Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Complete list of 8,000+ Thatcher statements & texts of many of them

1966 Feb 1 Tu
Margaret Thatcher

HC Standing Committee [Rating Bill]

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: House of Commons Committee
Venue: House of Commons
Source: Hansard HC Standing Committee D [101-104, 124-136]
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: 1030-1045, 1150-1230 . Two extracts from the Third Sitting. Where MT spoke to an amendment, the debate on that amendment is reproduced in full. MT spoke at cc.101, 104, and 134.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 5631
Themes: -
[column 101] First extract

RATING BILL

Standing Committee D

OFFICIAL REPORT

Tuesday, 1st February, 1966

p>[Sir Leslie Thomas in the Chair]

Clause 1.—(Right to pay rates on dwelling in England or Wales by instalments.)

10.30 a.m.

Mrs. Margaret Thatcher

When we rose last Thursday I was giving my reasons for supporting Amendment No. 14, in page 4, line 16, at end insert:

(8) Where a person to whom this Act applies, does not elect to pay rates by instalments, the rating authority shall apply section 8 of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925 as if in subsection (1) thereof, the words “shall grant” were substituted for the words “may if they think fit by resolution direct that” . which makes it mandatory on the local authority to give a discount to people to whom this Measure applies. I then gave the reasons for requiring this procedure.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. James MacColl)

We are very sympathetic indeed to the principle behind the Amendment. We do not think it would be right to make mandatory directions to the local authority, because we are already in trouble through telling local authorities what to do in these matters and telling them to incur administrative expense, and so on. Therefore, I feel that this is not a case where one ought to make it mandatory. However, we are sympathetic to the idea that if people want to make a voluntary agreement they ought to be allowed to do so. We hope to implement this by means of a new Clause. We are having some difficulty in getting a new Clause which will be in order here, but I have no doubt these difficulties will be overcome.

The hon. Lady the Member for Finchley (Mrs. Thatcher) told us on the first day of the proceedings in this Committee that she intended to pay her rates by instalments. I would say that, so long as I keep my present job, I hope to be able to pay in a lump sum and [column 102]therefore will have a financial interest in the new Clause.

Mr. John Boyd-Carpenter

However brief!

Mr. MacColl

The right hon. Gentleman, as usual, prepares his jokes rather in advance. That one is now a little out of date. I consider that this is a reasonable arrangement which will be welcomed by local authorities, and we hope to put down a new Clause later on.

Mr. James Allason

It was ruled that my Amendment No. 46 which appeared on the Order Paper of 27th January could be discussed with the present Amendment. In the printing of that Amendment it read “every person” . That was meant to be “person” , not “parson” . Apparently it is not on the Amendment Paper for today.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

This was a clerical error.

Mr. Allason

It makes it more difficult for the Committee to study the exceptionally fine wording which was there in Amendment No. 46. I was very surprised to hear that the Parliamentary Secretary feels that he must draft an entirely new Clause when there was on the Order Paper just what is needed ready to hand.

He objected to the wording of Amendment No. 14 on the ground that it was mandatory, and of course there is a great deal in that. Equally, there is the difficulty that local authorities do not want to have to give a 2½ per cent. discount to everybody who pays rates. Large firms and big offices can well afford to pay their rates promptly on the dot. At the moment if local authorities want to operate the 2½ per cent. provision under Section 8 of the Rating and Valuation Act, 1925 they have to apply it to everybody. I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will re-draft the Clause in such a way that it can apply not only to those who are within the terms of this Bill, but also, as has been urged, to charities so that they may enjoy the benefit of this provision. Therefore, I hope that it will also apply to other groups of people whom the local authority considers to be suitable for help. In addition to charities, it could well apply to shopkeepers who are in a small way of business and who might be helped by the [column 103]provisions. I hope that the redrafted Clause will operate on the widest possible scale so that local authorities will have a chance to choose.

The 2½ per cent. rebate is of value because it operates on the basis of prompt payment of rates. I have been considering my own position—not having the magnificent salary of a Parliamentary Secretary—as to whether I would pay by instalments, or whether I should hope to get the 2½ per cent. discount, or whether I would operate on my present basis of paying my rates just at the latest possible moment before I am actually prosecuted—which is obviously the worst possible thing from the local authorities point of view. I certainly do not want to get involved in payments of 10 instalments by banker's order. The banks are going to have a most difficult time in operating 10 instalments. If the householder is to pay his rates promptly and on the dot, he deserves some encouragement.

Mr. Philip Goodhart

My hon. Friend the Member for Finchley (Mrs. Thatcher), in moving her Amendment, drew attention to the fact that in 1963–64 only 19 of the 223 non-county boroughs operated a discount scheme for the prompt payment of rates. The Greater London Borough of Bromley has had an instalment scheme for the payment of rates since it came into existence last year. At the moment about 11 per cent. of the domestic ratepayers take some advantage of it. The additional administrative cost, leaving aside the extra loan charges involved, is fairly considerable. We estimate that it amounts to more than £2,000 a year. It takes one officer full-time, with clerical assistance, and a considerable amount of extra postage in sending out the constant demands. We estimate that this year, with the extra publicity given to the instalment scheme by the introduction of this Bill, some 25 per cent. of the domestic ratepayers will take advantage of the instalment system. We do not give a discount, nor do we plan to do so, because, on balance, the local treasurer's department considers that it would be more costly to the local ratepayers to do so. In other words, the amount which would be given back in discount would be larger than the benefit gained by getting in the money more promptly. [column 104]

There is one additional factor to be taken into consideration. As matters now stand, the discount would have to be given in an entirely non-discriminatory fashion. At the moment three-eighths of the rates in the Greater London Borough of Bromley are paid by commercial and industrial organisations. It seems likely that these organisations which would benefit most from a discount scheme, such as Woolworth, Marks & Spencer, the Co-op, would in fact be more likely to have the money in the till to be able to pay it over in one lump sum and thus get the benefit of discount. They are certainly more likely to be able to do so than the average domestic ratepayer. We feel that the benefits of the discount scheme are likely to go more to the commercial undertaker than to the small hard-pressed domestic ratepayer. I hope that in redrafting the Clause the Parliamentary Secretary will look carefully at the arguments presented by my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mr. Allason), because it is only if we are allowed to discriminate in favour of the domestic ratepayer that a discount system becomes viable.

Mr. Oscar Murton

My hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mr. Allason) rightly suggested that many people wait until probably the last possible legal moment before they pay their rates. I believe that the proposal contained in the first Amendment, that the discount should be mandatory, is a good thing. I know from my own experience as vice-chairman of a finance committee of a local authority that because domestic ratepayers pay their rates only at the last possible moment, in the area with which I am concerned it has cost the local authority something in excess of a half penny rate because of the moneys outstanding in loan charges necessary to keep the borough afloat. I recommend that Amendment No. 14 should be considered by the Parliamentary Secretary, and I hope that something will be does about it.

Mrs. Thatcher

In view of the James MacCollParliamentary Secretary's assurance that he will put down a new Clause appropriately drafted, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave. withdrawn [column 124] Second extract

Clause 2.—(Right to pay rates on dwelling in Scotland by instalments.)

Mr. Forbes Hendry

I beg to move Amendment No. 92, in page 4, line 32, to leave out from the beginning to “who” in line 34 and to insert:

“Except when the local rating authority has made provision to the satisfaction of the Secretary of State for the payment of rates by instalments by any person in the area of that authority” .
[column 125]

The Chairman

I suggest that with this Amendment we should take at the same time Amendment No. 94, in page 4, line 44, at end insert “any such person” .

Mr. Hendry

It might be felt that the effect of Amendment No. 92 and Amendment No. 94, which is consequential, have been adequately discussed on the Question whether Clause 1 should stand part, but I suggest this is not the case. It has been common practice in Scotland under a Scottish Act passed in 1947 for rates to be paid by instalments. A great many Scottish local authorities have made provision for the payment of rates by instalments. Certain of these schemes are satisfactory from the point of view of this Bill and certain of them are lacking in some ways. I suggest that where a satisfactory scheme already exists under the 1947 Act it should be adopted, in preference to an elaborate scheme such as is provided for under this Clause.

My anxieties on this matter flow from the fact that the Scottish rating system is based on a complicated timetable which necessitates rates being fixed half way through the rating year. In Scotland the rating year runs from 16th May until the following 15th May, but rates in the relevant year are not fixed until the month of October. Because of the statutory timetable it is impossible for them to fix the rate until October, although in most cases the treasurer is in a position accurately to estimate the rates for the forthcoming year much earlier. Where schemes have been made under the 1947 Act by local authorities in Scotland, generally speaking local authorities in fixing instalments for the relevant year take into account the probable rate which will be fixed in October for that year, so that by and large the instalments are approximately equal throughout the year.

This is a simple system compared to what is laid down in the proposed Clause where two instalment statements have to be made, one in respect of arrears of rates for the previous rating year, and another, a second one, in respect of the year under review. The Clause, by subsection (3), refers to

“the number of the instalments (if any) which are to be in payment of the rates (or, as the case may be, the balance of the rates) due [column 126]in respect of the hereditament in question for the relevant year” .

That is a tremendously complicated matter which the local authorities themselves have been able to overcome in the past in a practical way. I suggest to the Secretary of State that where at present there is a scheme of that sort in being it would be preferable to the adoption of a scheme such as is envisaged in this Clause.

This is one of those unfortunate cases which have been rare in the past where certain Scottish rates have been dealt with by means of a United Kingdom Act. I suggest that, for the sake of uniformity, the Scottish Office have had this Section foisted on them, and that the Clause, which is a copy of the corresponding English Clause, is unsuitable in the circumstances. In the Amendment I have tried to protect the ratepayers concerned by saying that any such scheme should be to the satisfaction of the Secretary of State. I suggest that in these circumstances the arguments which have been made for running parallel schemes in England and Wales do not apply to Scotland, and that where a satisfactory scheme exists in Scotland it should not be mandatory upon a local authority to adopt the statutory scheme as well. It would put the present satisfactory system at the mercy of the awkward customer.

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Dr. J. Dickson Mabon)

The Scottish Office have carried out a great deal of work in assessing the present position in Scotland. There have been a number of discussions with local authority representatives. I do not want to rehearse the fundamental points which arise from the debates over Clause 1, although many of them are relevant to Scotland. I will start by answering on this Amendment, which I regret I must resist as it would distort considerably the intentions of the Government in relation to the Bill.

I should like to draw to the Committee's attention some of the facts in Scotland. At the moment about 5.7 per cent. of domestic ratepayers in Scotland pay under existing instalment arrangements, however they are arrived at. About 41.8 per cent. pay rates with their rents to local authorities, 16 per cent. to private landlords and 36.5 per cent. still pay rates in a lump sum. [column 127]12 noon.

There are 235 rating authorities in Scotland, of which 199 responded to our request for more information on this matter. From this information, we learned that 163 provide facilities for payments of rates by payment to account or by voluntary informal arrangements between individual ratepayers and the local authorities or by means of stamps, banker's orders, credit transfers and counter transactions, as well, of course, as facilities for payment of rates by instalments through formal schemes under Section 232 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1947. From a look at some of these voluntary schemes, it appears to us that what we would have to do if we accepted the Amendment would be to adopt a comprehensive principle for Scotland, not only in the schemes which exist but for those which would be proposed. We should have to adopt the same principle for every authority. Very few schemes in existence at the moment are the equal of what is proposed in the Bill.

We come back here to the starting point, that the previous schemes were designed to help the local authorities and not primarily to help the ratepayers. It is true that some local authorities have taken the statutory rights and those which were permissive under previous legislation, and married both so as to serve both themselves and the ratepayer. However, in only a very small number of cases is this so. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary went to great lengths to demonstrate that the Government are not anxious that schemes which are better than the schemes containing statutory rights, such as the one suggested in the Bill, should be destroyed. We are anxious that they should be preserved if possible, if that is a reasonable proposition.

However we cannot, depart from the basic principle of giving rights to ratepayers on a United Kingdom basis to pay in 10 instalments of equal amounts, and a right to return to the scheme if they change house in the middle of the year or fall out of the scheme. These are rights which they do not necessarily enjoy under present schemes. That is why I, like my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, must resist the attempt to in[column 128]clude in Clause 2 a provision to allow a wide variety of local schemes to be submitted to the Secretary of State for vetting and then included with the statutory schemes which will probably be the general run of schemes in Scotland once the Bill is passed.

I do not want to appear too inflexible. I would endorse what the Parliamentary Secretary said about Amendment 116 and also in subsequent discussion, in cols. 89 to 98 of the Official Report of the Committee's debates, of Amendment 133. This was that we would try to marry the written demand note and the subsequent payment of an instalment as an effective statement. We are prepared to look at this. The Parliamentary Secretary said that it might be done in the form of a circular, but did not exclude the possibility of amending Clause 1. If this were done, we should accordingly amend Clause 2 if that were desirable. I must, on this first occasion of many conflicts ahead, be unable to meet the wishes of the hon. Member. I must ask the Committee to resist the Amendment as they did in principle the similar Amendment to Clause 1.

Mr. John Robertson

It is a pity that my hon. Friend has stuck to his brief and become so inflexible in this respect. Clause 2 is not the same as Clause 1 and could never be the same. There are many reasons for this. Although I should not favour the Amendment as it stands, the intention behind it has a great deal of merit. Because of the differences between local authorities in Scotland itself and the different rating arrangements of local authorities, a measure of flexibility is needed which the Clause does not provide.

Of course, the instalment schemes in operation in Scotland are not up to the standard of this one, because Clause 232 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act lays down that the maximum number of instalments should be four. How, therefore, can existing schemes be as good as the scheme proposed? However, that does not mean that the proposed scheme is the best which could be devised. It is far too rigid and will create problems for local authorities which could be overcome if my hon. Friend were prepared to accept the intention behind the Amendment—that, if a local authority operates [column 129]a scheme which is as good as or better than the scheme envisaged in the Clause, he will be prepared to allow the local authority to operate the scheme and to deny any ratepayer the right to demand the scheme under the Clause.

The same problem will arise in Scotland—in fact, it will be much more difficult—because of the complications of rating years, instalment years, and rebate years. I do not want to go into too much detail on this point, as we shall probably be able to examine it in closer detail later on. My own authority, the Paisley Borough Council, runs instalment schemes allowing for 12 equal instalments, which this Clause will not give. It meets all the points which have been raised and many more in a much better scheme than that envisaged by the Clause. Yet the local authority in Paisley will have to operate two schemes—the present voluntary scheme, plus the scheme laid down in the Bill if the latter is demanded by any one ratepayer. What an administrative mess we should get into.

A decision is on record by a Scottish local authority, in the face of a possibility of the Bill becoming an Act, to publicise its own scheme so as to persuade the ratepayers to accept it in preference to the scheme in the Bill. This is an impossible situation. Why should a local authority do this? Because they want the ratepayers to have a worse scheme? No; because they have a better scheme which they would have to alter to conform with the Clause. I hope that my hon. Friend will be a little more flexible and meet us on one or two of these points.

He knows, because I informed him before the Committee met, that I am not happy about the Clause. The argument for rejecting this kind of Amendment for England and Wales because of the size of the problem could not hold for Scotland, where there are only a little more than 200 local authorities. This is a major problem. The Secretary of State should consider local suggestions and either agree to them or suggest alterations. It is not a difficult problem at all. My hon. Friend should come some way to meet the purpose and intention of the Amendment, even if he cannot accept this form of words.

Mr. Hendry

I always listen with the greatest respect to what the hon. Member [column 130]for Paisley (Mr. John Robertson) has to say about Scottish local authority methods. He has a vast amount of experience in this respect and I am encouraged to pursue my Amendment as a result of listening to his speech.

With great respect to the Under-Secretary of State, I do not believe that he has thought out the implications of this legislation, of his own scheme, in Scotland. In the month of October, a local authority must make up its mind about payment of rates by instalments in respect of a year for which the rates have not and cannot have been fixed. This leads to a most extraordinary situation, and the hon. Member for Paisley did not touch on this in any detail. However, it is essential that we should consider what might result.

Let us suppose that an instalment statement is made up and, in the course of the payment of instalments for the next succeeding year—in terms of the Bill—the tenant leaves his house. He has paid certain instalments on account of rates in respect of that house, the actual amount of which cannot be determined until a later date, after he has left the house. This will create an impossible situation for the local authority, because either it must make a guess, based on facts not available to it, or else it must find that tenant—who has left his house and possibly gone to England or left the United Kingdom altogether—and recover from him rates which he has not paid in the instalments calculated as a result of the guess.

Unfortunately, the tendency in recent years has been for rates to go up. It seems to me that the local authority in the example I have quoted might suffer a fairly substantial loss if there were a big exodus of people from the rating districts to other parts of the country. Such movements occur; in my own area, no fewer than 50 householders left the other day for parts of England. What would happen in a case of that sort if there were a rise in the rates? The Under-Secretary of State should think again very seriously about this problem and about the consequences.

Certain local authorities may be very much opposed to a scheme of payment by instalments and it is thus essential to impose some such scheme upon them. However, I suggest that the members of [column 131]most local authorities in Scotland are reasonable people and will reasonably try to do their best for the ratepayers. I think that the Under-Secretary gave the key to his opposition to the Amendment when he said that the Government were conferring rights on ratepayers and that this must be done on a United Kingdom basis. This is my argument—that we are foisting on ratepayers in Scotland a scheme which is possibly suitable for England and Wales but anything but suitable in Scotland. The hon. Gentleman should think again and accept this very moderate and thoughtful Amendment, which will save a great deal of heart-burning, not only for local authorities but for the ratepayers whose money they spend.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

I agree that there is a good deal of thought behind the Amendment and I know that those who promote it are among the best of the local authorities. They seek to have their schemes accepted so as to avoid disturbance in their administration and because, as my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley (Mr. John Robertson) has said, their schemes are better than those of the Government. These are perfectly valid points, but the Government must always take the view——

Mr. Julius Silverman

What is meant by “better” ?

Dr. Dickson Mabon

My hon. Friend the Member for Paisley made out a good case for saying that the instalments system is better in Paisley than it would be under the Bill——

Mr. Silverman

Better in what way?

The Chairman

Order. If the hon. Member for Birmingham, Aston (Mr. Julius Silverman) wants to put questions, I should be glad if he would get to his feet.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

Instalments are more frequent. That is one point. According to my hon. Friend, there is much more consideration given—less rough and ready justice—in Paisley than appears in the Bill.

My point is that the Government have to take a view of what all local authorities would be inclined to do rather than [column 132]what a good one wants to do. We are not excluding the operation of better instalment schemes by local authorities under this Clause. We are, in fact, allowing the better schemes to carry on. If my hon. Friend complains about this, I would say that, if the people of Paisley compare their statutory rights under this Act with what Paisley Council is said by my hon. Friend to do, and then perversely choose the lesser scheme, that is a commentary on them and not a proof of the foolishness of the Clause.

There are not, unhappily, many Paisleys in Scotland. The majority of local authorities designed their present schemes to suit themselves and their treasurers and not to suit their ratepayers. Some even operate no schemes at all, but simply ask for the traditional payment right away. They arrange for no payments on account and this is quite wrong. The right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) said that the great merit of Clause 1 was the fact that it sought to remove this terrible imposition of once- or twice-yearly payments in a lump sum. The merit of the instalments scheme was to remove this. 12.15 p.m.

We must have a firm framework, from which the local authorities cannot escape, giving ratepayers rights. Therefore the Government have to stick to this Clause as it is phrased. There is nothing in the Clause which prevents a local authority from promoting its own scheme. There is nothing in the Clause which encourages ratepayers to behave perversely. The popularity of a scheme, if it is better than the Government scheme, will be confirmed by the way in which ratepayers behave in this regard. We would be unduly pessimistic in thinking that all the schemes would be bound to fall through the ignorance, perversity or awkwardness of ratepayers. If ratepayers realise that they are getting a better scheme they will opt for it.

Present members of a council who sustain a present scheme may not always be there and their scheme might not be supported by their successors. Therefore, such a council may fall below the statutory requirement of the Bill. It is in the interests of local authorities, if they want to make better schemes, to be able to do so, but it would be a great [column 133]mistake if the Secretary of State were to be encumbered with looking through 235 separate schemes every year. That would not be good administration. It would be getting back to the idea that the man in St. Andrew's House knows best and should be saying how these things should be done.

Mr. Robertson

I was not intending to get to my feet again, but my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary has provoked me If he reads Section 232 of the 1947 Act he will see that local authorities can operate instalment schemes in only two ways. They can do so by the first subsection by which the number of instalments is limited to four—the words are:

“not being more than four in number” .

—or the authority can use the last subsection, which permits it to come to an agreement with a ratepayer about how the rates shall be paid.

Most Scottish local authorities operate the instalment system contained in the first subsection. A number of local authorities have come to agreements with their ratepayers and operate a rebate scheme with 10, 11 or 12 payments in the year, but they have been prevented by the words of the 1947 Act from developing the kind of instalment schemes they wish to operate. What I should like to see is not the words which would mean that the Secretary of State should need to examine the rebate and instalment scheme of every local authority every year. That is nonsense and I suggest that my hon. Friend knows that it is nonsense. He already insists that rent rebate schemes operated by local authorities in respect of local authority houses shall be approved by his Department. He already does this job.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

My hon. Friend must remember that that is a voluntary matter. We do not have a mandate obliging all local authorities to submit those schemes.

Mr. Robertson

No, but it is mandatory on all local authorities to submit schemes to the Secretary of State and get approval for those schemes.

It is not a matter only of making it obligatory on every local authority. Of course, we want it to be obligatory. I do not want to deal with the whole content [column 134]of the Clause, but this Clause does not do what Clause 1 does. It does not provide for equal payments of instalments. It does not provide for the other conditions laid down in the speech which the Parliamentary Secretary made earlier. Nor does it do the things which in his reply this morning my hon. Friend said the scheme did. For these reasons, because of the complications, I think a local authority should have the right under this Clause to submit a scheme to the Secretary of State and have it approved if it is as good or better than the Government scheme. I do not see why my hon. Friend is resisting this. I cannot understand it. I ask him to take another look at it and see if we cannot do something about it. I think this a necessary Amendment.

Mrs. Thatcher

Both my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, West (Mr. Hendry) and the hon. Member for Paisley (Mr. John Robertson) have made an extremely powerful case for this Amendment. It seems to a mere Sassenach that the case for Scotland is very different in so far as in Scotland ratepayers have had a statutory right to pay by instalments for many years.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

I must disabuse the hon. Lady of that idea. I quite understand why there is confusion in view of the information which I read. Local authorities have a permissive right to adopt such schemes in conformity with the two subsections to which my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley referred, but it is not the ratepayers who have that right.

Mrs. Thatcher

That permissive right has led to widespread adoption of schemes for payments of instalments, according to the figures which the J. Dickson MabonUnder-Secretary read. Those schemes are more firmly entrenched in Scotland than they have been in England.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

Obviously I speak too quickly and therefore the hon. Lady has not followed the figures correctly. Of domestic ratepayers in Scotland 36.5 per cent. pay lump sums, 5.7 per cent. pay under existing voluntary instalment arrangements and the balance pay through their landlords, either council or private.

[column 135]

Mrs. Thatcher

The figures are not relevant to the point I was making. The figures that the hon. Gentleman read earlier were that out of 199 local authorities 163 have instalment schemes. The hon. Gentleman has deliberately refrained from taking up that point. By his own figures a large number already have instalment schemes.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

May I go over it again?

Mrs. Thatcher

No.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

I did not say that 163 provide facilities for instalments; I said that of 163 a very few provide arrangements for instalments. Some have a form of voluntary arrangement which can be by vouchers, stamps, banker's orders, credit transfers and counter transactions, but the vast majority are totally unsatisfactory for the minimum rights provided in this Bill.

Mrs. Thatcher

But they are satisfactory according to Scottish ratepayers, which seems to be the important matter.

It seems that my hon. Friend and the hon. Member for Paisley do not necessarily share the Under-Secretary's view. When he spoke first it seemed that the Under-Secretary had the word “resist” written on his brief and he had to make the case for resisting the Amendment, although fortunately no one had to tell him that he had to believe the case. Unless he takes this matter back and looks at it again we must agree to abide by the old rule that Scotland is a law unto herself and should not necessarily have United Kingdom provisions relating to her. Therefore, we must divide on this Amendment.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes 9, Noes 10. Division No. 6.]

Ayes

Finch , Harold (Bedwellty)

Hobden , Dennis (Brighton, K'town)

Mabon , Dr. J. Dickson

MacColl , James

Oakes , Gordon

Rhodes , Geoffrey

Silverman , Julius (Aston)

Whitlock , William

Williams , Alan (Swansea, W.)

Noes

Allason , James (Hemel Hempstead)

Boyd-Carpenter , Rt. Hn. J.

Hall-Davis , A. G. F.

Hendry , Forbes

Maddan , Martin

Murton , Oscar

Robertson , John (Paisley)

Smith , Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)

Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret

Woodhouse , Hn. Christopher

Question put, That those words be there inserted.

The Committee divided: Ayes 10, Noes 9. Division No. 7.]

Ayes

Allason , James (Hemel Hempstead)

Boyd-Carpenter , Rt. Hn. J.

Hall-Davis , A. G. F.

Hendry , Forbes

Maddan , Martin

Murton , Oscar

Robertson , John (Paisley)

Smith , Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)

Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret

Woodhouse , Hn. Christopher

Noes

Finch , Harold (Bedwellty)

Hobden , Dennis (Brighton, K'town)

Mabon , Dr. J. Dickson

MacColl , James

Oakes , Gordon

Rhodes , Geoffrey

Silverman , Julius (Aston)

Whitlock , William

Williams , Alan (Swansea, W.)