Glassware

Air Corporations Bill – in the House of Commons am 12:00 am ar 11 Tachwedd 1953.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

10.45 p.m.

Photo of Sir Hugh Linstead Sir Hugh Linstead , Wandsworth Putney

I beg to move, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Miscellaneous Controls (Revocation) Order, 1953 (S.I., 1953, No. 1078), dated 10th July, 1953, a copy of which was laid before this House on 11th July, 1953, in the last Session of Parliament, be annulled. This Order deals with the revocation of four other Orders, but the one with which I am particularly concerned is the third—the Glassware (Control of Manufacture and Supply) Order, 1948. At this somewhat late hour in the evening I might explain to the House that even if we were to have a Division the effect upon the parent Order would be the same, whether or not the Prayer were carried, because if we carried the Prayer it would be without prejudice to the validity of anything already done under this Order, and what has already been done under it is to destroy the parent Order.

The object of this Prayer is, primarily, to draw attention to the effect of the annulment of the parent Order upon the glass industry, and particularly upon one branch of the industry, namely, cut glass. The brief history of the earlier Orders is that in 1945 there was a Miscellaneous Goods (Prohibition of Manufacture and Supply) Order, which prohibited the manufacture of certain types of glass, including their import. Then there was the Glassware (Control of Manufacture and Supply) Order of 1948, which omitted manufacture, subject to licence.

It is this 1948 Order which the present Order has revoked. The 1948 Order provided for a licensing system both for the home trade and for exports, and it enabled the Board of Trade to place an embargo on the import of most forms of glassware. The result of that Order was to create great prosperity in the glass industry of this country. That prosperity was used by the industry with great initiative and enterprise to encourage the export of British glassware.

The figures are extremely significant. In 1938, the export of glassware was £1,600,000 in value. By 1951, thanks largely to the operation of this Order which we are now revoking, it had gone up to £14 million. By 1952, it had fallen slightly, but still stood at £12,400,000. That represented an increase, over the period from 1938 to 1952, of 675 per cent. on export sales.

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

I take it that my hon. Friend is not quoting the figures for cut glass?

Photo of Sir Hugh Linstead Sir Hugh Linstead , Wandsworth Putney

No. I was quoting, first, the figures for the glass industry as a whole, and I was then going to refer specifically to the cut glass figures, which are much smaller.

In 1935, they amounted to £250,000 in production, of which £178,000 went for export. By 1951 the figure of production was up to £1,376,000, of which £860,000 went for export, so that the result of operation of the parent Order was an enormous increase in the prosperity of the glass industry here, with an exceptional contribution to the export trade. I drew attention to the fact that between 1951 and 1952 there was a fall of some £2 million in the export figures of the glass industry as a whole, and that marks the beginning of foreign competition—competition not in the home market, but mainly from the Czechs and Germans in the export markets.

For the proper understanding of the Order that we are considering tonight, it is, I think, desirable that I should mention one or two examples of the effect of German and Czech competition. The Germans and Czechs, for example, about a year ago were quoting for pint beer bottles at 33s. 6d. per gross in Malta, which was about 7s. 9d. per gross below what our own exporters were able to quote in Malta.

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

I am sorry to interrupt my hon. Friend, but, of course, the Order that was revoked and to which he is referring, did not concern beer bottles at all. What it was dealing with might roughly be described as cut glass. What he is now talking about is not the subject of the Order.

Photo of Sir Hugh Linstead Sir Hugh Linstead , Wandsworth Putney

I have at any rate been able to give an example of foreign competition and possibly I had better content myself with that particular example and not go any more into the broader field.

Within the strict field of cut glass I would just draw attention to one example of foreign competition which is directly in that field, and that is the practice of some exporters from this country to foreign countries sending abroad samples of British cut glass so that they may be able to mould them in Japan and possibly in Germany. Then that mould copy of British cut glass is sent back to this country or sold in competition with our own cut glass in foreign markets.

Without pressing further the question of foreign competition in the export market, I would draw attention now to the difference between the point of view of the Minister in revoking this Order and the point of view of the industry. The Minister, of course, is repealing this Order to permit a free manufacture in the home market without licence so that he may forward something which we all wish to see—the further liberalisation of international trade.

The industry itself, while not opposed to that type of liberalisation, finds that the Minister is compelled, at the same time, because of our obligations under international agreements, to withdraw any ban on imports of foreign cut glass into this country. So the difference of opinion which has developed is the difference between the liberalisation of our trade and the free entry of imported glass into this country. That is undoubtedly one example of a state of affairs which, over the whole industrial field, will become increasingly common.

The facts of the decision which has been taken by the Board of Trade, are probably best illustrated by the actual words of the Board of Trade. On 7th September they said this: Since the restrictions on the manufacture and supply of cut glass have now been removed it is no longer possible to continue the present total ban on imports. The Board of Trade have therefore decided to abolish restrictions on the imports of cut, engraved and etched domestic glass ware from the scheduled territories, which comprise all the British Commonwealth except Canada, and then various other territories are named. At the same time, in consequence of the repeal of the Order, they are making arrangements to allow imports of cut glass from European countries, first of all according to a quota and then, subject to our general balance of payments situation, we shall almost certainly have to provide for increased imports of cut glass in future periods. The effect of this foreign competition has already begun to make itself felt in the industry. The figures of employment in the industry are worth noting. In 1938, in this section there were 617 glass blowers and 947 decorators; in 1951, 570 glass blowers and 392 decorators; and by 1953 the glass blowers were down to 454 and the decorators 414. In other words, you have got in a craft industry a series of figures showing a steady reduction in the number of craftsmen employed.

It is already clear that more of the craftsmen will find themselves redundant. They are already seeking employment elsewhere and once highly skilled craftsmen leave an industry there can be no question at all of their returning. So we are faced with the slow extinction of one of the oldest craft industries. If this Order goes—as indeed, it has already done—then the quotas which have protected the industry will go and the imports from Czechoslovakia, Ireland and Germany will come in without any limitation, and it will no longer be possible for the Minister to prevent the competition of low foreign wages by any increase of protective duties, because for the time being under G.A.T.T. we are prevented from doing that.

I ask the Minister, what protection is it possible for him to offer if the fears of the cut glass industry are found to be well founded, and, if in fact, the deterioration of this industry continues? What can he do if the revocation of the Order is to stand to prevent the extinction of one of our old craft industries?

11.3 p.m.

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

I beg to second the Motion.

It is not only my habitual habit of praying that has led me to support the hon. Member for Putney (Sir H. Linstead). By doing so I want to make it clear that the shock at the past stupidity of the Government is shared by all parties. The country as a whole is upset by the scandalous disregard of our old-established industries by the doctrinaire decontrol policy of the present Government.

I would also make it clear that the Glass Manufacturers' Federation like the Labour Party believes in unity. We stand together. Where British trade goes the good name of my constituents as glass makers go. We do not make cut glass but we believe that if any section of the industry is threatened by the stupidity of the Government we have both to stand together.

That was why, on receiving reports from the Federation, I was convinced there was a straightforward and reasonable case to protect British industry and I decided to support the hon. Gentleman in the powerful case which he has made. I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary has paid attention to all that has been said, that he will try to rid himself of his doctrinaire prejudice and try to look, for a change, at the real commercial interests of the country.

11.5 p.m.

Photo of Mr Charles Simmons Mr Charles Simmons , Brierley Hill

The hand-made glass trade is almost entirely situated in my constituency. It is called Stourbridge glass, but the glassworks are in my constituency, and the glass is known the world over.

Both employers and trade unions are most apprehensive about the effect of the Order on immediate employment and the future supply of skilled craftsmen, for it is likely to be serious. This is one of the older crafts whose excellent products have won fame for the skill of British craftsmanship all over the world. The real danger is that, as this generation of craftsmen dies out, the craft and the skill will disappear.

The hon. Member for Putney (Sir H. Linstead) gave figures to show the steady decline in the number of craftsmen employed in the industry. Roughly one-third of the glass blowers and more than half the decorators have been lost to the industry, which is very serious. Training is essential to maintain the number of craftsmen, but young men are deterred from following in the footsteps of their fathers—it is largely a family craft—by the uncertainty which has dogged the industry in recent years. The craftsmen themselves who have become redundant through loss of trade have been absorbed into other trades where the remuneration is higher, and the incentive to return to the industry is not very great.

Great efforts have been made by the industry to improve plant and training methods since the war. The industry is not seeking protection to encourage inefficiency but is seeking protection against dumping and unfair competition. I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will be able to give us some satisfaction.

11.7 p.m.

Photo of Mr John Jones Mr John Jones , Rotherham

I can make no claim for my constituency about cut glass, but in Rotherham we have one of the oldest established ordinary glass making concerns in the country, and I am gravely concerned about the situation. It does not follow that, because the cut glass industry is about to suffer, the ordinary glass industry will not do likewise, for there is the question of the import of the vital raw material from which glass is made, whether it is beer bottles or cut glass decanters, and as this is bought in bulk it will, in the aggregate, have a serious effect.

I am particularly concerned about the loss of craftsmen. Ever since I have been in the House I have heard from the Government Benches the need for Britain to reassert itself in the world's markets. We must hand it to the Stourbridge district, because it has had a tremendous market, particularly in America, where it has earned enormous sums of dollars.

I am concerned about the fears that the glass workers and their ancillary workers have about the situation. These are very skilled men who are not easily replaced, and I hope something can be done. I hope that the hon. Member for Putney (Sir H. Linstead) will carry this Motion to a Division and let it be seen that on occasions this House has at heart not one particular industry but the needs of the country as a whole.

11.9 p.m.

Photo of Mr George Wigg Mr George Wigg , Dudley

As Stourbridge is in my constituency I should like to say a word about Stourbridge glass, which is world famous. The raw materials which go into it are indigenous and make no demand upon foreign currency, and these materials and these craftsmen produce a very valuable dollar earner. If young men see no future in the glass trade they will leave it and go into engineering, or other more prosperous industries, and once the craftsmen are lost, unless the rising generation of craftsmen can be trained to take their place, there can be only one result, and that is that Stourbridge cut glass will go out of existence. For that reason, I support the hon. Member for Putney (Sir H. Linstead).

11.10 p.m.

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

I thank all those who have spoken in this short debate for their brevity. I appreciate their anxiety for a very celebrated craft industry of this country, and I agree with the remarks made in praise of the achievements of this industry.

I must, however, remind the House what this Prayer asks. It is objecting to the revocation of the Glassware (Control of Manufacture and Supply) Order, 1948. Now, what did that Order do? It prohibited the supply, except under licence, of domestic glassware decorated by cutting, engraving and etching. I think it would be convenient for all if we referred to it briefly as cut glass. That control was originally imposed in 1942, so that the industry could be switched to war work. It was subsequently maintained to promote exports.

What did that Order do? It prohibited the supply, except under licence, of cut glassware in this country. Does any hon. Member, in any quarter of the House, consider for one moment that that Order could be made permanent? It was certainly bound to go, just as the control of decorated china went. If we believe in this industry, as I know hon. Members who have spoken tonight do believe in it, we cannot think that a sensible way of looking after its interests is to prevent the British people from buying its products except under licence. That really does not make sense. That control was bound to go.

Nor, to do justice to the speeches that have been made, is the revocation Order itself criticised. What is criticised is something quite different, namely, the policy on imports. The House would certainly not expect me—and I have no doubt Mr. Speaker would call me to order if I attempted—to deal with import policy in response to this Prayer. Nevertheless, perhaps so that we should get some sense of proportion in this matter Mr. Speaker would allow me just to give the figures of the quotas that have been allowed for the last half of the present year.

My hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Sir H. Linstead), who initiated this debate, spoke of the passing of quotas. What, of course, passed was the total prohibition. What we have at the moment are quotas. Let me give the figures of these quotas.

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

Quotas of what we can call cut glass. Quotas of what is allowed to be imported. I said so at the beginning, but my hon. and gallant Friend could not have followed me. They are as follow: Austria, £700; Belgium, £5,000; France, £8,200: Holland, £1,500; Italy, £3,000; Sweden, £3,200; Germany, £2,000; Czechoslovakia, £3,000; and Yugoslavia, £1,000, making a total of £27,600, or, roughly, between 5 and 6 per cent. of the home production. Do not, therefore, let us wholly exaggerate the imports that have been coming in since the revocation of the Order.

Hon. Members have shown their concern—and I agree with them—at the decline in the number of skilled craftsmen. But as hon. Members have very fairly said, they have gone out over a period of 15 years. That really is not connected with the revocation of this Order against which this Prayer is directed.

Photo of Sir Elwyn Jones Sir Elwyn Jones , West Ham South

Will not the effect of the Government's action increase the difficulties of the industry and accelerate the rate of decline of these skilled craftsmen in a very important old British industry?

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

I very much hope not, and I want to give, later in my speech, some grounds for that hope by mentioning what is happening at present. I would say to the hon. and learned Member that whatever may be done for this industry, it would be perfectly hopeless were we to endeavour to save it by prohibiting the British public, except under licence, from buying its products. That simply does not make sense.

Photo of Sir Hugh Linstead Sir Hugh Linstead , Wandsworth Putney

May I ask my hon. and learned Friend for an interpretation of the figures he has given? For what period of time are these quotas to operate? Is it not true that his own Department have said that we shall almost certainly have to provide for increased imports of cut glass in future periods?

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

I said that the figures I have given were for the second six months of the current year. I am not disputing in the least that there may be later changes which will be made known in due course. What I am saying—and I am sure the House appreciates it—is that it does not arise on this Order, and that I should be out of order if I entered into a general discussion on import policy.

Photo of Mr George Porter Mr George Porter , Leeds Central

In view of the statement which the Parliamentary Secretary has just made, to the effect that the matter does not arise out of the Order, will he now proceed to deal with something which has been suggested by the mover of the Motion and which is within the Order, that it is the opinion of the trade that the Order, passed by the Labour Government, in 1948, gave an impetus to the trade? They were satisfied with the position, and they now object to the withdrawal of that Order.

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

The hon. Member is only inviting me to indulge in vain repetition. I have not denied at any point that there was a period when this Order played a useful part. It is no part of my case to' deny that, and I have not done so. What I have said, and I think that hon. Members on both sides of the House will appreciate the force of it, is that by its nature this form of control which prevents the public from buying the products of an industry, except under licence, is not one which the majority of hon. Members would wish to make permanent in any industry.

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

I think I had better proceed, unless the hon. Member has a new point.

Photo of Mr George Porter Mr George Porter , Leeds Central

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman now suggesting that the market for this type of commodity was being starved?

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

I expect it is due to my own stupidity, but I really cannot follow the hon. Member if he thinks that that is a different point. I have endeavoured to make clear why I thought the Order against the revocation of which the Prayer is moved was incapable of being a permanent part of our legislation.

What is the present position? I should be sorry if hon. Members were to leave the House with a feeling of gloom about this important and very worthy industry. I dare say the hon. Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey) will have noticed—indeed, I am surprised he did not mention it in his speech—the trade note which appeared in the "Financial Times" of 28th October headed, "Cut glass, export trade improving." It was quite an important note, giving encouraging facts which showed that the Stourbridge manufacturers of cut glass are slowly but steadily improving their export trade. I have no doubt that that is known to the hon. Member who represents that constituency.

I know the House wishes me to be brief, but perhaps I might be allowed to mention the latest report that I have received from our own regional office in Birmingham, with which I am certain the hon. Member is familiar. That report says that there is at present full employment in the industry, home sales are improving—that, I agree, may be partly due to seasonal trade—the export position is steadily improving, Australian orders are better, and, last but not least, the flow of orders from the dollar area is being maintained.

In nothing that I have said am I denying for one moment the serious problems of this industry and its need to maintain the greatest efficiency, but I am sure we should be wrong in thinking that a solution of that problem lay in the sort of control against which this Order is

directed. A Minister at the Board of Trade, I suppose, must look at all the industries which come within his purview with equal justice and favour, but perhaps I might be allowed to disclose one personal fact, and that is my own love, now spreading over a fairly long life, of the products of the English glass industry.

I believe that in the quality of the metal, in the workmanship and the excellence of its best designs it has no superior anywhere in the world. I share the desire that has been expressed in all quarters that this great industry may prosper, notwithstanding all its difficulties, which I do not minimise. I think it gave us some knowledge of what it was capable of earlier this year when, of all the Coronation souvenirs which were produced, some of the very worthiest came from this industry.

I hope to have an opportunity, at a fairly early date, of visiting some of the centres of this industry and seeing something of its problems at first hand. I suggest to the House in all seriousness that we should really be deceiving ourselves if we thought that any of those problems could be solved by continuing to say to the British public, "You shall not buy the products of this industry except under licence."

Photo of Sir Hugh Linstead Sir Hugh Linstead , Wandsworth Putney

I am disappointed that although the Minister has rejected the remedy proposed by the Prayer, he has not proposed any alternative which might be favourable to the industry. Nevertheless, he has spoken sympathetically and, with the permission of the House, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Motion.

Hon. Members:

No.

Question put.

The House divided: Ayes, 145; Noes, 141.

Division No. 5.]AYES[11.25 p.m.
Acland, Sir RichardBlackburn, F.Craddock, George (Bradford S.)
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)Blenkinsop, A.Crosland, C. A. R.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Blyton, W. R.Crossman, R. H. S.
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell)Braddock, Mrs. ElizabethCullen, Mrs. A.
Awbery, S. S.Brockway, A. F.Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.
Bacon, Miss AliceBrook, Dryden (Halifax)Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)
Baird, J.Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.de Freitas, Geoffrey
Bartley, P.Brown, Thomas (Ince)Deer, G.
Bence, C. R.Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)Driberg, T. E. N.
Benn, Hon. WedgwoodCallaghan, L. J.Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Benson, G.Champion, A. J.Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)
Beswick, F.Chetwynd, G. R.Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)Clunie, J.Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)
Bing, G. H. C.Collick, P. H.Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)
Fernyhough, E.Lee, Frederick (Newton)Ross, William
Fienburgh, W.Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)Royle, C.
Fletcher, Eire (Islington, E.)Lewis, ArthurShackleton, E. A. A.
Foot, M. M.Lindgren, G. S.Short, E. W.
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Logan, D. G.Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Freeman, John (Watford)MacColl, J. E.Skeffington, A. M.
Gibson, C. W.McGhee, H. G.Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Grey, C. F.McGovern, J.Slater, J. (Durham, Sedgefield)
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)McInnes, J.Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)McLeavy, F.Snow, J. W.
Griffiths, William (Exchange)MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Hale, LeslieMallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Sparks, J. A.
Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.)Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)Steele, T.
Hamilton, W. W.Mann, Mrs. JeanStewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Hannan, W.Manuel, A. C.Sylvester, G. O.
Hargreaves, A.Mason, RoyTaylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
Hayman, F. H.Mikardo, IanThomas, George (Cardiff)
Healey, Denis (Leeds S. E.)Mitchison, G. R.Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Herbison, Miss M.Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)Thornton, E.
Holman, P.Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)Wallace, H. W.
Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth)Mulley, F. W.Wells, William (Walsall)
Houghton, DouglasOswald, T.West, D. G.
Hoy, J. H.Paget, R. T.Wheeldon, W. E.
Hubbard, T. F.Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)Pearson, A.Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Pearl, T. F.Wilkins, W. A.
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Plummer, Sir LeslieWilley, F. T.
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.Popplewell, E.Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.Porter, G.Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Johnson, James (Rugby)Proctor, W. T.Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Jones, David (Hartlepool)Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)Rhodes, H.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Jones, Jack (Rotherham)Roberts, Albert (Normanion)Mr. George Wigg and
Keenan, W.Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)Mr. Simmons.
King, Dr. H. M.Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
NOES
Ailken, W. T.Gower, H. R.Nabarro, G. D. N.
Alport, C. J. M.Graham, Sir FergusNeave, A. M. S.
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)Nicholls, Harmar
Arbuthnot, JohnGrimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)Hare, Hon. J. H.Nield, Basil (Chester)
Banks, Col. C.Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)Oakshott, H. D.
Barber, AnthonyHay, JohnO'Neill, Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Barlow, Sir JohnHeald, Sir LionelOrmsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.
Baxter, A. B.Heath, EdwardPeake, Rt. Hon. O.
Beach, Maj. HicksHiggs, J. M. C.Perkins, W. R. D.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)Hinchingbrooke, ViscountPitman, I. J.
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)Hirst, GeoffreyRaikes, Sir Victor
Bevins, J. R. (Toxleth)Holland-Martin, C. J.Redmayne, M.
Bishop, F. P.Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.Rees-Davies, W. R.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)Ronton, D. L. M.
Boyle, Sir EdwardHudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)Roberts, Peter (Heeley)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Brooman-White, R. C.Hyltons-Foster, H. B. H.Roper, Sir Harold
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Bullard, D. G.Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.
Burden, F. F. A.Kaberry, D.Scott, R. Donald
Butcher, Sir HerbertKerr, H. W.Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Campbell, Sir DavidLambert, Hon. G.Spearman, A. C. M.
Carr, RobertLegge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Speir, R. M.
Cary, Sir RobertLegh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)Lindsay, MartinStewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)Stoddart-Soott, Col. M.
Cole, NormanLockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.Storey, S.
Crosthwarte-Eyre, Col. O. E.Longden, GilbertStrauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Crouch, R. F.Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)Studholme, H. G.
Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)Lucas-Tooth, Sir HughSummers, G. S.
Doughty, C. J. A.Macdonald, Sir PeterTaylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord MalcolmMacleod, Rt. Hon. lain (Enfield, W.)Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Drayson, G. B.Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.Thorneycroft, Rt. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)
Fell, A.Markham, Major Sir FrankTilney, John
Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.Marples, A. E.Turton, R. H.
Fletcher-Cooke, C.Maude, AngusVane, W. M. F.
Fort, R.Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. CVosper, D. F.
Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale)Medlicott, Brig. F.Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire. W.)
Galbraith, Rt. Hon. T. D. (Pollok)Mellor, Sir JohnWard, Hon. George (Worcester)
Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hilihead)Molson, A. H. E.Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Godber, J. B.Morrison, John (Salisbury)Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Gough, C. F. H.Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.Wellwood, W.
Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)Wills, G.
Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)Wood, Hon. R.Sir Cedric Drewe and
Major Conant.

Resolved: That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Miscellaneous Controls (Revocation) Order, 1953 (S.I., 1953, No. 1078), dated 10th July, 1953, a copy of which was laid before this House on 11th July, in the last Session of Parliament, be annulled.

To be presented by Privy Councillors or Members of Her Majesty's Household.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—[Mr. Kaberry.]

11.35 p.m.

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham South

An important and serious situation has developed and I should have thought that the Government Chief Whip, having involved his party in defeat, would not be looking so jolly, as if he had achieved a triumph, especially when he has been rather cock-a-hoop lately with the majorities he has achieved and upon which he is entitled to pat himself on the back. He ought to be getting behind the Chair to tender his resignation, or if not he, at least, ought to be considering the matter in view of the fact that the Government have been defeated, and defeated, moreover, on a Motion moved by one of their own supporters. I should have thought at the very least that—

Photo of Sir William Darling Sir William Darling , Edinburgh South

What is the business before the House?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham South

I would not expect the hon. Member to know what is before the House. The Motion before the House is "That this House do now adjourn." I think, also, that the Chief Patronage Secretary ought to have sent a message, or gone himself, to the Prime Minister, or, at the very least—and when I say the very least I mean it—to the Leader of the House, who is, of course, jointly responsible with the Patronage Secretary for this defeat so that they might be present when we are informed of the intentions of the Government.

This is a serious situation, because the Government have not only been defeated in the Lobby, but they have been defeated, as I have said, as a result of a Motion moved by one of their own sup- porters. I suggest to whoever is in charge—and surely it is not the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade on such an occasion or even the President of the Board of Trade—that we are entitled to a statement of the Government's intentions in view of that defeat, which indicates a lack of confidence in Her Majesty's Ministers of which serious notice ought to be taken and upon which a statement ought to be made.

It is no good the former Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade trying to help the Government, because he is in no position to help them out. Here is this defeat on a Prayer submitted by a supporter of the Government, and I ask for a statement of the Government's intention in view of their defeat.

11.40 p.m.

Photo of Mr Ivor Thomas Mr Ivor Thomas , The Wrekin

Follow the advice of the "Daily Express"—resign.

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Sir Fynwy

I will relieve the right hon. Gentleman of the worst of his anxiety. This is not quite such a desperate or serious situation as he suggests. The Order which has been prayed against does not affect either our economic position or, indeed, the position of the Government, to anything like the extent which the right hon. Gentleman suggested. We shall, of course, examine the position, if, indeed, any action at all is necessary as a result of the decision which the House has just taken, but, in the meantime, I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that he need have no anxieties whatsoever about the situation. We are quite content with the position as it is.

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham South

May I, by leave of the House, ask the right hon. Gentleman whether we can take it that there will be a statement tomorrow by the Prime Minister, preferably, or the Leader of the House, about the Government's intentions? That is customary, and it is right. I know the difficulty of the President of the Board of Trade, because he has not been looking after this business, though it is his business. He has left it to the Parliamentary Secretary, with the sad result with which he is now familiar. I submit that before the House disperses tonight—I think it is a reasonable request—the President of the Board of Trade, or somebody else, should give an undertaking that we shall have a statement from either the Prime Minister or the Leader of the House tomorrow.

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Sir Fynwy

I told the right hon. Gentleman that I shall certainly look into the position which has been created. If, by any chance, anything should prove to be customary, it will certainly be done.