England and Wales56,968,000
16. Miscellaneous Health and Welfare Services, England and Wales13,650,000
17. National Health Service (Superannuation), England and Wales100
18. National Health Service, etc., Scotland26,000,000
19. National Health Service (Superannuation), Scotland100
20. Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance2,500,000
21. National Insurance70,000,000
22. Family Allowances49,500,000
23. National Assistance Board64,500,000
24. War Pensions38,250,000

1. Universities and Colleges, etc., Great Britain29,000,000
2. Office of the Minister for Science33,000
3. Atomic Energy40,000,000
4. Department of Scientific and Industrial Research6,000,000
5. Medical Research Council2,100,000
6. Agricultural Research Council2,165,000
7. Nature Conservancy200,000
8. Grants for Science120,000

1. British Museum370,000
2. British Museum (Natural History)200,000
3. Science Museum118,000
4. Victoria and Albert Museum195,000
5. Imperial War Museum21,670
6. London Museum18,000
7. National Gallery160,000
8. National Maritime Museum33,000
9. National Portrait Gallery16,000
10. Tate Gallery48,000
11. Walllace Collection16,000
12. Royal Scottish Museum46,000
13. National Galleries of Scotland43,000
14. National Library of Scotland40,333
15. National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland12,000
16. Grants for the Arts1,600,000

1. Ministry of Works2,452,000
2. Public Buildings, etc., United Kingdom11,460,000
3. Public Buildings Overseas1,439,000
4. Houses of Parliament Buildings125,000
5. Royal Palaces267,000
6. Royal Parks and Pleasure Gardens378,000
7. Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments424,000
8. Rates on Government Property9,450,000
9. Stationery and Printing8,000,000
10. Central Office of Information1,850,000
11. Government Actuary21,000
12. Government Hospitality60,000
13. Civil Superannuation, etc.13,450,000
14. Post Office Superannuation, etc.100

1. Charity Commission78,000
2. Crown Estate Office56,000
3. Friendly Societies Registry41,000
4. Royal Mint100
5. National Debt Office100
6. Public Works Loan Commission100
7. Public Trustee100
8. Land Registry100
9. War Damage Commission100,000
10. Office of the Registrar of Restrictive Trading Agreements53,000
11. Ordnance Survey1,210,000
12. Public Record Office55,000
13. Scottish Record Office20,000
14. Registrar General's Office275,000
15. Registrar General's Office, Scotland35,000
16. Department of the Registers of Scotland100
17. National Savings Committee450,000

1. Broadcasting11,500,000
2. Carlisle State Management District100
3. State Management Districts, Scotland100
4. Pensions, etc. (India, Pakistan and Burma)2,760,000
5. Royal Irish Constabulary Pensions, etc.380,000
6 Irish Land Purchase Services585,000
7. Development Fund600,000
8. Secret Service2,400,000
9. Miscellaneous Expenses210,000
Total for Civil Estimates1,439,231,503
Total for Civil Estimates and Estimate for the Ministry of Defence1,445,371,503

3.40 p.m.

I beg to move, That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again.