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Title: British speeches of the day
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00076217/00036
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Title: British speeches of the day
Physical Description: 5 v. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: British Information Services
Publisher: British Information Services,
British Information Services
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: February 1946
Frequency: monthly
Subject: World War, 1939-1945 -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Great Britain -- 1945-   ( lcsh )
Foreign relations -- Periodicals -- Great Britain   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with Mar. 1943.
Dates or Sequential Designation: -v. 5, no. 5 (June 1947).
General Note: At head of title: British Information Services, an agency of the British government.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 4, no. 1 (Feb. 1946); title from cover.
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Volume ID: VID00036
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01412079
lccn - 45006482

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Full Text

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St. James's Palace, January 9, 1946. I am very glad to extend a hearty
welcome to the delegates of fifty countries to the Great Assembly of the
United Nations. It gives me particular pleasure that the first meeting
of this great Assembly should be held in London. Our ancient capital,
though almost every home in it bears the scars of war, remains a worthy
setting for the momentous tasks with which you are entrusted. In the long
course of our history no more important meeting has ever taken place
within its boundaries.
You will carry on your deliberations, so fateful for the future of human-
ity, within sight of our Parliament of Westminster. There the people of
these islands, century after century, have sent their representatives, whose
duty it has been to preserve their liberties and to secure the observance of
the rule of law.
By God's grace we have been )le for a long period to enjoy both freedom
and order; it is clear that neitho.r can be preserved without the other. And
now you have come here from the four quarters of the earth to seek these
ends for all countries and all peoples.
The year 1945 brought the end of the sternest, most widespread and
most dangerous conflict of all ages; it brought final victory over the enemies
of the liberties of mankind. But that victory was won at a grievously heavy
price; it has left, in its aftermath, a no less heavy responsibility on the
victors, now joined together in this organization of the United Nations.
It is, in fact, in your hands to make or mar the happiness of millions of your
fellow men, and of millions yet unborn.
It is for you to lay the foundations of a new world, where such a conflict
as that which lately brought our world to the verge of annihilation must
never be repeated, where men and women can find opportunity to realize
to the full the good that lies in each one of them. It is a noble work, and
you have, in the Charter of the United Nations, a noble instrument.
In your discussion in the General Assembly, of course, the major prob-
lem of security will claim much of your attention; but the establishment of
the Economic and Social Council, and of the Trusteeship Council, gives far-
reaching opportunities for dealing with other issues of no less importance.
Upon the former depends to a large extent the success of your work for
security, while through the Trusteeship Council peace-loving States can
stimulate the extension of self-government to peoples all over the world.
As for the Charter itself, it reaffirms our faith in the equal rights of men
and women and of nations great and small-a recognition of a vital principle
that our enemies tried in vain to overthrow.
But the rights both of nations and individuals cannot exist and stand
secure unless nations and individuals alike are members of an ordered

British Speeches of the Day [H.M. The King]
society. Such rights can only be fully enjoyed when they are recognized as
part of a common interest in which we all share.
Moreover, to every right belongs a corresponding duty; this cardinal
point is rightly emphasized in the obligations assumed under the Charter.
The splendid prizes now offered to mankind will not be won without effort
and sacrifice.
Clearly, the outstanding feature of membership of the United Nations
is service-not a selfish defense of mere national interest, but service to the
whole community of nations. Here is the prime motive power which must
inspire all its actions and enable the approach to every difficulty to be made
in the spirit of co-operation, understanding and good will.
It is of good augury that this spirit has been shown in the discussions
of the Executive Committee and the Preparatory Commission. We have
started well. Machinery has been created appropriate to the grave prob-
lems now confronting you in the building up of a system of international
security. This machinery enables you to harness to the service of mankind
those new sources of energy which the genius of man has discovered; to take
practical measures for mitigating and finally overcoming the hunger and
desolation which the war has brought to so many millions of our fellow
men; to increase and to make secure the economic and social welfare of all
peoples; and to safeguard the rights of those who as yet are unable to look
after themselves.
But all these tasks cannot be accomplished at once, nor will they be
accomplished at all unless we exercise comprehension, patience and toler-
ance one with another. I pray that those qualities may be granted to us.
For tonight we stand-and stand together-on the threshold of immense
possibilities. Within the next few weeks you may determine whether the
lifting of the darkness that brought us strength and hope in the year that
is past is to broaden into a true dawn, or whether the clouds are to descend
once more upon a world that craves for light. If, at this first gathering of
the first Assembly of the United Nations, you can succeed in spreading
that light, history will record that no band of men and women ever did a
nobler duty.
It is a duty to which, without fear or hesitation, I pledge those for whom
alone I am qualified to speak-peoples of the British Commonwealth and
Empire. They have fought through two great world wars from start to
finish; though hard beset, they did not fail mankind in its hour of dead-
liest peril; they will not fail it now. To you, their colleagues in the high
task of peaceful reconstruction, their neighbors in the world-community, I
know that they will give that loyal co-operation through which alone
colleagues and neighbors can attain their common ends.
Gentlemen, I bid you the warmest of welcomes to London. I ask you
to believe that you have my heartfelt good wishes for the success of the work
which tomorrow, with the eyes of all humanity upon you, you will begin.

[United Nations Journal]


London, January 10, 1946. I have the honor today of welcoming to
London this great assembly of delegates of the United Nations. I would
like in the first place to thank you, Mr. President, for your speech, and
also to place on record the appreciation which I am sure we all feel for
the successful manner in which you have carried out the arduous and im-
portant duties of President of the Preparatory Commission. I know well
from my colleagues how much that Commission has owed to your guidance.
Without your sense of business, readiness to accept responsibility, and the
influence which you have exerted on your colleagues, we might not have
been able to meet at this time with the procedure and program ready
to hand.
I hope that the proceedings of this Conference will be animated by the
same sense of urgency, the same practical spirit, and the same co-operative
atmosphere as has characterized the work of the Preparatory Commission.
I know that great questions were debated frankly and even passionately, but
at the same time there was a lively spirit of conciliation and good will which
led eventually to almost complete unanimity.
I have said that we welcome you here to London, and it will be our en-
deavor to make you feel at home in this our capital city so that you may
speak as freely and frankly as if you were meeting in some special territory
under international control. We shall do our best to make your stay here
pleasant, within the limit of our means. We wish we could do more, but I
am sure that all of you in the course of your stay will realize that anything
that is lacking in your entertainment is not due to any absence of good will
but to the effect of the malice of our enemies, wreaked upon this ancient
city. The evidences of this you will see around you.
Last night we listened to an inspiring speech by His Majesty the King,
in which he set before us in a few words the nature of the task which we
have to accomplish, the vital importance of the issues at stake, and the keen
desire of all the nations of the British Commonwealth, for whom he spoke,
to make this first meeting of the United Nations Organization a complete
I had the privilege of taking part in the discussions at San Francisco,
from which was evolved the Charter of the United Nations. The initiation
of these discussions, while our enemies were still in the field against us, was
at once an act of faith in our victory and an acknowledgment of the cause
for which we were fighting. The purposes and principles set down in the
Preamble and in Article I of the Charter have the wholehearted support of
His Majesty's Government and, I believe, of the whole of the people of this
country, to whatever political party they belong.
We realize that, as perhaps never before, a choice is offered to mankind.
Twice in my lifetime a war has brought untold sorrow to mankind. Should
there be a third world war, the long upward progress toward civilization
may be halted for generations, and the work of myriads of men and women
through the centuries be brought to naught.


British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Attlee]

The Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations admirable sets out
the ideals for which men and women laid down their lives durin. the war.
But the affirmation of principles is easy: the translation into action, the mak-
ing of a working reality out of an ideal, is very difficult. In the stress and
strain of war it is possible to fuse the ideal aim with practical effort. When.
in the summer of 1940, this country was left open to the imminent danger
of invasion, the whole of the people were animated by one single aim, and
that aim was immediately translated into action. Every man and woman
leaped forward to serve wherever needed, and the strength of that purpose
endured through five years of war. During those five years, as nation
after nation joined in the struggle, the efforts of the fighting forces, of the
workers behind the line, of the resistance movements in so many countries,
were all co-ordinated and directed to the single purpose of victor). Private
interests and individual national aspirations were sunk in the common en-
deavor. Now, today, when victory has crowned our arms, we have to bring
to the task of creating permanent conditions of peace the same sense of ir-
gency, the same self-sacrifice, the same willingness to subordinate sectional
interests to the common good, as brought us through the crisis of war. We
all, therefore, must approach our work with a realization of its outstanding
and vital importance.
The United Nations Organization must become the overriding factor in
foreign policy. After the First World War, there was a tendency to regard
the League of Nations as something outside the ordinary range of foreign
policy. Governments continued on the old lines, pursuing individual aims.
following the path of power politics, not understanding that the world had
passed into a new epoch. In just such a spirit in times past in these Islands,
great nobles and their retainers used to practice private war in disregard of
the authority of the central Government. The time came when private
armies were abolished, when the rule of law was established throughout the
length and breadth of this Island. What has been done in Britain and in
other countries on a small stage has now to be effected throughout the whole
We must all now today recognize the truth proclaimed by the Foreign
Minister of the U.S.S.R. at Geneva-"Peace is indivisible." Looking back on
past years, we can trace the origins of the late war to acts of aggression the
significance of which was not fully realized at the time. Failure to deal with
the Japanese adventure in the Far East, and with the acts of aggression of the
Fascist rulers of Germany and Italy, led inevitably to the breakdown of the
rule of law and to the Second World War. In the last five years, the aggres-
sion of Hitler in Europe drew eventually into the contest men from all con-
tinents and from the islands of the sea. It should make us all realize that
the welfare of every one of us is bound up with the welfare of the world as
a whole, and that we are truly all members one of another.
I am glad that the Charter of the United Nations does not deal onl) with
Governments and States or with politics and war, but with the simple ele-
mental needs of human beings whatever be their race, their color, or their
creed. In the Charter we reaffirm our faith in fundamental human rights.

To the General Assembly of the United Nations
\Ve see the freedom of the individual in the State as an essential complement
to the freedom of the State in the world community of nations. We stress,
too, that social justice and the best possible standards of life for all are
essential factors in promoting and maintaining the peace of the world.
I have said that the solution of the problem of establishing peace and
preventing war is urgent and vital as never before. We perhaps in these
Islands, which were for so long immune from attack behind the barrier of
the sea, feel more than any others that we are living in a new age. The devel-
opment of powerful weapons of destruction, operating from distant bases,
has destroyed the illusion of isolationism. The coming of the atomic bomb
was only the last of a series of warnings to mankind that, unless the powers
of destruction could be controlled, immense ruin and almost annihilation
would be the lot of the most highly civilized portions of mankind. I wel-
come, therefore, the decision to remit the whole problem of the control of
atomic energy to a commission of the United Nations Organization. In
this discovery we can see, set clearly before us in tangible form, the question
that faces the modern world. Here is an invention fraught with immense
possibilities on the one hand of danger, and on the other of advantage to
the human race. It is for the peoples of the world, through their represen-
tatives, to make their choice between life and death.
I hope and believe that every delegate who is here today has come, not
only in a spirit of determination, but in a spirit of hope. We have always
with us the skeptics and the pessimists who will tell us that there always has
been war, that there always will be war, who point to the failure of the
League of Nations as reason for skepticism as to the success of the United
Nations Organization. But the progress of civilization has been one of con-
tinual failure and of learning by experience. To take an example, the his-
tory of the Trade Union Movement is marked by failure after failure. After
every defeat, the skeptics and the timorous said, "You cannot get the workers
to combine; the self-interest of the individual is too strong." But eventually
unity was achieved.
I have intense faith that we will make the United Nations Organization
a success. We have learnt from past mistakes. The old League of Nations
suffered from many disabilities-most of all perhaps because two great na-
tions, the United States of America and the Union of Socialist Soviet Re-
publics, were not present in its formative stages. Today as never before the
world is united. Further, the constitution of the new Organization is essen-
tially realist in that it provides for the sanction of force to support the rule
of law. I think, too, that at the present time the ordinary men and women
in every nation have a greater realization of what is at stake. To make this
Organization a living reality we must enlist the support, not only of gov-
ernments, but of the masses of the people throughout the world. They must
understand that we are building a defense for the common people. In the
purposes of the United Nations we have linked with the achievement of
freedom from fear the delivery of mankind from the peril of want. To the
individual citizen the specter of economic insecurity is more constant, more

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Bevin)
imminent, than the shadow of war. Every individual can be brought to real-
ize that the things that are discussed in conference here are the concern of
all, and affect the home life of every man, woman, and child. Without social
justice and security there is no real foundation for peace, for it is among the
socially disinherited, and those who have nothing to lose, that the gangster
and the aggressor recruit their supporters.
I believe therefore that, important as is the work of the Security Council,
no less vital is it to make the Economic and Social Council an effective
international instrument.
A police force is a necessary part of a civilized community, but the greater
the social security and contentment of the population, the less important
is the police force.
Finally let us be clear as to what is our ultimate aim. It is not just the
negation of war, but the creation of a world of security and freedom, of a
world which is governed by justice and the moral law. We desire to assert
the pre-eminence of right over might, and the general good against selfish
and sectional aims. We who are gathered here today, in this ancient home
of liberty and order, are able to meet together because thousands of brave
men and women have suffered and died that we may live. It is for us today,
bearing in mind the great sacrifices that have been made, to prove ourselves
no less courageous in approaching our great task, no less patient, no less
self-sacrificing. We must and will succeed.
[United Nations Journal]

RT. HON. ERNEST BEVIN, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

London, January 17, 1946. Mr. President, I wish first to express the
thanks of His Majesty's Government and the people of Great Britain
to the Executive Committee and the Preparatory Commission for the work
they have so thoroughly done during four months of untiring labor. The
organization of the Assembly and the Councils, the committee structure,
the rules of procedure, and the machinery that have been established
represent a triumph of detailed organization which could only have become
possible by the exercise of patience and tolerance by the members of the
Commission. They have set a good example to the Assembly and the
various organizations now being created under its auspices. One proposal
in the Commission's Report that we regard as of particular importance is
the establishment of an International Secretariat, completely independent
of Governments, and also of an International Civil Service Commission.
If the work of this Civil Service Commission is done thoroughly, the organ-
ization will have at its disposal a staff with a high standard of honor and
an international outlook. The way in which this organization is admin-
istered will, in a large measure, affect the confidence which the peoples of
the world repose in it. In our view, therefore, it is essential that the budget-
ary procedure should be extremely thorough. While, on the one hand,

To the General Assembly of the United Nations
there should be no niggardliness which would frustrate or hinder its devel-
opment, on the other, the financial controls must be such as to give confi-
dence in the administration by the Treasuries of the different contributing
countries. It is clear that, however much the world may spend on making
this Organization effective, it will be a very small sum compared with the
terrible cost of war. According to an estimate I have heard, the cost per
annum of the United Nations to all 51 nations will be less than half the
cost to the United Kingdom alone of a single day in the war just ended.
Efficiency supported by liberality is the watchword that we offer to the
administration of the United Nations.
It is not necessary for me to go into the whole history of the development
of this Organization. My colleague, the United States Secretary of State,
has already described it. But as a member for five years of the War Govern-
ment of the United Kingdom, I witnessed the gradual evolution emerging
from the talks and conferences between the powers which ultimately led
to this meeting. This great gathering of nations, brought to birth in the
dawn of peace, is a vision and a hope conceived in the darkest days of war.
Meetings between representatives of the British and United States Govern-
ments led to the proclaiming of the Atlantic Charter. Next, in Moscow, the
Soviet Government and the Chinese Government joined with these two
Governments in issuing the Moscow Declaration on general security of
November 1, 1943. At Dumbarton Oaks, in 1944, officials of these four
Governments worked out the tentative proposals which were finally adopted
at the San Francisco Conference. Therefore, it would be accurate to say
that this Organization has been, as it were, hammered out and shaped under
the very heat and din of battle, a clear sign to the world that, while this
titanic struggle to preserve liberty was going on, and our minds were still
concentrated on the defeat of the enemy, a hope was alive that even yet,
in spite of past failures, we might find a way to create a World Organization
that would allow humanity to live without fear, in freedom, and in
peace. Coincident with this development there have been others. At the
same time as the Organization for security was being devised, other
organs were being created to deal with human welfare. There was the laying
of the foundations of the Food and Agriculture Organization, an Organiza-
tion which I venture to suggest, having as its purpose to deal with the
terrible problem of malnutrition, will become very vital to the success of
the United Nations. The Bretton Woods Conference drafted the constitu-
tions of the International Bank and the International Fund-again an effort
to try to get rid of the struggle between nations in the economic field. We
have witnessed the birth of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization, the purpose of which will be to deal with the
whole problem of the training of youth with international conceptions.
Anything one can do in the education field which breaks down the nar-
row barriers of narrow nationalism will be a contribution to the security
of the world. There has also been the provisional International Civil
Aviation Organization, which is trying to regulate this new and potent
method of transport which links the world together so closely. Draft plans
were recently announced for an International Trade Organization, so that

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Bevin]
by a natural process the functional instruments of the world state are com-
ing into existence. All that was needed was the final coping stone of the
arch, an organization to guarantee security.
During all these discussions we have accepted the view that aggressive
war was a crime and that he who started such aggression must pav the price.
This is made very clear by the establishment of the War Crimes Tribunals
before whom are now being revealed, for the whole world to know, the
devious methods and cruel conceptions of those who sought to use force
for the mastery of the world. Apart altogether from the results of these
trials, the addition to the knowledge and history of the methods of creating
war, that is coming out in the cross-examination and in the documents
being presented, ought to be a very valuable guide to the statesmen and the
peoples of the future. The men who are responsible are now being brought
to justice. War is outlawed by that very potent and powerful instrument
called justice, which expresses in its decisions the feelings and conceptions
that mankind has reached as to what is right and what is wrong. The
aggressor, therefore, can no longer look forward to a halo of glory and
statues created to his memory. Instead, he will be remembered by the
scaffold and the hangman's rope. Indeed, mass murder is being arraigned
before the courts of the world on the same basis as individual murder has
been dealt with hitherto.
But it is necessary not only to outlaw war itself when it has begun, but
to build an organization that will act promptly and (and I would emphasize
this) as soon as the symptoms of the disease become manifest. War has
become more and more devastating; but even if we had not discovered the
atomic bomb, bacteriological warfare and all these other terrible devices,
still it was our duty to outlaw war and to create and make effective this
Organization. Apart altogether from these latest discoveries, no one who
has lived through two wars, as most of us have, and witnessed the maiming,
the squalor, death and suffering that ensue, can fail to desire ardently to
achieve the purpose for which this Organization has been brought into
being. But I, like other speakers, would utter a warning: you cannot change
the world in a moment; but what this Assembly can do is to prepare the
soil in which great and little powers can, as it were, grow together in a
common endeavor for their mutual benefit.
One of the most important functions of this Organization is security,
and there will devolve upon the Security Council a very grave responsibility
to devise plans to prevent any aggressor being able to create war again.
On the other hand, security must be devised in such a way that those
powers which have been victorious in this war can, as I have said, grow
together with confidence so that this Organization itself may become the
real answer to all the devilish devices of war.
But to join a Security organization is not sufficient in itself. We must
be in a position to enforce each decision, and that means each member
must take its full responsibility for supplying the necessary forces, funds
and supplies to carry out swiftly its decisions against any aggression. It is
for that reason that His Majesty's Government welcome the formation of
the Military Staff Committee under the Security Council so that the experi-

To the General Assembly of the United Nations
ence gained by the Allied Chiefs of Staff in the war can now be placed at the
disposal of the U.N.O. There will be a new objective that they will be
given-an objective not to fight a narrow nationalist war, but to defend
the peace of the world, and this will be a great asset to the U.N.O.
Equally we welcome the suggestion of an Atomic Commission which is
to work out a scheme for controlling scientific discoveries. The scientist is
a great human benefactor. All these discoveries have great potentialities in
them for the benefit of humanity and a higher standard of life. But unfor-
tunately they let loose in their wake the power of destruction. Therefore
what better work can we do than to encourage the scientist in his discover-
ies for the benefit of mankind, and at the same time devise such control as
will make impossible their use for destruction?
But in this struggle for security we must not forget that a great many
difficulties have arisen from maldistribution, bad economic conditions and
social disorder, and that these, too, have contributed to war and conflict.
Having regard to the great discoveries of this last century and a half, we
have to face the fact that we have not yet found the right method of dis-
tributing these great gifts on a wide enough basis so as to serve their intended
purpose of raising the standard of life universally. The social disorder
arising from the war and the failure to satisfy the physical and intellectual
development of mankind may lead to still further troubles and serious
conflicts. The task which thus devolves upon the Economic and Social
Council is an urgent one and has just as great and important a bearing on
world security and peace as the other instrument to which I have referred.
His Majesty's Government will place at the disposal of the Economic and
Social Council all our own experience. In return we shall hope to gain
knowledge from others which will assist us in solving our economic and
social problems. While the Security Council will deal with vital prob-
lems of defense and the Military Staff Committee will co-ordinate the
weapons of war against aggression, the Economic and Social Council will
have to carry on the great war against poverty, misery and disease, which
have cursed humanity for so long.
The Government of the United Kingdom have circulated a resolution
for action by the Assembly upon UNRRA. We have done this because we
believe that it will not be possible for the United Nations to achieve peace-
ful progress unless this great ambulance work is carried on long enough to
enable economic rehabilitation to be effective. It is for this reason that we
feel that the United Nations should keep closely in touch with UNRRA
and should consider what assistance it can give to its work, and in return
we feel the whole of the 51 nations should make their proper contributions
to its work and development.
There is however one problem which is not confined to countries need-
ing UNRRA's help, but is common to nearly the whole world, namely that
of food. A common effort by all peoples is necessary to deal with it pending
the return of good harvests. Shortage of food will create for us problems,

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Bevin)
morally and physically, which it will take years to overcome. I would urge
the Assembly to appreciate the seriousness of this situation and to give an
example of international effort by making common sacrifices to surmount
this transitory difficulty.
Therefore the British Government is anxious for the continued use
and strengthening of the I.L.O., which was the product of the Peace Treaty
at the end of the last war. It has survived this war. It has performed a great
task. When the Economic and Social Council has made its recommenda-
tions, the next step concerns the practical application of these recommenda-
tions in fields, factory and workshop. They have to be translated into
industrial code agreements, codes and decrees. There must be a check
against the old nationalistic fight between State and State for trade at the
expense of the standard of life of the workers. The I.L.O., by its methods
and its power of making conventions applicable universally, can become
an even more potent instrument than it has been already in creating new
levels of human existence over the whole world. I hope this instrument
will continue its work and be brought into full use by the United Nations.

Another instrument which we welcome is the Trusteeship Council. We
made our contribution to its creation at San Francisco and in the Prepara-
tory Commission. At the end of the last war the Mandatory system was
devised. We have given careful consideration to our own position in con-
nection with the Mandates for which we are responsible, and I take this
opportunity of informing the Assembly of our intentions, We have decided
to enter forthwith into negotiations for placing Tanganyika, the Cameroons
and Togoland under the Trusteeship system. Preliminary negotiations
have already started. I must make it clear that our willingness to place
these territories under the Trusteeship system naturally depends upon our
being able to negotiate terms which are in our view generally satisfactory
and which achieve the objectives of the Charter and are in the best interests
of the inhabitants of the territories concerned. These territories have been
administered by us for over 25 years. We have fulfilled our obligations
under the Covenant of the League and to the best of our ability adminis-
tered and developed them in the interest of their inhabitants. We intend
to continue this policy under the Trusteeship system. We are ready to
accept the obligation which will rest upon us as the administering authority
under this new system. Now if that is to be achieved it is most important
that the people of the territories themselves and the world at large should
be left in no doubt that the continuity of administration will be main-
tained until the ultimate objective of the Trusteeship system-self-govern-
ment or independence as the case may be-is attained.
Regarding Palestine, the Assembly is aware that an Anglo-American
Committee of Enquiry is at this very moment examining the question of
European Jewry, which is one of the most tragic episodes in the whole of
history, and also the Palestine problem. We think it necessary to await the

To the General Assembly of the United Nations
Committee's report before putting forward any proposals relating to the
future of Palestine.
Regarding the future of Transjordan, it is the intention of His Majesty's
Government in the United Kingdom to take steps in the near future for
establishing this territory as a sovereign independent State and for recog-
nizing its status as such. In these circumstances the question of Transjordan
going under Trusteeship does not, therefore, arise.
I would like now to turn to another very important matter to which
we attach the highest importance, and that is to the International Court
of Justice. We desire to develop this essential organ of the United Nations.
It is my Government's firm hope that in the election of judges for this court,
which will shortly take place, all delegations will realize the necessity of
electing those who by their qualifications and character will command the
confidence of the whole world. Further, we consider the greatest emphasis
should be laid upon the principles contained in Article 36 of the Charter,
that legal disputes should as a general rule be decided by the International
I am not one of those who say that the League of Nations entirely failed.
In fact, the experience gained during those years, limited as it was, had
been of extreme value. But, just as each nation after this catastrophic war
has to bring a new spirit to the work of reconstruction in their own country,
so a fresh vision and a fresh approach are required in the international
structure which mankind is creating today. There is a great adjustment that
the minds of men have undergone since the last war. At the same time
we must all realize that the United Nations is not something remote or im-
personal to which we can hand over problems and expect them to be solved
without further effort on our own part. The United Nations is really a
coming together of all peoples in all countries and continents-it is not
"them," it is "us": every one of us seeking as citizens of the world peace and
security for humanity.
Mr. President, I can give the utmost assurance that not only His Majesty's
Government but the people of Great Britain give their wholehearted sup-
port to the United Nations. We will try to make the best contribution we
can and use to the full every instrument which is created under its auspices.
We will strive with all other Governments to prevent another aggression
and another war, for be it remembered that in the past 30 years this country
and the Commonwealth have been in the forefront of a great struggle right
from the beginning to the end, and never faltered. In this the flower of its
manhood has been sacrificed together with the accumulation of its wealth.
Over the past 30 years the peoples of the British Commonwealth have actu-
ally been engaged in battle one day in every three. And for what purpose?
For gains for themselves? No. For aggrandizement? No. But only to defeat
those who would destroy liberty and would harness the soul of man to a
pernicious system. With the same courage and devotion with which we
fought those battles we now dedicate all our capacity, courage and achieve-
ment to building up a world order and peace.
[United Nations Journal]

RT. HON. ERNEST BEVIN, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to the
Security Council, the United Nations, January 30, 1916

London, January 30, 1946. This dispute between these two Govern-
ments has arisen in pursuance of the carrying out of a Treaty to which
the United Kingdom Government is a party as well as the two Governments
concerned; and the essential paragraph in that Treaty is Article 4 and I
propose to read it.
"The Allied Powers may maintain in Iranian territory land, sea and air forces in such
numbers as they consider necessary. The location of such forces shall be decided in
agreement with the Iranian Government so long as the strategic situation allows.
All questions concerning the relations between the forces of the Allied Powers and
the Iranian Authorities shall be settled so far as possible in co-operation with the
Iranian Authorities in such a way as to safeguard the security of the said forces. It is
understood that the presence of these forces on Iranian territory does not constitute
a military occupation and will disturb as little as possible the administration and the
security forces of Iran, the economic life of the country, the normal movements of
the population and the application of Iranian laws and regulations."
In that paragraph the high contracting parties undertake to leave the
sovereignty, the administration, the movement of security forces, the police
and everything to the sole judgment of the Iranian Government.
I was a little perturbed when I heard Mr. Vyshinsky say that it was the
Soviet Government that decided that the number of police and soldiers in
Azerbaijan was sufficient to keep order, because under this Treaty the sole
judge of that, in our view as a party to the Treaty, was the Iranian Govern-
ment and no one else. The Treaty also said that we would withdraw our
forces six months after the end of hostilities, which is March 2nd.
No other Treaty, no other powers, nothing else was taken into account
in arriving at this Treaty. In fact, I ought to say, speaking for my Govern-
ment, that we felt a sense of gratitude at very dire moments when the war
was at its worst that the Iranian Government placed their territory, their
citizens and their communications at the disposal of the Allies, and our feel-
ing is very strongly that if we entered a territory for the purpose of conduct-
ing the war against Germany and later against Japan, we have even a greater
duty than the Treaty lays down; and it is to make sure not only that we
preserve the integrity of the country that placed its territory at our disposal,
but that we hand it back intact with our forces gone and without interfer-
ence with its sovereignty.
Therefore, the question arises: Has the sovereignty of the Iranian Gov-
ernment been infringed? This is where the evidence is a little conflicting.
According to the Iranian Government-as I read the documents-having this
internal difficulty arising in Azerbaijan-a similar difficulty historically to
that which happened under the Government of Russia in the early part of
1914-they proceeded within their rights as a sovereign nation responsible
for internal order to take such steps as they deemed necessary to protect their
nationals and protect order. Now, on the admission of Mr. Vyshinsky, by
the authority of the High Command of Soviet Russia they were stopped.

The U.S.S.R. and Iran

What is there to negotiate about? Were they in fact stopped? If they were,
then there was an infringement of this Treaty, and I do not think there is
any answer to that. The Treaty is perfectly clear. And what is to be the
result of such negotiations; what is there to decide?
I have been listening to this discussion for all these days, and as I read
the claim made by the Iranian Government it is that the Tripartite Treat)
should be strictly observed and that the security forces and officials as ap-
pointed by the Iranian Government should be allowed to do their duty as
ordered by that Government. I would like to put it to the Soviet Delegate,
if I may, in the friendliest fashion: Is that denied to the Iranian Govern-
ment? The Treaty is clear. If my Government had done this, and I was
charged with it, I should not regard it as a question of dignity for the
Council to inquire into it and tell me whether I had done wrong or right.
I do not regard that as a question of the dignity of a State if the Security
Council charged with this matter has it investigated and indeed makes a
pronouncement as to whether you have or have not carried out your obliga-
tion under the Treaty.
Personally, I have no objections to discussions between the Soviet Gov-
ernment and the Iranian Government, but I must say to the Council that
we too are parties to the Treaty. What is going to be decided under this
Treaty? I understand that is the only thing under discussion, although in
the statement of the Soviet Union they refer to the danger in the Baku Oil-
fields. I cannot imagine the Iranian Army or anybody else attacking the
Soviet Army and endangering the Baku Oilfields-I really cannot. I think
that is rather an exaggeration. Nor can I really imagine them being unable
to maintain sufficient protection against saboteurs or anything referred to in
the Soviet statement.
It goes rather deeper than that. We and the United States communi-
cated with the Soviet Government and we did regard the answer as not
being conclusive or satisfactory. Now we want to promote peace, and there
is one thing I would like to say about this. You will, I am perfectly certain,:
Mr. President, pull me up if I am going astray, but this thing did look to us
in this country like a war of nerves. It did really look like the prescription
laid down in and quoted by the Iranian Government from Mr. Litvinoff's
definition of what constituted aggression. I am quite certain if this can be
eliminated it will be for the benefit of the peace of the world.
I am quite willing for these discussions to take place, but as a party to
the Treaty I would ask the Soviet Government to agree with us to leave it
on the agenda. It has been subject to public discussion here, and there is
another reason, a very sound reason, which would apply to my country or
to the United States if we were in a similar position. We are powerful coun-
tries; we are what is sometimes described as the Big Three. I certainly am
a good physical representative of the Big Three. [Laughter.] But we do
represent power and power does count in negotiations. There are armies in
Iran. They are there by the kindness of Iran, to whom I am sure every Ally,
having regard to the victory we have won and the transportation that it
represented to us in our very darkest moments, must feel a sense of gratitude.
Yet that small power has to negotiate with an Army of I cannot tell how

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. H. Morrison]
many thousands on her territory at this moment. But it does seem to me
for them to have to negotiate alone without, shall I say, the watchfulness,
the sense of justice and the holding of the balance of this new United Na-
tions Organization at their disposal, would be most unfortunate and would
be misunderstood. Indeed, I personally take the view if I was in this posi-
tion, and it was my Government with the power, military and economic,
that we represent, that was in conflict or dispute or disagreement with any
small Power, I should welcome that small Power having at its elbow the
assistance of a Council of this character.
I can only conclude by saying that I sincerely trust it is not in dispute.
We stand for the integrity of Iran without interference in her sovereignty;
for the removal of troops from her territory as quickly as we can, and the
last man to go by the date we have agreed; for leaving her and her people
to work out their political and economic salvation in their own way; and
for us as great Powers not to sit in judgment upon them as regards their
internal affairs.
Therefore, if talks can proceed-and I hope they will-between the two
Powers primarily concerned, I sincerely hope we shall not be put in the
position of being asked at this stage to take it off the agenda and so leave
a small Power negotiating in what I should regard as the most adverse cir-
cumstances. Indeed, I should think my own dignity and everything else
would be enhanced if I allowed her to have in the conduct of those nego-
tiations all the assistance she required.
(United Nations Journal]

RT. HON. HERBERT MORRISON, Lord President of the Council, over the
Columbia Broadcasting System.

Washington, D. C., January 12, 1946, When an American comes into
a British home, or when a Briton comes into an American home, and
the families sit talking, they usually get to talking about the things which
really matter-the everyday things of family life. Your soldiers used to tell
us about their wives and mothers and children, about their homes, about
their work, and above all, about what they planned to do when the war was
won and they were back home again. So now, I, a Londoner, am visiting
you, and I think that you may like me to talk to you about the way we
live in Britain and what we plan to do now that the war is over.
First, though, I want to say this to your soldiers who stayed with us for
a time. We are people who don't open our front doors easily, but I want to
tell you how much we enjoyed our contacts with you. Your stay with us has
resulted in thousands of friendships of the lasting sort, including many
Anglo-American marriages, and has helped us to understand each other
better. And if we could have done much more for you in peacetime in the
matter of food, smokes and drinks, well, you always showed that you were
fully aware of our wartime difficulties and we appreciated that.
Germany failed more than any to take our measure. Like all peoples
with an adventurous history behind them, we have our funny ways. We've

Britain Faces Peace

got used to living on an island; we've a strong instinct of personal liberty;
we're rather shy; we don't like showing our feelings-not that we haven't got
any, in fact we're rather sensitive; we've got the sort of humor that makes
us laugh at ourselves and makes us slow to anger; we sometimes find it diffi-
cult to talk about ourselves. We are so certain that truth will out that we
often suffer for lack of a bit of self-praise. No wonder we get misunder-
We were most misunderstood in Germany. The evidence at the Nurem-
berg Trial has shown how much. We were reluctant to declare war because
we hate war. Hitler put it down to tiredness and lack of vitality. But look-
ing back to the time when Britain, with the men from the British Common-
wealth (that is Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa-and India),
the Colonial Empire, and many individuals from Ireland (and great fighters
they are!) who had joined us when we were alone, we cannot but be proud
now that it was our small fleet of fighter aircraft that in 1940 gave the enemy
his first thorough beating, first turned the tide of war, and established our
island as an Atlantic fortress. (In that small fleet we honor the young
Americans of the Eagle Squadron of the R.A.F.) Without your help, and
without the help of Russia, civilization could not have hoped to avoid
defeat; but our people are glad and proud to have been in the front of the
battle and to have been the first, after the gallant Poles, to take up arms to
save the world from Nazi domination.
Now what did the six long years of war mean in practical terms to the
British people. You, too, felt its impact-and heavy it was-but we were in it
before you and in the theatre of active operations, and I don't think it en-
tailed the same change in your way of life as it did in ours. Our total war
effort measured in terms of population was the greatest of any nation.
We prize above all things our personal liberty, but we even gave up much of
that in the fight for freedom. About one home in every three was damaged
or totally destroyed by enemy bombardment. In the heavily bombed cities
the proportion was, of course, much higher and in London, for example,
it was the exception to escape damage. Over 60,000 civilians, men, women
and children, were killed and over 86,000 badly injured. Out of 32,000,000
adults of working age more than two out of three either went into the Ser-
vices, or were completely mobilized for war work. The other ten million
were housewives, young children, invalids and so on, and all of those who
could did some sort of part-time voluntary war work. Three out of four
British boys and girls from 14 to 17 years old were on vital war work, be-
tween 300,000 and 400,000 men and women were employed on whole-time
fire fighting, rescue, and similar work in air raids, and they were helped
by over seven millions of part-time Civil Defenders, which included firemen,
fire guards, air-raid wardens and the invaluable Women's Voluntary Ser-
vices. Our 1/4 million-strong Home Guard was a citizen army of part-time
soldiers and the hard training they went through was additional to their
long hours of war work.
Like your American women, our women have done a magnificent job
during the war. It has been no easy task for them to run their homes. Food
has been limited and severely rationed. We have forgotten the taste of

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. H. Morrison]
many of the foods we knew before the war. We're eating 25 per cent less
meat, 55 per cent less butter, 35 per cent less sugar than we did before the
war. We rely more upon potatoes. We have to be very careful with milk,
and careful with the labor of men who deliver it. You can't choose or change
your milkman in Britain. Women hate that! Orange juice is reserved for
expectant mothers and young children.
Shopping is no longer a pleasure. It is a work of great ingenuity and
considerable physical effort. It often means standing for long periods in
queues at the butcher's, the fishmonger's and other food shops, and women
are hard put to it to introduce some variety into the family menu.
We do not complain. We know that it is part of the price for victory,
and we accept it as such. We know that in many parts of liberated Europe
conditions are a good deal worse. This is no hard luck story. It is my
tribute to my own people, and I am giving you these facts because I think
it is important that we should understand one another and that it helps
us to do so if we each know how the other is faring.
And, now that the war is over, Victory has not yet made much difference
to our lives. It was a tough fight for us and we had been "all out" for a
long time. We had put all our riches, all our production, all our strength
of men and women into winning the war. We had been doing without
every possible thing we dared, cut home consumption to the bone, even
gone without foods which before the war we had thought were essential.
When peace came the only things we could put back were those which cost
us practically nothing in labor or raw material or capital-things such as
taking the blackout curtains from our windows, abolishing censorship and
security regulations.
We are sincerely grateful to be relieved from the gnawing anxiety for
husbands and sons who were away in the Services. We are grateful, too,
for being free from air raids and flying bombs and rockets; although we
haven't properly got used to it and often have to think twice when an auto-
mobile in low gear makes a noise like a siren. We haven't really got used to
having our street lights on again, and we still can't afford to light shop
windows at night or allow electricity to be used for advertising signs.
When we had got our breath and checked up we found that the war had
not only left us comparatively poor in terms of money. We had an apalling
shortage of homes, thanks to having ceased building for six years and to
the half million left useless after air raids. Neither could we get going on
building homes or making clothes or even restoring normal health services
until the men came home.
Then, to make matters worse, you must remember we live on what we
buy from other countries, largely from North America. We have been big
customers of yours, your biggest customer, and in normal times we have
paid our bills by what we make and sell to other countries. To win the
war, though, we deliberately sacrificed our overseas securities and our export
trade, and before we could even buy the food we needed we should have
to rebuild that export business. The dilemma we face, when we are turning
our industries from war to peace and getting our men back to work, is how
much energy and capital to devote to rebuilding our homes and putting

Britain Faces Peace
back into our lives some of the decent amenities we have sacrificed, and
how much to restoring that export trade which is so vital to us.
This has been explained to the British people and they have cheerfully
accepted the situation and made up their minds to a few more years of
going without. There is very little grumbling, and nobody is blamed except
Hitler and Tojo. The grim life is accepted in much the same way as they
accepted the grim possibility of invasion in 1940.
Of course, the circumstances are very different, but there is a consider-
able similarity between the spirit of British people today and their spirit
in 1940, after Dunkirk, when we stood alone with the Dominions, when
Britain was faced with the imminent danger of invasion, when we were
gravely short of arms, and when it was clear that it was only a matter of
weeks or days before we should have to face ruthless air raids.
I knew the cheerless facts at close quarters-first as Minister of Supply in
Mr. Churchill's Government and then as Home Secretary and Minister of
Home Security. One of my duties at the Home Office was to see that every
aid was brought to the victims of enemy air raids and to keep morale high.
It was a heavy and trying time for all of us. London had 57 consecutive
nights of air attacks, and others as well. The provinces, Scotland, Wales,
Northern Ireland had a rough time, too. Every evening when darkness
fell it was highly probable that the air-raid sirens would wail and that at-
tacks would continue until dawn. Everybody knew that that night might
be their last, or that they might suffer horrible injuries, or that their homes
and possessions might be destroyed.
How would the people take all this horror and anxiety? We couldn't
be sure. We made the best provision we could for them and assumed that
they would stand firm under cruel enemy bombardment by high explosive
and fire. And so it was. They-with the police, the firemen and the Civil
Defence Services-did stand firm. Firm even to the point, many of them,
of pride in the very bombs against which they fought and up to which they
stood. They became bomb proud. Here may I say how much we appreci-
ated the aid which came to our people from the United States and Canada.
When I went to see the bombed areas and talk to the people in trouble,
I said, "You are sticking it spendidly, and your sticking it will be one of the
factors in defeating the Luftwaffe. I think I know why you are so deter-
mined. It is because the risk of death, injury and a lost home is a better
thing than the certainty of slavery and the destruction of all our free insti-
tutions if we were to buy off the air-raider by surrendering to the Nazis.
That's it, isn't it?" And the answer was: "Yes, that's right, Herbert. That's
how we look at it. We can take it. And when we're stronger in the air we'll
give it to the Jerrys, too-many times over." And it was so-Bomber Harris
saw to that.
And now in January, 1946, this fine British people know that there
must be order in their economic affairs, even though sometimes the order is
tight and annoying. That must be tolerated if the better times we are deter-
mined to achieve in a few years are to come. A pretty tight time now, so that
later we can spread ourselves, branch out, blossom and expand. That also
is being planned for. Many of them remember the end of the 1914-18 war:

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. H. Morrison]
the much too early scrapping of the economic controls, the "brighter
London" period of hysterical illusion, profiteering, inflation and the short
artificial boom, followed by the economic smash and depression from which
we never really recovered in those miserable years between the wars. The
British have no intention of repeating that silly business.
Well, that's how I think the British are looking at things-in the same
determined spirit as they faced Dunkirk, the air raids, and all that, and in
accordance with our democratic tradition. They don't ask the United
States to follow the British example-neither do I. We wouldn't presume
to tell the United States how to conduct their economic affairs. I'm just
explaining how our brains are working at this time so that you may under-
stand how we're unwinding the war and winding up for peace and a sound
prosperity, and we are setting about this difficult job in a democratic way
under a Government which I think is a very good cross-section of the people
and many of whose members have themselves worked at the factory bench
or the coal face or, like me, as an errand boy and shop assistant. And I am
confident that British democracy is equal to the task.
People don't change their characters suddenly. The men and women
who increased our munition output sixfold are still in our factories. The
men who made the Mulberry Harbors and the Bailey Bridges are now at
work on other kinds of building. The technicians and scientists who con-
tributed jet propulsion, penicillin, radar, and early atomic development to
the Allied war effort are still at work in Britain.
From General Eisenhower and Marshal Tedder through the ranks, the
comradeship of American and British soldiers, sailors and airmen has been
welded under fire of battle. And the ordinary men and women and children
of America and Britain who share a language, books, and even films, have
also shared a war, and, now, a victory.
The spirit and strength of the British people will speed their recovery.
On our national recovery rests to a great extent the recovery of Europe and
the world. World trade and world peace and social progress will depend
upon the good friendship and understanding between the ordinary peoples
of the world. We have come out of the war confident in our own powers,
with faith in the future, with high hopes for the world, and with a strong
affection for you, the people of America. We were good allies. We get on
well together. We both did all we could to help each other in war. We'll
remain good friends and good allies in peace.
[Official Release]

RT. HON. HERBERT MORRISON, Lord President of the Council,
to the Board of Trade of Toronto

January 10, 1946. Your invitation reached me in the Lobby of the
House of Commons in London and finally decided me to do what I had
wished to do for years-to visit Canada. There have been many pressing
invitations in the past and our Prime Minister and I recognize the impor-

Canada and the New British Government
tance of personal contact between Ministers of our two nations. Mr. Mack-
enzie King confirmed this view when he was in London. Our Parliamentary
recess gives me a chance as Lord President and Leader of the House of
Commons to make this visit with the approval of Mr. Attlee.
We see Canada as a vigorous nation with already a great record of
accomplishment, a great present and an even greater future. We admire
your people, your achievements, and your way of living. It gives us joy
that we have emerged from all the troubles which are now history with true
understanding, practical friendship, sincere mutual respect, a proper sense
of tradition, and strong affection between our peoples.
Each Government is faced with its own special post-war problems. How
we meet them is our own responsibility based on the democratic decision
of our peoples. But we both will take our place with the other nations of
the world with the same unshakeable purpose-there is no shade of diffence
between us in our resolve to make the world a decent, safe and sensible home
for mankind.
One of the problems we have had to face lies in the future of our home
agriculture. This is of special interest to Canada. The Dominion has of
course become an industrial producer of considerable importance and
power. Toronto itself is a center where some of Canada's most remarkable
and splendid manufacturing, in war and in peace, has been done. But as
exporters Canadians are largely interested in agricultural products.
Before the outbreak of war Canada was one of the chief suppliers of
foodstuffs to our market. You sent us wheat and other grains, bacon, apples,
cheese, and eggs-a wide range of foods, and staples of our living. At that
time our agriculture was itself producing about one-third of the food we
ate; and with such a large gap to fill and with our means of payment as yet
unimpaired by war, there was good room in the United Kingdom market
for Canada and other suppliers. There may well be doubt in Canadian
minds, however, about their future place in that market, and this for two
reasons. In the first place, there is the question whether the United King-
dom will be able to afford in the years ahead to buy the large volume of
foodstuffs that she purchased in Canada and elsewhere before the war-and
that continued to flow during the war years, as a vital contribution towards
the common victory, under the generous cover of the billion dollar gift,
followed by Mutual Aid. We shall be able to afford such purchases only if
world trade flourishes and the United Kingdom is able to sell her goods
and services overseas in far larger volume than before 1939, when we also
had the earnings of our overseas investments that we no longer possess.
In the second place, our agriculture, as is well known, has done a superb
job during the war years-with the aid, let me say here, of supplies of farm
machinery from Canadian factories. As the result of this mutual co-opera-
tion and owing to the vital need in Britain to turn ships from importing food
to the purposes of war, and owing also to the strenuous efficiency of United
Kingdom farmers and workers, we have increased our output of food in the
home country by something like 70 per cent since 1939. What does that
mean for the future of Canadian farming and Canadian exports?
A few weeks ago His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. H. Morrison]
announced the general principles on which their agricultural policy is to
be based. We said:
"The Government will develop to the fullest possible extent the home production
of food with due regard to the recommendations of the Conference on Food and
Agriculture at Hot Springs. The objective will be to promote a healthy and efficient
agriculture, capable of producing that part of the nation's food which is required
from home sources, at the lowest price consistent with the provision of adequate re-
numeration and decent living conditions for farmers and workers with a reasonable
return on capital invested. To this end the Government propose to establish as an
essential and permanent feature of their policy for food and agriculture a system
of assured markets and guaranteed prices for the principal agricultural products,
namely, milk, fat livestock, eggs, cereals, potatoes and sugar beet."
We shall be obliged in short to continue to put our own soil-like our
other natural resources-to the best possible use in the years ahead as we
did during the war, but with our limited area of land and our large and
dense population there can, of course, be no question of producing in the
United Kingdom all the food we require. That is clearly implied in the
phrase that speaks of "that part of the nation's food." We shall need food
from such great exporting lands as Canada, and at the same time we must
earn the means of paying for it.
Canada is especially interested in the British market for wheat. Fifteen
years ago the wheat acreage in the United Kingdom had fallen to a very low
level, and steps were taken to stop the rot. The price to the home grower
was supplemented by means of a levy on flour, with a view to giving a
measure of price stability. But, and this is an important point, the arrange-
ments were such that the assistance given was tapered off as the volume of
production surpassed a specified level. There was no intention, in a word,
of stimulating the home production of wheat beyond reason, and by the
time war began in 1939 we were, in fact, supplying from our own soil no
more than 25 per cent of our total wheat requirements.
Under the pressure of siege conditions after Dunkirk we were inevitably
obliged to raise our wheat acreage very substantially (from 1,857,000 acres
in 1936-8 to 3,220,000 acres in 1944). But this was in part at the expense of
the normal balance of cropping, and between the harvests of 1944 and 1945
our wheat acreage fell by just on 1,000,000 acres to 2,279,000 acres. There is
likely to be a further fall for the harvest of 1946. Although we are still
asking our farmers to grow all the wheat they can, in view of the serious
world supply position at the present time, and our post-war level is likely
to be higher than in the pre-war period, it may be taken as certain that the
market for imported wheat and flour in the United Kingdom will remain
large. We cannot expect to produce at home even the major part of our
bread supply. In 1944, the peak production year, home produced wheat ac-
counted for only 47 per cent of total supplies.
Canada has also played a most valued part in maintaining the United
Kingdom bacon ration-in the second half of the war 55 per cent of our
ration of about two and one-half slices each a week came from you across the
Atlantic; and there are other foodstuffs, such as eggs and apples and cheese,
that Canada is concerned with exporting. Such. foods are among the chief
of the protective and nutritionally desirable foods that were eaten in inade-

Canada and the New British Government
quate amounts in most, if not all, countries before the war and are now in
especially short supply. There is no doubt that if only the mechanism of
international trade can be set moving efficiently, there will be a ready market
in the world as a whole for all available supplies of such foodstuffs over the
next few years. Whatever measures may be adopted for carrying into effect
the guarantees as to prices and markets for the major home-produced foods,
we shall need a great deal of food from Canada and elsewhere during these
But what of the subsequent period? The solution lies along two roads;
the maintenance of reasonably full employment so as to provide the people
everywhere with the means of buying these foodstuffs, of which they have
never had enough; and the steady pursuit in all countries of the objectives
in regard to nutrition and expanding consumption that were formulated
at the Hot Springs Conference of the United Nations in 1943 and are now
the special care of the Food and Agriculture Organization which was in-
augurated this past autumn in Canada itself.
For their part H.M. Government in the United Kingdom are deter-
mined to follow these roads; and attention may be drawn in particular to
the following passage from the Statement on long-term policy which was
made by our Minister of Food on November 7th last:
"The Government's long-term food policy contemplates more positive measures
than the mere elimination of shortages-necessary as that is. The Government accept
the responsibility for ensuring that adequate supplies of food necessary to health are
available to all members of the public at reasonable prices and, in accordance with
the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture
held at Hot Springs in 1943, the responsibility for raising the standard of nutrition
of the people . ."
The truth is, our need at home is both to produce more food and par-
ticularly to eat more!
I think you would like me to explain to you briefly why we consider it
is in the interest of our people to trade as a Government in certain primary
foodstuffs. Our first task is to ensure an adequate supply of the foods neces-
sary to maintain our health. We accept the duty of stabilizing the cost of
living by regulating retail prices if necessary; of providing markets with
guaranteed prices for our home production; to work to eliminate fluctua-
tions in international prices so that producers can safely plan future output;
and to reduce unnecessary distribution costs. We believe that the main-
tenance of a sound nutrition policy will give the great advantage of stability
to overseas producers and will also help to earn a long-term market for
our exports.
To adapt our economy to modern world conditions we find it necessary
to put certain of our industries under public ownership and control. In
itself the policy of nationalization of industry is controversial. Everybody
is entitled to their opinions and I am not trying to be dogmatic, but it
might be interesting to you, and useful, if I, a Minister, give you the sort
of reasons why the United Kingdom Labour Government are adopting this
policy in the United Kingdom. In the British Commonwealth we believe
in freedom, and we certainly indulge in a great deal of variety in political

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. H. Morrison]
practices. Here am I, a Minister in a Labour Government, speaking in a
Province administered by a Conservative Government in a Dominion ruled
by a Cabinet of Liberals. Yet we are all partners, good comrades together,
respecting each others views and working with tolerance and mutual under-
standing for the common good of all the peoples in the British Common-
wealth and Empire. It is important that we maintain a sympathetic com-
prehension of each other's motives and policies. To help in that process
let me explain how we in the United Kingdom face our own particular set
of problems and supply our own particular solutions regarding this matter.
People have been known to go red in the face or blue, or both red and blue,
in discussing it either as pro-nationalizers or anti-nationalizers. There is,
however, no real need for excessive excitement, for the question to be
decided is whether, in the circumstances, the industry is likely to be better
run by free competitive competition, private enterprise, or free monopoly
private enterprise, or controlled and supervised monopoly enterprise, or by
public enterprise of one sort or another. It is the public interest that counts,
and the real field for argument is how best can the industry be organized
or managed with a view to achieving economic public advantage. It is up
to the nationalizers to prove their case that there will be public advantage
by nationalization. It is no less up to the anti-nationalizers to prove their
case that the public interest can best be served by private ownership.
Let the argument be directed to the merits and let the test be the public
interest. That is my first point, and it is a point which I hope will com-
mand general acceptance.
My second point is this-that in the United Kingdom the policy of
public ownership is not a monopoly of the Labour Party. Indeed I hear
rumor that in Canada the policy and practice of public ownership is not an
exclusive monopoly of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation for,
unless I have been informed wrongly, I gather that you are proud of your
Ontario Hydro and have every right to be; that the Bank of Canada is a
great and trustworthy servant to Canada; and that the Government of
Canada takes responsibility for a large part of the railway and other services
of importance to the Canadian public and as a contribution to the efficiency
of Canadian industry.
On this, of course, I make no comment because this is Canada and I am a
visitor, but I will say this of my own country, that before anybody dreamed
of the British Labour Party getting a Parliamentary majority, the principle
of nationalization had already been applied by anti-socialist Governments.
It was a Conservative Government that nationalized the telephones; it was
a Conservative Government who passed an act for the public ownership
and control of the whole of the water supply in London as far back as 1902.
It was a Conservative Government that nationalized British broadcasting,
not even by an Act of Parliament, but by Royal Charter. It was a Conserva-
tive Government which more than semi-nationalized electrical generation
in 1926. It was a Liberal Government which nationalized the Port of Lon-
don. And dating from the end of the nineteenth century, throughout the
United Kingdom, municipalities, both Conservative and Liberal, munici-
palized, in case after case, gas, water, electricity and passenger transport.

Canada and the New British Government
The Tory municipality of the great city of Birmingham, largely under the
inspiration of the late Mr. Neville Chamberlain, started up the famous and
successful Birmingham Municipal Bank. And, believe me, if any anti-
monopolizer in the name of sound Conservative principles tried to turn
municipally-controlled undertakings over to private enterprise, a great bulk
of the Conservative and Liberal Councils concerned would fight against
private enterprise right up to, and including, the last ditch. Therefore,
gentlemen of the Toronto Board of Trade, be not shocked about the idea
of nationalization now being pursued by the United Kingdom Labour
Government. It is not altogether new.
Now let me state our case briefly. We are in the process of nationalizing
the Bank of England because in our judgment skilled banking, which has
such a profound influence upon economic and industrial health, is such a
matter of public concern that the Central Bank should be owned and have
its policy directed by the State; even though, as we believe, in itself it should
be under efficient business management and control. In that we follow
Canada itself with its State Bank-the Bank of Canada.
Then we come to coal, transport, electricity, gas, civil aviation and pos-
sibly iron and steel, and in these cases we say that one or both the following
consideration provide a prima facie;
(1) That the service concerned is a natural monopoly. You cannot have
rival electricity undertakings pulling up the streets in competition in the
same area; and the same consideration applies to gas. These are natural
monopolies. The question is whether a monopoly is public or private. If
it is private you have got to hamstring it with a lot of controls and regula-
tions, because nobody will trust an unfettered private monopoly in such
vital service. Our conclusion is that you'd better make a clean job of it, and
convert it into a public concern, in which case the degree of controls and
regulations can be much less.
(2) It may be a common service industry like transport or coal; an in-
dustry upon which the well-being of other industries is to some extent
dependent. An industry which is vital to every citizen in the country should
be conducted broadly from the point of view of the public interest. Or it
may be a key industry, which is one of the essential basic industries, having
a vital consequence to the general economic health of the country, such as
iron and steel. It may be an industry in difficulties as our iron and steel
industry has been. Those difficulties are more likely to be solved by the
constructive and enlightened guidance of a progressive Government, than
they would be if the industry is left under the management of a consid-
erable number of separate ownerships varying greatly in their efficiency. It
is these kinds of considerations that leads us to select these industries for
public ownership.
It is true that civil aviation is a new industry and we must be careful to
handle it in an enlightened, imaginative and progressive way. In this indus-
try, vital to our prestige, and an important element in transportation, we
believe it would be wasteful to let several hundred companies vie with each
other in cut-throat competition, and that it is better for the nation to own
them and to establish suitable organs of progressive management. In this,
we are with you, and have the example and splendid record of the Trans-
Canada Air Lines.

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. H. Morrison]
In all this field of nationalization we intend to uphold the right to adopt
the form of ownership and management according to the circumstances
of the case.
We shall not be slavish in following a precise model. Generally speak-
ing we shall not manage the nationalized industries by State departments
or civil servants. We shall, instead, set up public corporations in charge of
boards composed of men appointed because they are qualified to do a tech-
nical job with efficiency, imagination and enterprise in the public interest.
The general basis of selection will be on the lines set out in the Coal Nation-
alization Bill now before Parliament, namely, from persons having had
experience and having shown capacity in industrial, commercial or financial
matters, science administration or the organization of workers.
It will be the fact that the great bulk of our industry will remain private
enterprise industry, and we shall not quarrel with it as long as it is private
enterprise and not private un-enterprise. Indeed we shall seek to assist and
encourage private enterprise to the solutions of its problems, and we shall
spur it to greater effort in the cause of industrial and economic progress.
Finally, we shall seek to get a clearer and better picture of our national
economic life to pool the efforts of both public and private enterprise in an
industrial planned program over a period of years. To the best of our
ability we shall publish the economic facts of nationalization, the possibili-
ties of our national income, and issue progress reports from time to time.
That is our ambition.
I am going to read you a paragraph from a recent pronouncement by the
President of the Federation of British Industries, our biggest capitalist
"We realize that industry in this, as in other countries, must operate within the
framework of Government policies and those wider international accords which we
are now seeking with other Members of the United Nations. Whatever political views
it may hold, industry will not be obstructive; it will not adopt go-slow tactics; it
will not stand on questions of form and procedure, and whilst we will not abandon
our principles or pull our punches we will seek to secure a broad area of agree-
ment on which the reconstruction of our national life can proceed."
We face the future with confidence-confidence in ourselves and con-
fidence in our friends-in our double task of contributing to the progress
and stability of world trade, and of organizing our own affairs for efficient
production and social development. We know we have the good wishes of
the people of Canada. We have much to learn from you. If we can make
as great a success of our plans to put our fuel and power to public and in-
dustrial service as you have of your Ontario Hydro, we shall have reason
to be pleased. In the course of this speech I have stated a number of policies
now on the march in the United Kingdom with which many of )ou will
disagree. So be it. For this speech has been expository and had no purpose
of making converts to any particular political or economic doctrines. Just
as I want to understand Canada and its current tendencies, so I want you to
possess the facts about modern Britain, its outlook and its policies. The
British Commonwealth and Empire has never been organized on lines of
uniformity. Variety is part of its charm, and mutual respect for our indi-
vidual ways is part of its strength.
Have no fear that the new Government of the United Kingdom will be

The Responsibilities of the Indian Princes
any less enthusiastic for partnership, under the Crown, of the nations and
lands that together constitute the British Commonwealth and Empire. We
believe that this remarkable association of States has much to teach the
world in toleration and enlightened constitutional practice. The United
Kingdom with Canada and the other vigorous and independent States of
the Commonwealth will continue to demonstrate that the individuality,
autonomy and freedom of nations is consistent with unity of purpose,
progress and peace. [ cial Release]
[Oficial Release]


VISCOUNT WAVELL, Viceroy of India, Address to the Chamber of Princes.

New Delhi, January 17, 1946. I take particular pleasure in welcom-
ing Your Highnesses to this twentieth session of the Chamber of Princes,
since this is the first occasion on which I have the honor to preside over
your deliberations. ..
There has been no more eventful period in history than the two years
which have passed since last this Chamber met. At that time the war was
still being waged both in the east and west with unparalleled fury. In the
east, although the Allied Armies and Navies were beginning to make head-
way against the Japanese, Japanese forces were in possession of Burma and
even of part of Indian territory; in Italy a determined opposition was being
put up by the German Armies and very heavy fighting was in progress; the
landings of Allied troops in France had yet to take place and the whole
country was still in the occupation of the enemy. Yet within two years the
enemies' armies were routed, their navies surrendered or sunk, their air
fleets destroyed, and their countries occupied by Allied forces. The most
powerful factors in these splendid achievements have been the steadfastness
of the Allied nations and the prowess of their fighting forces. In that stead-
fastness and prowess the Indian States have a proud share. Throughout
those difficult years when we were exposed, unprepared, to the first furious
onslaught of the enemy, and during the dark days of 1942, when it seemed
that India herself might be invaded and the faith of some began to fail and
grow dim, the States without exception kept their loyalty to the causes for
which we fought-
Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,"
a circumstance of which Your Highnesses and your peoples have every
reason to be proud. The record of the Indian States Forces and the many
State subjects who joined the Royal Indian Navy, the Indian Army and the
Indian Air Force was equally worthy of admiration. I wish that I could
speak in detail of the part played by individual units of the States Forces in
the various theatres of war; but the time at my disposal makes this impossible,
and I can only say that in the fighting in Africa, in Italy, in the Mediter-
ranean and on the eastern frontier of India they distinguished themselves
by their valor and endurance. In the Indian Army five V.C.'s were won by

British Speeches of the Day [Viscount Wavell]
subjects of Indian States. Your Highnesses yourselves set a worthy example
to your peoples. Three of your number-His Highness of Bundi, His High-
ness of Dewas (Senior) and His Highness of Cooch Behar-took part in active
operations against the enemy, and I congratulate His Highness of Bundi on
being awarded the Military Cross for gallantry. Other Rulers paid visits
to the troops at the front, who received much encouragement from their
presence amongst them. One State, Manipur, was actually invaded and
heavy fighting took place within its boundaries. During that trying ordeal
the people of the State, under His Highness the Maharaja, who remained
in his capital even when it was seriously threatened by the enemy, behaved
with exemplary steadfastness. The States were also associated with the plan-
ning and organization of the war: since the Chamber last met His Highness
the Maharaja of Kashmir was one of India's two representatives in the War
Cabinet at an important period; and during an earlier period of the war
His Highness the Maharaja Jam Sahib occupied a similar position. Need-
less to say, both filled these posts with distinction, and with advantage
to India.
The part played by the States during the war not only does them great
credit, but should also be an inspiration to meet the many and great diffi-
culties with which we shall have to contend in the early years of peace.
Most important of the problems with which India is faced is her future
constitution, on the satisfactory solution of which will depend the happiness
and prosperity of her people for many future years. With this problem the
States are no less concerned than is British India.
Your Highnesses, this leads me to a subject to which I know well you all
attach the greatest importance-that of your relationship with the Crown
and the rights guaranteed by your treaties and engagements. I can assure
you that there is no intention on our part to initiate any change in this rela-
tionship or these rights without your consent. I am confident that Your
Highnesses will through accredited representatives take your full share in
the preliminary discussions, which were announced in my broadcast of
September 19th, as well as in the intended constitution-making body; and
that your consent to any changes which emerge as a result of these negotia-
tions will not unreasonably be withheld. I am also confident that in your
approach to these problems you will have no intention or desire to stand
in the way of the growth of India to its full stature or to hinder the political,
economic or social progress and advancement of your subjects. It will rather
be natural and in accordance with your traditions that you should become
leaders in peace as you have formerly been in war.
The record of some States in the art of civil government is already most
distinguished. In no part of India is administration more efficient, are indus-
tries better organized and the welfare of the people better secured than in
some of the States. That such a claim cannot be made on behalf of all
States, Your Highnesses will doubtless not contest: that it cannot be made
on behalf of the small States is largely due to the fact that their resources are
insufficient to meet the cost of a modern administration. Although inade-
quate finance is a misfortune for which, in itself, the Darbars concerned are

The Responsibilities of the Indian Princes
not responsible, it is, I suggest, incumbent upon them so to modify the con-
stitutional position of their States as to ensure the welfare of their subjects
for.the future. To achieve this, three conditions are necessary. Every State
should possess political stability, adequate financial resources and effective
association of the people with the administration. If a State cannot fulfill
these conditions, I strongly urge that it should arrange to do so either by
joining a larger unit or by combining with other small States to form a
political entity of a sufficient size. I am convinced that only by this means
will the small States be able to keep abreast of progress in other parts of
India, and I therefore trust that they will not withhold their consent to such
modifications of their relations with the Crown as present circumstances
and future requirements demand, with any expectation that, by so doing,
they may be able to perpetuate conditions which are out of date.
Although these suggestions primarily concern the small States, they are,
I believe, of importance to all Your Highnesses, who must naturally be con-
cerned to assist the smaller States to solve their particular problems with
Though constitutional problems are the most important with which
India is at present confronted, there are others which demand the most care-
ful consideration. Some of these-such as the control of prices and of the
distribution of consumer goods-have been created by war conditions and
will pass away with those conditions; others-such as the resettlement of
demobilized soldiers, sailors and airmen and the planning of the country's
food supply-though occasioned by the war, will continue to exercise a con-
siderable influence in the future; others again, such as the reconstruction
of industry and the development of electric power and of the means of
transport, are of permanent importance. I should like to say a few words
about the financial background against which these problems must be
The war involved a vast expenditure of rupee currency in India and a
great reduction in the supply of goods available for civil consumption. To
check the inflationary effect of these conditions it was necessary to take vari-
ous measures in which, as Your Highnesses know, the States were asked to
co-operate. Some of these measures, such as high taxation and an intensified
savings campaign, were designed to secure a reduction in purchasing power:
the purpose of others was to increase the quantity of goods for sale. Control
over capital issues and forward contracting was introduced as a check on
speculation; and, finally, the distribution of essential commodities was made
as equitable as possible by price and similar controls. With the end of the
war the situation has somewhat changed, for, though there is still the pos-
sible danger of inflation, a period of temporary deflation may be caused by
the rapid release of Service personnel and war workers. To guard against
these conflicting dangers action is being taken in British India, on the one
hand, to embark on an urgent program of public works, particularly those
which give employment to large numbers and add to the national wealth;
and, on the other, to maintain a relatively high level of taxation and to
encourage public saving. I commend to Your Highnesses the adoption of
similar measures in the States.

British Speeches of the Day [Viscount Wavell]
Your Highnesses, I do not think it necessary that I should deal at any
length with all the economic problems which face India at the moment.
They are well known to Your Highnesses, and I have spoken on them else-
where. The main point which I wish to make is this: that it is my earnest
aim and will be my constant endeavor that the interests of the States should
receive the same attention and sympathy from the Government of India in
the process of development as the Provinces of British India. I am also
sure that the States will afford that same measure of cordial co-operation in
controls and in planning as they have given in the past.
Your Highnesses are aware that I have discussed with your representa-
tives on more than one occasion the best means of improving consultation
between the Government of India and the States on matters of common
economic interest, and of seeing that the interests of the States are not over-
looked. I hope that we have been able to do something towards establish-
ing closer relations; but I am by no means content with what has been done,
and have under consideration further machinery to improve economic
touch between British India and the States. I welcome the steps Your High-
nesses have taken to strengthen the Secretariat of the Chamber; and the
appointment of Sir Sultan Ahmed as Adviser is, I am sure, a wise one. I
shall always be ready to consult with the Chancellor and his Advisers on this
question of economic progress.
I invite your attention to two particular examples of the need for close
co-operation-one short-term, one long-term. The short-term instance is
that of food-grains; for some time to come world allocations will continue
to be made by the Combined Food Board in Washington, and India will
have to justify her demand for a share in world surpluses by showing that
she is making the best possible distribution of her own resources. In this
the produce of British India and the States must be treated as one.
The long-term instance I will give you is the management of India's
water supplies, in which direction lies India's best way to progress. In many
of the schemes now under consideration, for flood control, for irrigation,
for navigation, for hydro-electric power, Provinces of British India and
States are closely concerned and it is essential that they should work in close
co-operation, so that unified development can take place.
I have no doubt that Your Highnesses are aware of the importance of
building up your revenue resources with a view to financing the large ex-
penditure which will inevitably be necessary not only for further economic
development but also for the provision of expanding services in the social
sphere such as education, medical relief and public health. The latter
forms of development must necessarily depend on revenue resources and not
on borrowings. In this connection I need not emphasize the importance of
gradually approximating your taxation policies and systems with those of
British India. I am glad to learn that this matter is already engaging Your
Highnesses' attention.
Your Highnesses, I have briefly reviewed some of the constitutional,
political and economic problems with which we are confronted at this time
when the war is but recently over and peace barely established. Those
problems form part of the complex and difficult situation in which Your

Anglo-Greek Financial Agreement
Highnesses will shortly be called upon to make decisions, upon the wisdom
of which will depend the prosperity of yourselves and your peoples for
many years to come. Indian States have had an honorable past: many of
them have histories extending over centuries. If Your Highnesses make
such adjustments as are necessary to meet the changing circumstances of the
present day, there is every reason to believe that they will play a leading
part in the future of India. For myself, I have no doubt that this will be so,
for I am confident that Your Highnesses will bring to the solution of the
problems which confront you that same courage and determination which
distinguished your conduct during the war.O l
Official Release)

HOUSE OF COMMONS, January 25, 1946

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Rt. Hon. Ernest Bevin):
As the House will be aware, we have been having discussions for some
time about the economic and financial situation in Greece with two mem-
bers of the Greek Government who came to London for this purpose. These
discussions have now been concluded and letters were exchanged between
myself and M. Tsouderos, the Vice-President of the Greek Council of Min-
isters, yesterday afternoon. The text of these letters is being circulated in
the OFFICIAL REPORT, and I do not therefore propose to go through the
agreement in detail.
The main purpose of the agreement is to enable the Greek Government
to draw up and put into effect a comprehensive plan for Greek economic
recovery. His Majesty's Government are very ready to assist in this task and
are giving Greece very substantial help. We are providing a credit of 10,-
000,000 for the stabilization of Greek currency. No interest will be charged
on this credit and repayment will not begin until 1951. In addition, we
are waiving repayment of the 46,000,000 which we lent to Greece in 1940
and 1941. Of this sum, 19,000,000 are still held by the Bank of Greece and
will therefore be freely available as additional cover for the Greek currency
and for the purchase of essential imports. We are also prepared to give
Greece all the assistance in our power in carrying through a program of re-
construction. We are finding consumer goods, including clothing, to the
value of 500,000. We will make available material from our military stocks
for the repair of Greek land communications and for other essential tasks,
such as the rebuilding of houses and the restoration of port facilities. We
also hope to improve the position of Greek coastal shipping, since this plays
an essential part in the Greek system of communications.
All this assistance will only be of value if it forms part of a general stab-
ilization and reconstruction plan to be undertaken by the Greek Govern-
ment. It is intended to grapple with the problem of inflation. Accordingly,
steps will be taken to control prices and the use of production, and to adjust
wages with a view to assuring real wages, thereby reducing the budget defi-
cits. We are prepared to give the Greek Government such technical assist-
ance as we can in carrying out this program. A highly qualified mission on
financial, economic and industrial matters has been formed under General

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Bevin]
Clark, and we are also ready to appoint advisers to work in the Greek Min-
istries if the Greek Government so desire.
This agreement is in line with the policy, which His Majesty's Govern-
ment have consistently pursued, of concentrating on the economic recovery
of countries like Greece which have suffered so heavily during the war. In
my first speech to the House on Greek affairs last August, I expressed my
conviction that the one desire of the common man in Greece was to return
to work under normal and settled conditions. It was with the same object
that I asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary to go to Greece last Novem-
ber. It was during his visit that the basis of a reconstruction program was
laid and a Government was formed pledged to undertake such a program.
It was to settle the details of this program that the two members of the
Greek Government with whom we have been holding the present discus-
sions came to London at the end of last year.
I am very glad that these discussions have led to such a fruitful conclu-
sion, and I should like to express my thanks to the Greek Ministers, M.
Tsouderos and M. Kartalis, for the assistance they have given throughout
these negotiations. We have also received the utmost help and support from
the Government of the United States. Although the present agreement is
between His Majesty's Government and the Greek Government, the Gov-
ernment of the United States have been kept fully informed, and members
of the U. S. Embassy in London have been present throughout our talks.
I must also mention the part played by the Greek Government in Athens
during this anxious period. The negotiations in London have, of necessity,
taken time to conclude, and meanwhile the situation in Greece itself, which
was already serious enough, could not be allowed to deteriorate. It is a great
tribute to the Greek Prime Minister, M. Sophoulis, that he has succeeded
in this most difficult task. I am confident that he will now succeed in the no
less difficult, but more fruitful, work of recovery and reconstruction.
It is my profound conviction that democracy cannot be imposed from
above, but must grow from below. It must be firmly based on the people
and it cannot flourish unless the common man is assured of a reasonable
standard of living. The Greek people have suffered untold hardships during
the war, but it is my hope that the present agreement will offer them a fresh
start and will open the way to recovery. Greece's record is unsurpassed, and
I am sure that the Greek people will show the same courage and determina-
tion in rebuilding their shattered country as they showed in battle against
the enemy. In spite of our own difficulties, we are giving financial and
economic assistance gladly, for wd will not desert our friends, and we have
not forgotten the help given by Greece to the Allied cause, and especially
to British and Dominion troops who fought in Greece in 1941. I hope the
Greek Government and people will make the best use of this assistance and
that the Government and people will co-operate in the great task of recon-
Rt. Hon. Anthony Eden (Conservative): I should like briefly to wel-
come on behalf of my right hon. and hon. Friends on this side of the

The Future of the United Nations
House, the statement made by the Foreign Secretary. There is no doubt
that the contribution which His Majesty's Government are hereby mak-
ing to Greece is one that can be made only at considerable cost to our-
selves. At the same time, fully realizing that, we support what the Govern-
ment have done, for we share the right hon. Gentleman's view that economic
perplexities have certainly sharpened political antagonisms in Greece, and
that by these methods he can contribute, as he is trying to contribute, and
as we all wish to see, to a solution of those problems. I have only this to
add. There is no country-not one of the Allied countries-which the
people of this country are more anxious to see restored to happiness and
prosperity than our Greek Allies. I think what the right hon. Gentleman
has done is a wise contribution to that end, and we wish all success to his
Major Wilkes (Labour): Is my right hon. Friend aware with what
very real pleasure this agreement will be greeted by the bulk of the public
both in Greece and in this country? The suffering in Greece is as bad as
can be found anywhere in Europe. I wish to ask the Foreign Secretary
whether he has impressed upon the Greek Government the necessity for
economic controls such as M. Varvaressos tried to impose some months ago
to ensure that the very best use is made of our aid, which is given at no
small amount of sacrifice to this country; and since Greece's economic
troubles have, as the whole House is aware, a political basis, has the Foreign
Secretary impressed upon the Greek Government the necessity for rigid
economic controls and the restoration of ordered democracy?
Sir John Mellor (Conservative): Is it a condition of the credit that it
should be spent in Britain?
Mr. Bevin: No, Sir. If they have to spend sterling, I do not know where
else they can spend it. I did not lay down that condition. Though I
had the assistance of the United States in this matter, I desired to secure
even further support from that country, and I do not think the raising of
that issue would have been wise. With regard to the statement of my hon.
and gallant Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central (Major
Wilkes), I have impressed upon the Greek Government the imperative need
for economic controls. I have placed at their disposal very eminent people,
manufacturers and other experts who are right up to date, to give them the
benefit of our technical advice. I am particularly anxious that the inflation
shall be brought to an end, as nothing is so devastating as when a workman
draws his wages and does not know what he will be able to buy with them
by Monday morning.
by Monday morning. [House of Commons Debates]

HOUSE OF COMMONS, January 28, 1946 [Extract]

The Minister of State (Rt. Hon. Philip Noel-Baker): I do not pro-
pose to make a very long speech. It would be easier for me to deal as
adequately with these matters as I should like if the Assembly of the United

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. P. Noel-Baker]
Nations were over, and I know my hon. Friends will not think I am being
facetious when I say that I regard the purpose of this Debate rather that
I should listen to their speeches than that they should listen to mine. I
know also that other hon. Members hope to discuss other matters on the
Adjournment before the House rises ....
The hon. Member for Luton (Mr. Warbey) asked whether His Majesty's
Government did mean to work the institutions of the United Nations in
such a way that in due course we shall see produced the equivalent of world
government. My answer is "Yes." I agree with him that that is the object
we must have in view and I tell him it is, in fact, what the Government
conscientiously and deliberately have in view in what they are trying now
to do in these new institutions. He said that he hoped the delegates there
might come to regard themselves, and be regarded by other people, as not
only national spokesmen of their own individual States, but spokesmen of
the peoples of the world. I remember very well the late Lord Ballour, when
he was our representative at Geneva, once saying that he considered that
on many matters he should regard himself not only as a British spokesman
but as the spokesman of the peoples, responsible to them for the develop-
ment and the application of the Covenant of the League. I believe it is
true to say that in the period between the wars, with all its early progress
and its later tragedy, men like Lord Cecil, Doctor Nansen, Aristide Briand,
and Arthur Henderson did think of themselves consciously as responsible
to the peoples of the world, and were accepted by the peoples as their
When my hon. Friend the Member for Luton came to talk about the
revision of the Charter, he made-if he will not think it patronizing of me
to say so-what I thought to be some very wise and judicious remarks. It is
quite true, as he said, that some other governments take a very serious
view of any early revision of the Charter, that they would oppose it at the
present time. It is true, as he said, that, by example, by precept, by per-
suasion, we may be able to create the confidence from which amendment
and progress will come. He spoke of what His Majesty's Government might
do. I will not pursue further the particular point he raised; I will only say
this, that I hope the answer I gave to a Question this afternoon may be
taken as an indication of the attitude which the present Government adopt.
I said that His Majesty's Government were most anxious to answer in the
Security Council any charges that might be brought against them, in order
that our good name might be cleared, that we regard it as the purpose of
these institutions to deal with matters of international dispute and mis-
understanding, and that, for our part, we shall seek to use the Council for
that end. I would only add about the revision of the Charter-and my hon.
Friend will, I know, forgive me if I do not go further-that I think we must
all rely not only on formal amendment to change the Charter as it stands
today, but that we must rely on that process which, after all, in our own
constitutional history has meant so much to us, namely, custom, the growth
of confidence, and the acceptance of common sense. I believe that just as
British Parliamentary procedure has come out of history, and much of it
cannot even be traced to its original source, so, in the development of these

The Future of the United Nations
international institutions, if we use them aright, we shall find that custom,
confidence and common sense may lead us well on our way.
I pass to the documented and admirably argued speech of my hon. Friend
the Member for Gateshead (Mr. Zilliacus). He will know, without my
saying so here, that I am in agreement with a great many things which he
said. If I do not always express that agreement now, he will know that it is
because I am trying to save time, and I know he will understand that we
do think that, in the atomic age, imaginative and bold solutions for many
problems will be required; that we cannot stand still in Government while
science is moving so fast; and that in international government, as in
national government, we must adopt many new solutions which only a
short time ago might have seemed to be Utopian.

I want now, if I may, to deal with something of what he said about the
institutions which will be, and have been, and are being, created for pro-
moting the social and economic welfare of the nations of mankind. Some-
one said in the Assembly Debate that if the Economic and Social Council
functioned as they hoped it would, the Security Council might find very
little to do. Certain it is that if we can secure the advance in the general
economic, material and spiritual well-being of mankind which ought to be
open to us in this generation, then the causes of war will gradually, perhaps
rapidly, disappear, and we shall put all the business of disputes and arma-
ments and war into the same position which the differences between
individual citizens have within the national State. I think that in these
institutions which we are setting up we shall not have, as my hon. Friend
feared we might have, a lot of talk and no results. I agree with him that
we must have a co-ordinating body to put order into the machinery and to
put drive behind it. I believe that the Economic and Social Council may
perform that function in considerable measures. I would call to his atten-
tion the fact-I am sure he has not forgotten it-that the Economic and
Social Council can decide matters by a simple majority vote ....
I now come to what the hon. Member said about the Assembly itself.
In my view, however much we may hope and expect from the working of
the Economic and Social Council, the Assembly nevertheless remains the
great co-ordinating body of the United Nations. It will remain the institu-
tion from which the real drive for progress will come. I am convinced that
the Assembly will prove, in due course, to be the supreme organ of the
United Nations. I do not know whether the hon. Member expects us to
put forward, or if he thinks that if we do put forward, we shall gain accept-
ance for, an immediate Amendment to the Charter, on the lines he has
suggested. As he knows, there are certain delegations, some of them very
important, who object strongly to any attempt to amend the Charter today.
Mr. Zilliacus (Labour): I was not proposing an Amendment. I was
suggesting study and report by the Assembly, with the idea that, if it
was justified, there would be an ultimate recommendation for an Amend-
Mr. Noel-Baker: I am not at all sure that that will not ultimately happen,
but I am also sure that it would be wrong for us to do it at the pres-

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. P. Noel-Baker]

eat Session, or perhaps even for a few sessions to come. I must say, as
indeed I have already said, that formal Amendments are not always the
best way of improving a constitutional document. I can speak with
experience, as my hon. Friend did, of the budget of the League of Nations
in the old Assembly. It was my experience, particularly for the first ten
years while the League was really working, while people believed that
the Covenant would be carried out, that there was practically never a case
in which the Plenary Assembly rejected a recommendation made by a
majority of one of its committees. It became very difficult at the end of
those ten years for any delegation to oppose something in the full Assembly
which had been carried in Committee. I do not remember any case in
which in fact it was successful, though I cannot speak for the later years
when I was not so closely concerned in the work. I believe if we had avoided
the Manchurian disaster, if we had had another 20 years of peaceful progress
in the institutions of the League of Nations, we should have had a growth
of customary law by which, in fact, that Budget would have been accepted
by majority vote every year. It is by reason of that experience that I am not
convinced that a formal Amendment is always the best way of making
But in any case I am quite certain that we do not need to wait for the
time when we can put forward a formal Amendment in order to develop
the Assembly along the lines hoped for by the hon. Member. I believe
we can make a start at once in working towards a world Parliament, and
in merging national sovereignty in a higher, overriding international sover-
eignty. Take the Assembly first. In its best years, the old League Assembly
was a great affair. I think it did form public opinion. I always think
that the real success of the League of Nations came in 1935. Law is the
foundation of society. In 1935, world opinion was roused unanimously
against the aggression of Mussolini. Why? Twenty years before that aggres-
sion it would have been treated as a small colonial war and would hardly
have made a ripple on the surface of world opinion. World opinion was
roused against Mussolini because the Covenant and the Kellogg Pact had
been accepted by the peoples as binding law. That was the real success of
the old Assembly. It did form public opinion. And I believe this new
Assembly is going to form it far more powerfully than the old Assembly
ever could. It is only three weeks old, but I have been there every day,
and I can tell hon. Members that this new Assembly is far more parlia-
mentary, far less diplomatic, a far better machine, there are far more
parliamentarians, than we had in the old Assembly at its best.
There has been talk today of the "cut and thrust of debate." On Saturday
morning in the Plenary Assembly we had a cut and thrust debate which
lasted three and a half hours, in which I had the great satisfaction of helping
the United Kingdom to defeat the United States and the Soviet Union
combined, and of splitting their "satellites" into different groups. We can
do much now to make the new Assembly into the international Parliament
for which the hon. Member hopes. The way to do it is to treat it as a
Parliament; to make it plain that you mean to take difficult and important
subjects there, and to settle them by the method of parliamentary debate.
The way to do it is to show that you mean to have the members of the Press

The Future of the United Nations
always present whenever there is a debate going on, in order that they can
hold the spokesmen of the nations responsible to their peoples for what
they have said and done. The way to do it is to build up rules of procedure
as strong and comprehensive as the Rules of Procedure in this House. The
way to do it is to ensure mutual tolerance for opposing views, and to ensure
that minorities will accept majority decisions. Above all, the way to do it
is by something which was once expressed by the late Lord Balfour. A
friend of his asked him, in my hearing, why the British parliamentary
system worked better than any other, and after reflection he said, "Because
all the parties want it to work." We have to get to that position in our
international Assembly; we have to make the Assembly an international
parliament, where every nation recognizes that it is to its overriding interest
that the thing should work. Compared with these things, I venture to think
that weighted voting is a small matter. In reality, voting is weighted anyway
by moral influence.
I am not arguing against what my hon. Friend has described as a possible
ultimate objective. I am only saying that we can get much by the methods
I have described. And if we have ten years of peace and progress now, I
believe we shall by that time have made great advances towards what he
and I both want.
I add this: I am quite sure that we could not have both an Assembly and
the international parliamentary body which he described. It is one or the
As to the ways in which we may merge sovereignty, on the initiative of
the Assembly, we shall have to deal with many matters in which common
international interests are involved. I mention aviation; health-the inci-
dence of malaria which, in the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa and South
America does more, perhaps, than any other single factor to lower the
productivity of the world and the standards of the nations there and else-
where; narcotic drugs; pests-rodents and insects which cause immense
destruction of mankind's wealth; transport in a continent like Europe;
broadcasting; the Rights of Man; everything from military weapons of
mass destruction to town and country planning. In a vast variety of subjects,
we are going to have highly developed international co-operation, or we
are going to perish. I said, in the Economic and Social Council on Thurs-
day last that I believe that in our work on that Council, and in the setting
up of the institutions which we have to create, we shall be led in many
ways to abandon the ideas and practices of national sovereignty which
hitherto governments and nations have accepted. In the atomic age we
must go forward, or we shall destroy the civilization in which we live.
I end by assuring both my hon. Friends that it is the intention of the
Government to strive with all our power, through the institutions we now
have, and in spite of all the defects of the Charter, which we should like
to remove, to create for the nations of the world the kind of instrument
of international government which they require.
[House of Commons Debates]


HOUSE OF COMMONS, January 29 and 30, 1946. [EXTRACTS]

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Rt. Hon. Emanuel Shinwell): I beg
to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
A newspaper commentator who sits on the Opposition benches has sug-
gested that this Bill for the nationalization of the coal industry will require
more indulgence than is customary in this House. He was mistaken. The
Government ask for no indulgence, but for an impartial and objective analy-
sis, which simply means that hon. Members on the Opposition benches
should abandon their traditional prejudices. There is a reasoned Amend-
ment on the Order Paper, which indicates a disagreement with this Measure.
This may drive us along party lines into separate Lobbies, but I would
remind hon. Members that both the Leader of the Opposition and the
Mining Association have accepted the principle of nationalization. [HON.
MEMBERS: "No."] On October 13, 1943, the right hon. Gentleman the
Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) declared:
"The principle of nationalization is accepted by all, provided proper compensation is
And on September 5, 1945, the Mining Association stated that:
"while they preferred private rather than public ownership nevertheless because of the
result of the General Election and the acceptance by Parliament of the contents of the
Gracious Speech they did not propose to continue their opposition to the principle of
nationalization of the coal industry."
The Opposition may protest that nationalization is not justified unless it
leads to an immediate increase in output. If that is the substance of their
case, it is not only an amazing display of irrelevance, but the opinions of
technical experts will afford them no encouragement. Naturally, our pur-
pose is to raise output, thus reducing costs of production which will assist
in the restoration and maintenance of British trade. We must stimulate the
export trade in coal so as to pay for imports, and provide the necessary
improvements in labor conditions for those employed in the industry. But
these purposes cannot be achieved unless on the basis of a long-term plan,
embodying the highest technical efficiency.
We cannot recover from long years of persistent neglect and inefficiency
in the mining industry by improvisation, any more than the operations of
D-Day proved successful without careful planning over a long period of time.
Nevertheless, some improvement will ensue, but the vast reorganization
required by the industry cannot immediately be achieved. The Reid Report
was emphatic on this issue. In a reference to the subject of reorganization
it declares:
"Though such a task is bound t take many years to complete, steady advances in pro-
ductivity per man and savings in cost of production should, we think, be achieved
each year and we believe that it should be possible, in due course, to raise the output
per manshift to a figure which would compare favourably with that of our Continental
"But," they added, "there is no time to be lost."
It is no part of my case that every coal owner is inefficient or that every
pit is badly organized. Some owners are enlightened and progressive. Some
pits are well planned and the administration is beyond reproach; but the

Coal Industry Nationalization Bill
vast majority of our pits are unworthy of a great industrial nation. In this
declaration I am fortified by the highest technical experts together with those
Commissions who have reported on the state of the industry in the past
25 years. Even if we should disagree about the remedy, the vital importance
of coal in the national economy has been established. Ever since this country
began to develop as an industrial power our strength and prosperity have
depended on coal, and so it remains today. In those circumstances, the
future of the coal industry is not the exclusive concern of the Government
or their supporters. Hon. Members who belong to the Conservative Party
cannot divest themselves of their responsibilities, if they expect, however
vain the desire may be, to be installed in Government some other day.
1924 AND 1945 COMPARED
My initial experience of Government administration was as Secretary of
Mines in the minority Labour Government of 1924. It was, as regards coal
production, a normal year. The industry had emerged from the controls
exercised in the First World War. It had weathered the storm of 1921
when a grave dispute impeded our industrial recovery. In 1924, peace was
more or less restored; but contrast the position in that year alongside 1945.
In 1924, 2,718 pits were producing coal. The number of men on the colliery
books was 1,172,000 and the output of coal was 267,000,000 tons. On the
other hand in 1945 the number of operating pits was 1,634, the number of
men employed had been reduced to 694,000, while the output of coal was
174,000,000 tons. It must be admitted that those figures, having regard to
all the adverse factors, disclose a position not altogether unfavorable to the
mine workers, but whatever the cause, the serious reduction in output
creates a most distressing situation, which has a profound bearing on the
price of coal; it materially reduces our capacity for export, it inspires un-
rest, it creates confusion in the public mind, and therefore demands the
most intense concentration of our combined efforts technically, in the ad-
ministrative sphere, and, above all, as regards the human relations within
the industry.
It is my duty to warn the House that the existing position contains the
elements of industrial disaster. In this context I speak without a trace of
partisanship. The drift from the industry is appalling. The natural wastage
cannot be overtaken by orthodox treatment. Relations between owners and
men, generally speaking, are soured and embittered, and the efficiency of
the industry relative to that of our Continental and other competitors is
distinctly backward. It is not denied that frequent efforts have been made
in the last 20 years to devise a remedy. I can hardly recall a Session of Par-
liament in that period without either a coal Debate or a coal crisis, yet
every treatment prescribed to cure the malady, whether by the Sankey,
Samuel or Coal Reorganization Commissions, has resulted in failure. Nor
should we forget that a Conservative Government nationalized the royal-
ties, which it was thought would achieve amalgamations, thus promoting re-
organization. Yet all those devices have proved fruitless, as indeed would
the proposals of Mr. Robert Foot or the Tory Reform Committee, for the
reason that private interests within the industry, with a few honorable ex-
ceptions, will not move unless they are forced, that vast sums are required
to meet the cost of reconstruction and that no comprehensive method of

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Shinwell]
reorganization is possible without cutting across a great mass of private in-
terests and privileges.
In short, if this coal problem, which in magnitude transcends all other
industrial problems, is to be solved, the Government, particularly in view
of the unmistakable mandate they received from the electors on this issue,
must prescribe the remedy which the Labour Movement has placed in the
forefront of its program for nearly half a century. Should any doubt still
linger as to the propriety of effecting a change of ownership then the House
should consider this picture. The Lanarkshire coalfield in Scotland is rap-
idly decaying. Its coal resources are declining fast. To maintain output, it
is essential to promote development in other Scottish areas. The pits to be
sunk will be deep and expensive. I am advised that development of the
Firth of Forth coalfields containing immense resources of coal is a terrific
undertaking. In due course, it will be necessary to transfer large bodies of
men from Lanarkshire to the other areas, and this is bound to present diffi-
culties, having regard to all the human factors involved.
In Cumberland practically all the landward coal is exhausted and all
that remains are the undersea areas. New pits of great depth are necessary.
The field is considerably cut up with faults and the risks are much greater
than private enterprise can be expected to undertake. In Lancashire the
easiest and most accessible coal has been extracted and a great reconstruc-
tion program is necessary if the remainder is to be got at reasonable cost.
The virgin areas that remain are very deep, entailing considerable ex-
penditure for new sinkings. This is a risk which the State alone can afford
to take. In Durham the reserves of high-class coking and gas coals, for which
this county has been famed, have reached a dangerous level. Nothing but
a national co-ordinated policy can determine how the output can be raised
in this region in future years. The anthracite region in South Wales pre-
sents a vast problem. Many of the present workings are uneconomic and
should be closed. New deep sinkings are inevitable, and must be undertaken
without delay. The country needs anthracite coal in large quantities for
internal and export purposes, and this is only possible when the necessary
developments are undertaken under a national policy.

Moreover the country is definitely short of first-grade mining engineers
and they must be transferred to those districts where they can be of most
use to the country as a whole. At present many of the high-cost districts are
supported by the more prosperous areas. This is operated from the Coal
Charges Fund. A system of keeping alive necessitous pits through the op-
eration of this Fund without adequate control, which is the position at pres-
ent, cannot be justified. Confronted by this picture, I can only emphasize
that what we are facing is the need for a radical reconstruction of the min-
ing industry both on its technical and its human side. This cannot be
achieved except on a unified basis under national ownership. It is fashion-
able in Conservative circles to confuse nationalization with the controls op-
erating during the two wars, and it is upon this experience that the op-
ponents of nationalization have consistently put their case. In fact, control

Coal Industry Nationalization Bill
is as far removed from nationalization as is private enterprise itself, and
this applies with particular force to the duel control created in the mining
industry in the recent war, where control and responsibility were divorced.
Neither those responsible for the control, nor those responsible for day-
to-day administration, were free to exercise initiative and enterprise. . .
Before turning to the essential framework of the Bill, it may assist our
deliberations if I indicate what the projected legislation does not do. It may
interest hon. Members to know that we do not propose to entrust the ad-
ministration of this great industry to the Civil Service. Nor does it provide
for the appointment to the board of amateur directors, or discarded poli-
ticians. It will not create a rigid organization, either nationally or regionally,
which would tie the hands of the proposed National Coal Board. Moreover,
the administration will not be dependent upon a body of stockholders and,
what may prove more interesting, it does not propose confiscation. These
objections to nationalization have been the stock in trade of the Conserva-
tive Party for a long time. The main provisions of this Bill, indicating the
structure, the provision for flexibility in administration, its essential fair-
ness in the matter of compensation, its direction as regards the welfare of
the work people and its safeguards for consumers, are a complete exposure
of the pretensions of the Conservative Party and other critics of nationaliza-
In the forefront of this Bill is the proposed creation of a central authority
to govern this industry. It will be an expert board of full-time members
chosen because they possess the appropriate qualifications for running an
industry of such complexity and magnitude. Their salaries will lie in the
commercial, rather than in the Civil Service, range. We must have the best
men we can find, and I am now engaged on this task. They will be re-
sponsible for working and getting coal, for securing the efficient develop-
ment of the industry, and for making supplies of coal available in such
quantities, and at such prices, consistent always with the public interest.
It will be noted that a statutory obligation is imposed on the Board to
secure the advancement of the safety of persons in their employment, anu
the promotion of their health and welfare. The Board must conform to
the standard of a model employer, and interpret this obligation in a fash-
ion that will speedily remove the strained atmosphere that has surrounded
the industry. The activities of the Board will not be bolstered up by con-
cealed subsidies; they must pay their way on an average of good and bad
years and if, in exceptional circumstances, the national interest requires
that coal prices should be artificially reduced, it is for the Minister to come
to the House and put all the cards on the table. The Minister is empowered
by the Bill to give to the Board directions of a general character in rela-
tion to matters which appear to him to affect the national interest. This
is essential because the Minister is answerable to Parliament and, therefore,
to the public, and while not interfering in the everyday administration of
the industry, he must satisfy himself that their policy conforms to general
Government policy for which Parliament may hold him responsible. The
criticism that the powers conferred on the Minister are excessive will not

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Shinwell]
stand scrutiny. No Minister could come before Parliament in these days,
and for this particular industry, and propose that a board should be set up
to run the industry free of all responsibility to Parliament, or to the Gov-
ernment, who are heavily involved financially. Even a Conservative Gov-
ernment did not venture to do so in the case of the Coal Commission which
they established by the Coal Act, 1938, when they nationalized royalties.
It is, of course, impossible to foresee every contingency which may arise
in regard to which my general directions would be necessary or desirable;
nor would it be possible to define, in this Bill, the circumstances in which
such directions should or should not take place. Admittedly a bad Govern-
ment, a bad Minister or a bad board could, under the powers available in
the Bill, go far to wreck the whole economic structure of the industry, and,
thereby, that of the country as well. But I can see no immediate prospect
of a bad Government, nor of a bad Minister, and I propose to ensure that
the Board will be a good one. Programs of reorganization or development,
which will inevitably be framed by the Board, and which will involve a
substantial outlay on capital account, will be settled on lines approved by
the Minister. Nobody is entitled to complain about this, because it relates
only to the framing of major programs, and not to their detailed execution.
The Government must know in advance the magnitude of the plans for
capital investment which the Board have in mind because these plans will
sooner or later be dovetailed into the Government's general investment
Provision is made for agreement between the Board and the Government
on the subjects of training, education and research. To this provision I at-
tach the highest importance because the recruitment of new entrants and
their subsequent training and education goes far beyond the normal func-
tions of the Board. It is a public duty which devolves on the Government.
In this matter of training it would be our duty to provide facilities which
would enable young entrants to train for the highest technical and admin-
istrative posts in the industry. Youths with a mechanical bent are attracted
by progressive mechanization as I have found at the Sheffield mechaniza-
tion training center. The process of training must be accelerated, and this
is as much the concern of the Government as it is that of the Board. Fur-
thermore, as the Government will be the only shareholder, it is right that
they should be able to decide how any surplus derived from the Board's
activities is to be disposed of, whether the reserve should be increased,
whether prices should be reduced, or capital be repaid. This is a reason-
able proposition.
The Government have decided that the coal industry should be taken
over on a comprehensive basis so that the Board's activities should not be
limited in their scope. We, therefore, propose to endow them with the
command of those associated assets which are particularly useful or profitable,
to run in conjunction with the collieries. We do not propose, however, to
transfer automatically every ancillary undertaking, for if we did the Board,
particularly at the beginning of its operations, might be overwhelmed, so
we have divided the assets into three categories. First of all there are assets

Coal Industry Nationalization Bill
to be automatically transferred, which include the coal, the coal mines, the
colliery coke ovens and manufactured fuel plants, the colliery electricity
stations, colliery transport and other colliery activities. Then there are
those assets to be transferred at the option of the Board or of the owners;
these include brickworks, houses, and farms. The owners as well as the
Board can require the transference of those assets against the will of the
other. It would be unfair to leave the present owners with some small part
of their business, and this arrangement is in the interest of the owners as
well as of the Board.
Finally, the assets to be transferred at the option of the Board or of the
owners would be subject to arbitration in case of objection. This category
includes certain assets which may be required by the Board such as a pri-
vate railway not actually belonging to a colliery concern but used for the
working of a colliery, together with miscellaneous possessions of colliery con-
cerns. In regard to these assets, there is an appeal to arbitration against the
option exercised by either party. As the right of the Board in being ac-
corded the first choice of the assets which it requires for its operations can
hardly be questioned, it is difficult to see what fairer system for the transfer
of the assets could have been devised.
There is criticism in some quarters that I have cast the net of nationaliza-
tion too wide, and in particular that I should be contented with taking over
the collieries without even touching the colliery coke ovens. The case for
taking over the colliery coke ovens is, in itself, strong, but the substantial
reason for doing this is the fact that in the treatment of coal, and of products
of coal, there is, undoubtedly, a great future from which it would be short-
sighted to debar State enterprise. If a colliery has good coking coal, it should
develop the qualities of that coal to the utmost. New collieries are likely
to be sunk where there are large reserves of good coking coal, and it would
represent a serious failure on the part of the Board if they failed to ensure
that such reserves should be developed with a view to making the best use
of the assets under their control. Apart from those reasons, it would be
extremely foolish to acquire the colliery undertakings while leaving profit-
able ancillary assets in the possession of private owners.
Compensation will be settled in three stages and the amounts payable
will be determined by an impartial body at each stage. There is also pro-
vision for impartial arbitration at the final and most important stage where
the individual colliery concern is most directly affected. First of all there
is the global sum which is to be determined by the tribunal working under
the agreed terms of reference set out in the White Paper. That global sum
will be divided up by a Central Valuation Board into district allocations
which, in their turn, are divided up among the individual undertakings
within each valuation district. The only way to complete the division among
the various undertakings is to value them, add up the total values, and scale
them all up and down in due proportion so that the total then agrees with
the global sum.
The global sum, however, only covers the purely colliery activities which
are, broadly speaking, the assets which have been taken into account in
connection with the district wage ascertainments. In addition there are the

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Shinwell]
ancillary assets. For these there is no possibility of valuation as a whole to
get at a global sum because separate figures upon which a valuation for
these assets could be based are not available. So these are all valued by
the District Valuation Boards and, subject to review by referees, the value
they put upon them will determine the compensation paid. Payment of com-
pensation would be satisfied by the issue of Government stock except in cer-
tain cases. When a company receives its stock in compensation it will either
remain in existence as a company or else pay off its creditors and sharehold-
ers. When its assets have been transferred to the Board, it will no doubt
wish to wind up its operations, and in that case if it pays off its creditors and
shareholders it must do so in stock.
What I have said on satisfaction of compensation applies only to com-
panies. Where individuals receive compensation direct, payment will be
made in stock but the individual will be free to cash it as and when he likes.
The same applies to all the ultimate recipients of compensation such as
shareholders paid off by colliery companies. I gather from the financial
columns and economic journals that it is not the payment in stock that
causes criticism, but payment in stock whose owners cannot, if they are
companies, turn it into cash immediately. But what is the real extent of
the hardship? It is true that colliery companies are not allowed to destroy
the principle of payment in stock by cashing it all as soon as they get it,
and paying off their shareholders in cash. Instead, they must pay off in
stock. But when shareholders and individual recipients of compensation
have received their stock they can cash it if they like. No doubt a substan-
tial section of them will stick to the stock. However, there are other pro-
visions in Clause 22, by which a colliery company may cash the stock, even
if it does not go into liquidation. It is only if the company has nothing
very definite to do with its stock, except put it to reserve, that it is obliged
to keep this gilt-edged interest-bearing stock as part of its reserve funds.
I also refer to Clause 23, which provides for adjustments as between
classes of debenture and other shareholders in colliery companies. The ob-
ject of this Clause is to secure that holders of debenture and preference
shares in colliery companies, whose securities have risen to a value above
par, should not be penalized by repayment at par, which is the usual course
in the liquidation of a company. Unless this provision is made in the Bill,
this might result in serious unfairness to investors who had bought deben-
ture and preference shares at figures above par on a proper assessment of
the prosperity of the company, and in all good faith. Small investors might
suffer in this way, and this Clause provides them with a safeguard. The Con-
servative Party cannot complain because I seek to protect the small man-
or woman at it may well be.
Reorganization of the industry, as was foreshadowed by the Reid Report,
is the essence of this scheme. New pits must be sunk; machinery of the
most modern kind must be installed. The haulage facilities at almost all
the pits must be remodelled, and the ventilation and lighting arrangements,
as much in the interests of economical working as in the interests of the
miners, must be vastly improved. We contemplate a complete moderniza-
tion of the industry. Consequently, we propose to make advances up to

Coal Industry Nationalization Bill
150 million for the first five years, for the purpose of capital expenditure,
and for the provision of working capital.

Let us now consider the consumer under the Bill, and also the work-
ers employed in the industry. Ultimate protection for the consumer is,
fundamentally, the responsibility of the House of Commons and it is not
right to shelve that responsibility upon any non-elected body. The respon-
sibility of Parliament is carried out through the Minister, whoever he may
be, and while it is reasonable that he should have the assistance of advisory
bodies, and any other bodies or officials whom he thinks fit to assist him,
this does remove his responsibility for ensuring that the National Coal Board
shall have the opportunity of carrying on the industry in an effective and
businesslike manner. These responsibilities to the consumer and to the in-
dustry have to be reconciled, and the method I have devised is by the ap-
pointment of two Consumers' Councils to advise me on matters affecting
the sale or supply of coal. I cannot give those Councils power to require
the Board to carry out every recommendation. To do that would be to give
the Councils power without responsibility. It is for me to decide what ac-
tion should be taken on the advice given, but it is inconceivable that I
should be compelled to enforce either the conclusions of the councils or
my own conclusions without full consultation with the National Coal Board.
While, therefore, I have provided for Consumers' Councils, the fact that
the Board is charged with the clear responsibility, under Clause I, for
"making supplies of coal available in such quantities and at such prices as may seem
to them best calculated to further the public interest,"
should, of itself, furnish a very great protection to the consumer. The Board,
unlike a private concern, has no interest in favoring one consumer rather
than another, nor in maintaining prices at a level which will bring in the
largest possible profit. This represents the fundamental difference between
the outlook of public and private enterprise, and makes nonsense of the
Tory argument that a publicly-owned monopoly is as dangerous as one that
is privately owned.
I have not provided in the Bill for statutory consultations with the work-
ers employed in the industry. Such consultation is certain, and statutory
provision is superfluous. It would, indeed, have been extremely difficult to
provide for statutory consultation with all the different bodies who repre-
sent the workers in the varied and far-reaching activities which would be
carried out by the Board. But consultation with the workmen's representa-
tives is inevitable, if the Board is to achieve that degree of co-operation
which is essential for its success. The Board must provide for the con-
tinuance and stability of pit production committees, and for consultation
on all those matters which concern the personnel of the industry, for ex-
ample, where concentration is necessary, or in the case of transfer and re-
settlement of mine workers. So long as human nature remains what it is,
there will always be the possibility of disputes. But we shall seek the fullest
co-operation in order to produce a more amiable spirit so that the existing
conciliation machinery will be effective.

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Shinwell]
One of the principal reasons for nationalizing this industry is the pros-
pect that State ownership provides for improving the conditions under
which the mineworkers have labored, and for raising their general status.
While for reasons which I have explained there are no statutory obligations
under the Bill to establish consultative machinery, the Bill expressly charges
the Board with responsibility for
"the advancement of the safety of persons in their employment, and the promotion of
their health and welfare."
In addition to this, one of the functions of the Board-and "functions"
in this sense implies a positive duty-is to provide and to assist the provision
by others of facilities for training and education. The duties of the Board
in relation to welfare are also of a positive character. The provision' of
baths at the pits is so obviously a necessity that it barely deserves the de-
scription of "welfare activity." Moreover, the Board are not restricted in
their interpretation of welfare, but will be free to deal with every aspect of
welfare, not only for miners, but also for their wives and families.
Many reforms concerned with the conditions of the mineworkers have
been advocated in the past; some have been applied, but much remains to
be done in the matter of a five-day week, longer holidays, and improvements
in labor standards, which are reasonable and promote security. I have no
hesitation in stating that these can be introduced progressively, when re-
organization has been established. But it would be foolish to pretend that
the costs of these reforms can be ignored; they must be related to produc-
tion. We cannot impose increased charges on coal consumers, but in the
measure that costs can be reduced, either through reorganization or in-
creased output, it is hoped that long awaited reforms in this most arduous
of all industries can be applied.
The Coal Mining Committee of the International Labor Organization,
which recently met in London and prepared a miners' charter, preceded its
declaration with these words:
"These aims are fundamentally dependent on the maintenance of a high standard of
productivity on the part of all concerned in the industry."
This declaration is in conformity with the views I have expressed. Mean-
while it is expected that the existing collective agreements covering wage
rates and conditions applicable to the industry will be projected into the
new organization, and arrangements to that effect will accordingly be made.

I have made no attempt in this Bill to deal with the distribution of coal,
but we do place on the National Coal Board the responsibility for
"making supplies of coal available in such quantities, and at such prices, as may seem
to them best calculated to further the public interest."
The Board will, therefore, be concerned to see that distribution is carried
on as efficiently and as economically as possible. Moreover, in this field of
distribution there is nothing to prevent the Board engaging in all those
activities which are now undertaken by the colliery companies, and also in
other activities the present owners could undertake if they were so minded.
I propose to consult with the National Coal Board after it is set up, and

Coal Industry Nationalization Bill
with the appropriate organizations of the distributive coal trade, as to the
best means of securing improvements in coal distribution, having regard to
the experience gained in recent years, and to the new circumstances which
will obtain when the ownership of the pits is unified. I am determined to
secure economy in distribution so far as is practicable.

I have not provided specifically for the establishment of regional or-
ganization in the Bill. The precise form will be determined by the Board, no
doubt after consultation with me. I am convinced that excessive centraliza-
tion must be avoided. General policy will, of course, be decided by the
Board, but administration must be based on the individual pit, groups of
pits, and regions yet to be defined. I envisage a form of regional organiza-
tion somewhat on the lines of the National Coal Board itself. This would
mean that those responsible for supervising the regions must possess quali-
fications similar to those of the members of the National Coal Board, that
is to say, administrative, technical, financial, commercial and a knowledge
of the organization of workers. It is also obvious that success cannot be
achieved unless the knowledge possessed by the workers and the technicians
is fully utilized at every stage in the pits, the groups and the regions. At all
costs we must avoid too much rigidity in the structure. However, not until
the National Coal Board members are appointed, and are able to cover
the whole field of operations, will it be possible to determine within exact
limits all the details of the future organization.
The Bill has been before the public for over a month and there has
been ample opportunity for examination and criticism. Speaking gen-
erally, the broad consensus of opinion in favor of nationalization has been
reflected in the difficulty which opponents have evidently experienced in
finding any coherent line of criticism. Some criticisms have been cancelled
out within the space of a single article. Other criticism is merely puerile
and serves only to suggest that the authors are overcome by their prejudices.
I can safely leave the Amendment on the Order Paper to succeeding
Government speakers, but I take note of the fact that the right hon. Gen-
tleman the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) is its prin-
cipal sponsor. Before he speaks, may I remind him of a declaration he made
some time ago? It was in these pregnant words:
"The old world is dead. None of us can now escape from revolutionary changes ever.
if we would."
These words should have a profound impact on the minds of even the
dullest political ostrich. The public for many years have hoped for, and
now expect, a plan for the reorganization of the coal industry that will serve
the nation best. We cannot be satisfied with a patched-up compromise or
the encrusted conservatism of private coal ownership. We cannot afford
any longer to show undue tenderness and consideration for an industrial
system which has nothing to commend it but its age. I do not doubt that
the disciples of private enterprise in this House, who are now kicking against
the pricks of State control and who regard industry as a legitimate field
for the marauding profit-seeker, would prefer the skull and crossbones
method of running the coal industry. This is not, and never has been, our

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Shinwell)
I am not asking the House to subscribe to an accidental policy of dreamy
idealism. We know that given the right men, and the right atmosphere, to-
gether with public good will and organization, we can inspire this great
national industry, in terms of abundance and true economy. That is our
mandate and our intention, and nothing that is contained in the Conserva-
tive Amendment will induce us to swerve from this purpose.
Rt. Hon. Anthony Eden (Conservative): I have always regarded the
right hon. Gentleman the Minister as an ardent controversialist, and one
who enjoys the cut and thrust of debate more than most. In the light
of that recollection of his previous performances, would he allow me to
offer him my congratulations on the comparative restraint with which he
has contrived to handle this subject which, unhappily, in the past has been
the cause of no little controversy in this House? May I also be allowed to
congratulate him on something else-on a precedent, which I hope the
Lord President and Leader of the House will see is followed. The right
hon. Gentleman told us, and rightly, in the concluding words of his speech
that we had had ample time to consider this Measure. I take this oppor-
tunity to ask the Leader of the House to give the House equally ample
time to consider other equally important Measures.
I shall not begrudge either the right hon. Gentleman or the serried
ranks behind him any satisfaction that they can generate on this occasion;
all the more so because I think it will not last awfully long. Nor can any-
one who has watched the politics of this country for many years past deny
that the miners of this country have been pressing for the nationalization
of the industry. I certainly cannot deny it, because it is now nearly a quar-
ter of a century ago, as the right hon. Gentleman the Parliamentary Secre-
tary to the Treasury knows very well, since I stood before the electors in a
mining constituency and was soundly beaten for my pains. What I am
wondering now, and what I would ask the right hon. Gentleman and others
who remember that contest to consider, is whether the nationalization that
the miners want, or think they want, is in fact the nationalization they are
going to get in this Bill.
We have had from the right hon. Gentleman some reference to the past,
and he was pretty severe, as he was bound to be, on private ownership. He
said that we on this side of the House were always saying that things had
gone wrong with the mining industry between the wars and that this was
under a form of nationalization. I do not think we have ever said that.
Certainly I have never said that, but what I would say is that this industry
more than any other in the land has been subject to political controversy
and the victim of Government interference. Hon. Members may put it this
way if they prefer, that Government interference has resulted, from their
point of view, in better conditions than would otherwise have existed, but
the point I am seeking to make is that no other industry in this country
has been subject to so much debate, legislation, controversy and political
upheaval generally.... Hon. Members opposite think that the period of
trouble is past, because the ownership is to be changed. I hope they are
right. We shall see.
. We are perfectly ready to credit hon. Members opposite with a sin-
cere belief in the virtues of nationalization. Indeed I do not know how

Coal Industry Nationalization Bill
many times we have had those virtues put forward to us in political con-
troversy. But the scheme put forward in this Bill is not, of course, nationali-
zation in the sense, for instance, in which a State-administered Post Office
is nationalization, and it is not syndicalism. The old cry which one used
to hear of "The mines for the miners" has no place in this Bill.
. What this Bill proposes to do is to set up a State monopoly for the
production of coal, and that is all. Are hon. Members opposite really cer-
tain that the bulk of their supporters are enthusiastic for such a monopoly;
and are they sure that the evils of monopoly disappear, once it comes under
the aegis of the State? Here we have this Bill of 58 Clauses and three Sched-
ules and yet, from the national point of view, the most surprising thing
about it is the issues which are not dealt with in it, and were not dealt
with by the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman has told us
very little about the future organization and working of the industry under
this Bill. It is quite true that in this Bill with its many Clauses there is
evidence of much work having been done and much effort devoted to ar-
rangements for the transfer of ownership of the mines to the State. But
there is nothing here to show how the industry is to be run when it is thus
transferred. Surely that is the essential problem not only for the industry
but for the nation?
The right hon. Gentleman made a very brief passing reference to the
Reid Report and to the work of the Committee set up by my right hon.
and gallant Friend the Member for Pembroke (Major Lloyd George) when
he was holding the office which the right hon. Gentleman now holds. Speak-
ing without any of his expert knowledge, I must say I regarded that Report,
and still regard it, as a most remarkable document. I have in mind par-
ticularly Chapter 6 and the conclusions of that chapter in which the con-
trast is drawn between the coal industry of this country and the coal in-
dustries of certain other countries. These conclusions are set out under
12 headings with proposals as to what should be done for the betterment
of the industry. The Bill does not tell us, and the right hon. Gentleman
has not told us, how the proposals of the Reid Committee, which I presume
he endorses-the Coalition Government did endorse it-are to be brought
any nearer fruition by the transfer of ownership, which is all that this Bill
If the right hon. Gentleman will look at Appendix I of that Report,
he will see there the comparison between the coal industry of this coun-
try and the coal industries of certain other countries. That comparison-
and here I think I must challenge the right hon. Gentleman on his re-
marks about the conduct of the industry in this country-shows quite clearly
that up to the war of 1914-18, the industry in this country compared very
favorably with the coal industries in all other countries, except the United
States of America, where exceptional circumstances existed. The actual
passage is this:
"Before the 1914-1918 war, the output per manshift in Britain compared favorably
with that of practically all the major coal-producing countries other than the United
States. In particular it was higher than in the Ruhr which was Britain's only important
rival. This fact, combined with relatively cheap rail hauls from mine to port, enabled
Britain to dominate the seaborne coal trade of the world."

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Eden]
I think it would have been fair, when the right hon. Gentleman was
making his strictures on the industry, if he had referred both to that fact,
and to the fact that after the 1914-18 period there were new circumstances
-the payment of reparations for instance to what had formerly been Brit-
ish markets in France and Belgium, from Germany-and the fact that a
number of countries, which had been our markets before, began to get their
own coal. There was the change-over from coal-burning ships to oil-burning
ships, and all kinds of conditions which I think might, in fairness, have
been mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman. If we are to face this prob-
lem we should remember to put the picture as fairly as we can. If private
enterprise is always at fault, how can the right hon. Gentleman explain
the recent developments in the United States? I am not referring now to
the richer and happier coal conditions as regards the actual mineral which
exist there. But not only is the coal production in the United States per
man something like five and a half times what it is here, but the extraor-
dinary thing is that during the war the improvement in output per man-
shift was just about equal to our actual production. That is a very re-
markable, and for us a very disturbing, figure, and it cannot be got rid of
by saying that every fault here has been the fault of private enterprise, be-
cause that figure shows exactly what is happening under private enterprise
there at the present time.
I think the House ought also to consider some other figures which I have
taken from the Reid Report and which I give to the House for the purpose
of putting to measure the right hon. Gentleman's problem. In Poland, in
the nine years between 1927 and 1936, the output per manshift increased
by 54 per cent, as compared with an increase here of 14 per cent. In the
Ruhr, as compared with 1925, the increase was 81 per cent, and in Holland
118 per cent. [Interruption.] The mines in Holland are not wholly State
owned. Some are privately owned, and some are State owned. Some of the
export mines are State owned, and some of the other mines are privately
owned. The hon. Member can take whichever suit his purpose. I am not
trying to argue on the basis of which mines are State owned and which are
privately owned; 1 am trying to show that during that period those com-
petitors of ours went ahead of us, whereas before 1914-1918 we had held
our own.
Mr. T. Smith (Labour): This is an important point. In making a com-
parison with a country like Holland, it must be borne in mind that the
comparison is between a country with relatively modern new mines and a
country which has been honeycombed with pits for 300 years. If the output
of the Dutch mines were compared with that of similar pits in this country,
the production figures would be different.

Mr. Eden: That is a very fair point, but it does not meet the situation
in the Ruhr or in Poland, where the contrast is the same. I do not want to
labor the matter; it is from the Reid Committee's Report, and is not my
argument. I want only to point out to the House that this is a situation
with which the Government must deal if we are to recover our position and
that of the industry. The question we have to put to the right hon. Gentle-

Coal Industry Nationalization Bill
man, and to the Minister who will reply to this Debate for the Government,
is: How does the Bill, as it has been introduced, ensure that the British
coal-mining industry will regain its position not only as an essential pro-
ducer of raw material for our industries, but as a successful competitor in
the world market? I want now to examine the organization of the industry
so far as it has been revealed to us today. I apologize for referring so often
to the Lord President of the Council, but I intend to quote him in aid for
the purposes of my examination. Some years ago he wrote a book-a very
good book from his point of view-entitled "Socialisation and Transport,"
in which he indicated that a board managing a public undertaking must
be appointed by and clearly accountable to public authority; but he also
insisted that it must be left, in every possible respect, free to conduct its
operations on business lines. He wrote:
"The board must have autonomy and freedom of business management. It must not
only be allowed to enjoy responsibility; it must even have responsibility thrust down
its throat."
No one can pretend that is the position under this Bill. I shall quote from
the Bill, and ask the Minister how he reconciles the Bill with what I have
just read. Under this Bill, the Board has no autonomy. Its powers are not
anywhere clearly defined. On the contrary, the right hon. Gentleman has
given himself extremely wide and extremely vaguely defined power of con-
trol over the proposed National Coal Board, which is set out in Clause 3 of
the Bill. I will read the provision to him, and hon. Members can decide
how it squares with the Lord President's definition:
"The Minister may give to the Board directions of a general character as to tile
exercise and performance by the Board of their functions in relation to matters appear-
ing to the Minister to affect the national interest."
What in the world could be wider than that? What does not appear to the
Minister to affect the national interest? Almost any conceivable subject
concerning the industry could be covered by that. The right hon. Gentle-
man must find a narrower definition than that if he wishes to say that the
Lord President's book expresses his philosophy. May I make a suggestion?
Right hon. Gentlemen on the Government Front Bench should read one
another's books. It is clear that there is no clear line of demarcation in this
Bill between the Board and the Minister. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to
answer one or two questions about the Board. I had thought he would tell
us all about it today, but he told us absolutely nothing about it. I had
thought he would say, "Here is my board, with none of those discredited
politicians on it." But he did not tell us who the archangels are. He did
not give us a name or a hint. Is it possible that they do not want to come on
to the Board? I can hardly believe that the Minister would have wanted to
move the Second Reading of the Bill without telling us who were the Board.

I am driven reluctantly to the conclusion that he may not have been able
to scrape them together before the appointed day. We shall be interested
in these illustrious gentlemen when their names are put before us; but
before they do come before us, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman one or
two things about them? What is to be the security of tenure of the arch-
angels when they come on to the Board? Are they to be removable at the

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Eden]
behest of the Minister, or are they to serve for a term of years, and if so, for
how many years? There is nothing about that in the Bill. I think we ought
to be told, and I have a suspicion that these gentlemen might want to know
before they join the Board. I know that discredited politicians would want
to know. Will the right hon. Gentleman accept responsibility in this House
for the Board's actions, or will he disclaim responsibility, as once or twice
we have heard Ministers do in the past, for instance, in respect of the
The Lord President of the Council (Rt. Hon. H. Morrison): The right
hon. Member for Bournemouth (Mr. Brendan Bracken).
Mr. Eden: -a perfectly proper constitutional position in relation to
the B.B.C. I want to know what will be the Minister's relation to the Board.
Will it be like the B.B.C., or will it be like Mussolini? We must know where
the responsibility lies. Will hon. Members be able to table questions to
the right hon. Gentleman about the decisions of the Board? There is noth-
ing about that in the Bill. Last Thursday the Minister made a speech in
which he suggested that he did not intend-and he rather emphasized it
again this afternoon-to put the mining industry in the hands of Civil Ser-
vants. He said this was a fair field for men with business capacity, and that
in the hands of such men the. coal-mining industry would be placed. All
I can see is that the Board, in practice under the terms of the Bill as it is now
framed-and I ask for the contradiction from the right hon. Gentleman in
due course if I am wrong-will be unable to initiate any policy at all, with-
out reference to the Minister, which is important, having regard to the
extremely sweeping powers laid down under Clause 3.
Let me take an example, and perhaps whoever is replying will tell me
what the position will be. Suppose the Board, as the right hon. Gentleman
indicated might well happen in many parts of the country, decide for sound
technical reasons that a pit must be closed, and that the labor in the pit
must be transferred to a more productive pit, say, 20 miles away. Suppose,
and it is also not an unnatural thing, that the men concerned object to such
a dislocation of their lives. What will the Minister decree? Will he reply
that it is the responsibility of the Board and has nothing at all to do with
him; will he overrule the Board; or will he leave it, in the perfect Minis-
terial parlance, that the case should be judged on its merits? Which is it to
be? We have not the slightest indication in the Bill or in the right hon.
Gentleman's speech. I have a slight suspicion that the right hon. Gentleman
is trying to make the best of both worlds, that he is trying to tell those behind
him that he could use wide powers to introduce the Socialist control of
industry, while he can reply to critics over here that the Board is an entirely
independent enterprise, only subject to general direction.
The truth is that this Bill is a new kind of animal in all nationalization
experience. It is a hybrid animal. The main objection urged to the Foot
Report was that it failed to provide any guarantee of technical reorganization
or any safeguard for consumer interests. Can the Government really say
that this type of monopoly can be justified on the grounds of the improved
technical efficiency that it is going to bring? The Minister was not really
convincing about that today. He knows better than I that there can be no
comparison here with, say, the water, or the gas services. He knows better

Coal Industry Nationalization Bill
than I that you cannot even compare the coal-mining industry with Gov-
ernment factories producing on a war basis. The obvious parallel perhaps
is in agriculture, in farms which vary from field to field. How is this Bill
going to help the industry to deal with this state of affairs? I must warn
the House. What we fear will happen is what often happens to monopolies.
The consumer will be fleeced in the interests of the producer, or the Coal
Board will have to go to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for financial
assistance to keep prices down and then the taxpayer will pay.
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us something more about the
150,000,000. He said he was putting this in for capital equipment in the
industry. I thought he was going to tell us something more about it but
there was not another word. How did he arrive at that sum? It is a con-
siderable sum even for these days. How has it been calculated? The Govern-
ment just throw in 150,000,000 and say it is going to be spent in the first
five years. How did they arrive at the figure? Has it been related to the
vast sums which the Chancellor-as he knows only too well-has to find. Has
it been related to what the right hon. Gentleman has to find for national
insurance, for re-equipping other industries? Has the right hon. Gentleman
taken into account the fact that he has committed himself to stabilizing
the cost of living? Has he realized that we have to build 5,000,000 houses?
Is this really going to be done without a wages policy at all? I suggest,
on the information we have now, that this 150,000,000 has just been thrown
into the Bill as a frivolous piece of publicity. [Interruption.] All right,
perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will be good enough to answer me on
some of those points. I suppose the 150,000,000 is to be spent on partly
re-equipping the mining industry. But where is the machinery to be ob-
tained? According to my information, the output of the mining machinery
industry in this country before the war was about 2,000,000 to 3,000,000
worth a year. What arrangements have been made for so greatly increasing
the output of this industry as to enable even a small part of this vast sum
to be expended? I suppose the Government have a plan? There must be
a plan. How can they just put 150,000,000 in the Bill, and hope for the
best? I want to help the right hon. Gentleman. Perhaps this machinery
is to be got from the United States as part of the loan expenditure. That
might be a good plan. But what I am saying is that we ought to be told.
I turn to another essential aspect of this industry, to which the right hon.
Gentleman only gave a passing reference, the question of export. There is
no reference to the word."export" anywhere in the Bill. Yet it is true, as
everybody knows, that coal remains potentially our greatest export asset.
We are making great efforts, and the President of the Board of Trade is
doing everything he can, to increase the export of manufactured goods. But
supposing we could have a coal export of 50,000,000 tons per annum. What
an immense contribution that would be to the restoration of our trade
balance? On that, there is no difference between us, but how is this Bill
going to facilitate such an export? Here I want to put to the Chancellor of
the Exchequer one point on which we are not quite clear. There is a refer-

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Eden]
ence in the First Schedule to taking over wharves, etc. Is this confined to this
country? I should like that to be confirmed because for obvious reasons it
would not be wise to extend that principle abroad.
Now I come to the main contention the Government bring forward.
The Minister said, in view of the past history of this industry and what has
been happening, in view of the troubles of the past, and all the disputes, the
Bill would be an advantage, because by it we are going to obtain a new
psychological approach to these problems, and a new feeling in the industry.
Nationalization has long been proclaimed as the objective of the Socialist
Party. I hope the right hon. Gentleman is right in what he says about the
new psychological approach by the industry, because if this Bill is to be
judged on its results-and they will be regarded as serious to some of us-
then, I am bound to tell him that, so far, there has been very little evidence
to justify his hopes. The policy of nationalization was proclaimed six
months ago. The Government then got their mandate, but there has been
no favorable reaction so far, and no response to the Minister's appeals which
have succeeded each other with increasing urgency and with increasing in-
effectualness. The output figures continue to go down-more than pro-
portionately to the decline in the labor forces. I hope what the right hon.
Gentleman said will prove true, but that, time alone can show.
Now I must say a word about price policy, on which the Bill is disturb-
ingly obscure. I must ask the attention of the House to this point. I thought,
on my first reading of the Bill, that it was for the Board to settle its own
price policy, because the Board is required to make coal available
"in such quantities and at such prices as may seem to them best calculated to further
the public interest."
Surely, it is possible that the Board, the Government, the miners, and the
consuming public, might all have different conceptions of the public in-
terest, in relation to the price of coal. As The Times points out, suppose, for
instance, that the Board were to reject a particular demand of the miners
for higher wages or other rates of pay, on the ground that it was against the
public interest to raise the price of coal. There is nothing in the Bill, so far
as I can see, to prevent the Minister of Fuel and Power from overriding the
Board, by using the power under Clause 3 to which I have already referred,
and giving
"directions of a general character .. in relation to matters appearing to the Minister
to affect the national interest."
We want to know where, in this respect, responsibility would lie.

Now a word about the Consumers' Councils. The right hon. Gentleman
was very proud of his Consumers' Councils. I think he must have had his
tongue in his cheek. He is going to appoint those Consumers' Councils,
and they are to be entirely responsible to him.-[An HON. MEMBER: "What
is wrong with it?"]--It is horribly reminiscent of the burglar lending the
householder his dog and saying, "There you are. Go and make the best of
that one." Surely, at the very least, the Consumers' Councils should have
the right to publish recommendations which they have made to the Minis-

Coal Industry Nationalization Bill
ter, if the recommendations are not accepted. The House of Commons
and the country should know what those recommendations have been. It is
not provided for in the Bill. I understand that the right hon. Gentleman
does not agree. I ask him to show me whether it is in the Bill.

Mr. Shinwell: The right hon. Gentleman will be answered adequately
and faithfully before the end of the Debate. We cannot answer every
question straight away. The right hon. Gentleman is asking me why this
point is not in the Bill. The answer is that it is impossible in this or in
any other Bill to put in every precise detail of organization.
Mr. Eden: I did not want to challenge the right hon. Gentleman in an
unfair way. I thought he said it was in the Bill.
Mr. Shinwell: No.
Mr. Eden: Then that is all right, and we are all clear. The position
remains unsatisfactory, and will be a subject for discussion on the Commit-
tee stage on the proposals that we shall have to put forward.

There is another point in connection with prices. It is quite possible for
the Government to differentiate prices between various classes of consumer.
By favoritism in the speed and quality of delivery the Board could exert an
immense influence on all the industries of the country which depend upon
coal. The Board could influence profit and could influence location of in-
dustry. The Coal Board will itself, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, be
the owner of a large number of plants in those coal-using trades. Is the
Board to be free to discriminate against privately-owned competitors? I ask
this question because there is no Clause in the Bill requiring strict impar-
tiality in price-fixing. Parliament in the past has been careful to include
just such a Clause in Statutes dealing with monopolies. The Government
must be familiar with that fact. In the Railway Clauses Act, the Docks and
Harbours Act, and in any number of other Acts, there has always been such
a Clause. There was such a Clause in the Coal Mines Act, 1930, which was
introduced by the Labour Government. I want to know where there is any
such Clause in the Bill, and whether the Government would consider in-
serting such a Clause?

I apologize for being so long, but there are many things I must mention
on this subject. I come to the question of compensation. It will be more
fully dealt with by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for
Hillhead (Mr. J. S. C. Reid). I will content myself with making the obser-
vation that, when introducing an experiment of this kind, the Government
should be careful that the compensation should be fair and should be seen
to be fair and in the public interest .... I must say that I do not regard
the arbitrary method of calculating the global sum as fair, or the freezing
of the compensation money as in the public interest. This country is still
the largest holder in the world of property overseas. I know that the Chan-
cellor of the Exchequer will agree with me when I say that we should be

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Eden]
carful before we lay down precedents for Government purchases of prop-
erty. The most extraordinary feature of this proposal is that it deals with
inalienable-I cannot get that word out. The right hon. Gentleman the
Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is a scholar of King's, must dislike it as
much as I do.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Rt. Hon. Hugh Dalton): I say
Mr, Eden; I thank the right hon. Gentleman. It is not the first time
that Cambridge has helped Oxford. "Non-transferable" is much better.
What is the position? I ask the right hon. Gentleman to give us some expla-
nation for this quite unprecedented procedure in our financial practice. If
a company-and no doubt he will tell me later if I am wrong, but this is how
I understand the position-goes into liquidation, the stock with which it is
compensated becomes negotiable in the hands of the individual share-
holder. He can do what he likes with it. On the other hand, if the com-
pany does not go into liquidation, its compensation becomes un-negotiable.
How can that be called equitable or just as between two sets of companies?
According to the terms of the Bill the stock is inalienable if the company
remains and does not go into liquidation. The direction or the management
of such a business cannot use its capital and business experience to launch
out into any new enterprise at all. All it can do is to sit still and receive the
annual interest. The Economist seems to express it correctly . this quo-
tation seems a fair summing up of the position:
"If Mr. Shinwell"-
I apologize for the reference to the right hon. Gentleman by name-
"cannot pay for the mines without upsetting Mr. Dalton's drive for cheaper money,
they should decide between them which should wait for the other."
That is a pretty fair statement of the Government's position. In any event I
would ask the Minister whether, in respect of those companies, he regards it
as a fair idea of a business transaction to give a man a cheque for his prop-
erty and then to stop it at the bank? So far as I can discover, that is exactly
the position in which these companies will be, so long as they exist as com-

May I try to give an illustration? Suppose, for the sake of argument, that
I have a picture which is valuable and rare. A gallery comes to me and says,
"That picture is of national importance. We want to acquire it for the
State." I say, "I am prepared to do that. Will you appoint an arbitrator?
I will accept whatever the arbitrator says is a fair valuation for the picture."
The arbitrator says, "I think 15,000 is a fair price." Then, after the whole
business is concluded, the gallery turns to me and says, "That is all right,
but, of course, you cannot cash your cheque, and we cannot tell you what
interest you will have on your money." That is exactly the position here.
If my illustration is faulty, I should be only too glad to have the error
pointed out to me.
Let me try to sum up. For six months the coal industry has been drift-
ing, as the right hon. Gentlemen admit, rudderless, with the tide of declining

Coal Industry Nationalization Bill
output. How long is it to be before the vesting date? I believe there are
today about 850 separate undertakings. Everybody agrees that number
should be reduced. Is it to be hoped that the nine wise men of the Coal
Board, in the few weeks between their appointment and the vesting date,
can assimilate sufficient knowledge of the industry to take over active direc-
tion? Why could not the Government put first things first? Why, before the
drive for production is under way, have they introduced this intricate
Measure with all its legal and financial complications overburdening the
Civil Service, the National Board, and industry itself, for two years, with
these secondary problems? The duty of the Government was to free them to
concentrate on the very material problem of coal production. The case was
very well put, not by any wicked Tory but in a production by a Liberal
Committee. It is true they have been denounced since, but people are quite
good sometimes even when they have been denounced. They said this. It
is a quotation I would leave in the minds of the House and of my hon.
Friends below the gangway:
"The real danger is that questions of valuation may give rise to a delay in the initiat-
ing of an adequate development program at a time when the growing need is for
an immediate increase in the production of coal. The real need of the industry, as has
been pointed out in the Foot and Reid Reports, is to increase not merely gross output
but output per manshift. In other words, to increase the efficiency of the industry the
urgent need of today is to proceed at once to overtake the arrears in modernization of
the mines which have increased during the war by difficulties of supply."
I maintain that that is precisely what we ought to do, and that this Bill
makes no contribution to that end. If the Government disregard that work,
they cannot avoid responsibility for the utmost hazards into which our
economy is likely to fall. The right hon. Gentleman himself gave, very
fairly, a warning at the outset of his speech about that, and he has already
received a warning against facile optimism in the utter failure of his appeal
for an additional 8,000,000 tons this winter. There is nothing in this Bill
which would lead any impartial critic to believe that the Government
scheme is going to put the coal industry on to its feet. The right hon. Gentle-
man said the other day, perhaps in a jovial mood-I do not know, it was
before Christmas-that after a 40 years' study of nationalization he had
never realized the complexity of compensation. Let me tell him that this
is going to be the least of his complexities. If he failed to foresee the minor
difficulties of acquiring the ownership of the mines, what assurance is there
that he has foreseen the major difficulties of running them?
I forecast that a year or two from now, hon. Members opposite, who so
lustily cheered the introduction of this Bill, will be thinking of it as, "the
Act that nobody loves," and because this Bill will fail in its purpose, the
Government must accept full responsibility for that failure, with all the
repercussion I fear it will inevitably have upon our national life and our
country's future prosperity.
[House of Commons Debates]

HOUSE OF COMMONS, January 31, 1946

The Minister of Health (Rt. Hon. Aneurin Bevan): The Bill which
the House is being asked to consider today is a short but exceedingly im-
portant one. The House may recall that when I made a statement on
housing policy last October I promised that the Government would bring
in, as early as was practicable, a Measure to expedite the acquirement of
land for housing and other purposes. . .
Anxiety to develop the housing program is, I know, universal, and
there is no part of the House which would wish to deny the Government
any powers which are necessary in order to build houses. It is necessary
to remind the House that houses are built on land. It is necessary to
emphasize that, because it is a point that sometimes is not given sufficient
prominence in the minds of hon. Members opposite. Perhaps it will be
convenient if I spend a short time in refreshing the mind of the House
about the powers possessed by the Government and by local authorities
for the acquisition of land. I do so, not in any spirit of schoolmastership,
but because it will enable us to understand the Bill very much better if I
describe the processes which exist at the moment by which local authorities
are able to acquire land for various purposes.

The old procedure is, of course, by Provisional Order. By this a local
authority must first publish in one or more newspapers, circulating in the
district in which the land is situated, a notice describing it and stating
the purpose for which it is required. The local authority must serve on
every owner, lessee and occupier, except tenants for a month or less, a
notice indicating the land and the purpose for which it is required, stating
that they propose to ask the Minister to make a Provisional Order for com-
pulsory purchase and specifying a time limit for, and the manner in which,
objections can be made to the proposed Order. If none of these persons
object, or if the objection is withdrawn, the Minister, if satisfied that proper
notice has been published and served, may make a Provisional Order. But
if an objection is not withdrawn he must order a local inquiry, although
if the objection relates only to matters of compensation he may dispense
with the local inquiry.
After the Provisional Order has been made, the local authority must
serve a copy of the Order on the persons who received the notice. But a
Provisional Order is of no effect until confirmed by a confirming Act. If,
while the confirming Bill is pending in either House, a petition is presented
against the Order, the petitioner is allowed to appear before the Committee
to which the Bill is referred, and oppose the Order, as in the case of a
private Bill. If the Order is opposed in either House it is referred to a
Committee and is dealt with exactly like a private Bill, the promoters and
petitioners being represented by counsel. If the Order is not opposed an
officer of the Ministry attends to explain any points. After the confirming

Acquisition of Land (Authorization Procedure) Bill
Order has been passed the validity of the Order cannot further be ques-
tioned. There are certain other details in the proceedings necessary before
the Order in fact takes effect.

I have explained that procedure to the House in order that it may see
the background against which this Bill is set. It is true that that procedure
has been largely transcended. It is necessary to remind the House why.
The procedure was tedious, expensive, and gave endless opportunities for
delay. At the end of the last war, the first modification was made by the
then Minister of Health, now Lord Addison, who adopted a much quicker
procedure for the acquisition of land needed for certain works of public
utility, but Provisional Order procedure applied still to most forms of com-
pulsory purchase exercised by local authorities. In 1930 my right hon.
Friend, now Lord Privy Seal and then Minister of Health, found it neces-
sary to devise another expedient and for the Provisional Order was sub-
stituted compulsory purchase or ministerial order. But these powers are
renewed from year to year by the Expiring Laws Continuance Act and they
might lapse at any time. If they did, all the local authorities would find
themselves, for public health purposes, right back with the Provisional
Order, and it would be practically impossible for us to develop our programs.
The purpose of the first Clause of this Bill, therefore, is to clear that
matter up and to make the procedure of the Public Works Facilities Act,
with some minor modifications, a uniform procedure and to apply it to all
purposes for which Government Departments have the powers of compulsory
purchase. It will be observed therefore that this Bill does not so much
increase the scope of compulsory purchase as amend the machinery and
make it easier of operation. I think Members in all parts of the House will
appreciate that it is really indefensible that grave powers of this sort should
be continued from year to year in the Expiring Laws Continuance Act.
The position should be regularized and that is what the first Clause of the
Bill does.
I will explain, with the permission of the House, the procedure under
the Compulsory Purchase Order. Before submitting the Order to the Min-
ister, the local authority must publish in one or more newspapers circulating
within the district in which they exercise their functions, a notice stating
that the order has been made, describing the area comprised in it and nam-
ing a place where a copy of the Order and of the map referred to in it may
be seen at all reasonable hours. They must serve on every owner, lessee and
occupier, except tenants for a month or less, a notice stating the effect of
the Order and that it is about to be submitted to the Minister for confirma-
tion and specifying the time within which, and the manner in which,
objections can be made. If no objection is made by such persons or if all
objections are withdrawn, the Minister may confirm the Order with or
without modification, but if not, he must hold a local inquiry, after which
he may confirm the Order either with or without modification. If the objec-
tion relates solely to the amount of compensation, the local inquiry can be
dispensed with.

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Bevan]
The Order, as confirmed by the Minister, must not authorize the local
authority to purchase compulsorily any land not included in the Order as
originally submitted. The local authority can at any time after notice to
treat has been served, enter on, and take possession of, the land after giving
the owner and occupier not less than 14 days' notice. The amount of com-
pensation is left to be settled after possession is taken.
That is the procedure under which land is, at the moment, being
acquired for housing and other purposes for which there exist powers of
compulsory purchase. The procedure is very much simpler and cheaper,
as hon. Members will see, than the Provisional Order, but nevertheless it
still involves delay. The first Clause of the Bill introduces two modifica-
tions. It enables the appropriate Minister to dispense with a referencing
in any particular case where he thinks it unnecessary. As hon. Members
who are Members of local authorities will know, this is an extremely tedious
business in many instances and in order to quicken up this procedure, and
make it more applicable to modern conditions, the Minister will be able,
if he wishes, to dispense with referencing in particular circumstances. Where
he does not dispense with it, it still has to be done. It makes a further
modification. The Minister need not, unless he wishes, hold a public inquiry,
but may hold a meeting instead. It often happens that when people get
together at a meeting, they reach agreement much more quickly than they
would by holding a local inquiry. With the exception of those two modifi-
cations the procedure is as it was established under the Public Works
Facilities Act, but it is now made available to all authorities who have
powers of compulsory purchase.
I have found, and I think my predecessors have found, that on occasions
when quick action is needed, this procedure also is too dilatory. It is quite
true that we have a considerable amount of land in the possession of local
authorities. Indeed it is true to say that, globally, we have more land avail-
able than we shall be able to build houses on for some years. I can see that
point, but the ownership is not evenly distributed. Some local authorities
have far more land than they will be able to use in the next two or three
years; others have none, and it is the essence of the successful operation of
a housing program that houses shall be going up, this Spring, everywhere.
The even distribution of house building is a prerequisite of success. As I
have mentioned before in the House, the building force, both employees
and employers, distributes itself over the country in accordance roughly
with local housing needs. The workers are migratory and if no houses are
being built in a particular place they are liable to go somewhere else where
building is going on; and then the local authority has all the trouble of
trying to induce them to go back again. This is particularly important as
men are coming out of the Services. They will, naturally, want to attach
themselves to the housing work which is going on nearest to their homes.
That is why it is essential that we should be able to expedite the acquisition
of land by all authorities charged with responsibility for housing.
Lieut.-Colonel Dower (Conservative): Does not the right hon. Gentle-
man think that it is equally if not more important that action should be
taken to speed up the dilatory authorities?

Acquisition of Land (Authorization Procedure) Bill
Mr. Bevan: Certainly, and I think hon. Members will agree that a
very great deal of speeding up has been done. It is no use speeding up
local authorities unless we put an effective legal instrument in their hands.
Local authorities naturally want to get land with the consent of the owner.
It often happens that there are elements present who desire to have volun-
tary negotiation rather than to apply powers of compulsory purchase. The
result is that often, before this machinery begins to operate, weeks or
months of discussion have gone on with the landlord. The landlord, know-
ing very well that the land cannot be alienated from him, except by legal
action of this sort, which will be long, is able to hold up the local authori-
ties. I see a right hon. Gentleman opposite shaking his head. I can assure
him that I have been present at conferences of housing authorities in dif-
ferent parts of the country, and have found everywhere that this point
comes out. Everywhere the discussion takes place, and that is particularly
true where local landlords have acquired quite considerable influence upon
the local authority. Sometimes the landlord pushes forward his own con-
siderations, as though they were social amenities that were being interfered
If that discussion proves unfruitful, and the landlord refuses to let his
land go, the local authority has to start proceedings which may take from
four to nine months, depending entirely upon the length of the inquiry.
In these days and for our purposes, that is not good enough. The interests
of owners of land must be considered as secondary to the housing needs of
the nation. We must have powers. I will give a further reason why we must
have powers to speed up the acquisition of land. We are trying to develop
houses in a novel way. We are trying to use systems of prefabrication which
involve centralized purchase and central organization. What is much more
important, in order that the erection of houses may be economical, there
should be a harmonious and uninterrupted flow from the factory to the
site. If, at any moment, that flow is interrupted, and storage and distribut-
ing centers have to be established, at once the cost of the houses goes up
astronomically. We have found this to be the case with the temporary
houses. A great deal of the cost of the temporary house program arises
from the difficulty of marrying two principles-the construction of houses
on thousands of different sites, varying from four houses to 400 or 4,000,
and the use of one or two production centers.
The system of prefabrication can be exploited in a fruitful way only
if site preparation marches harmoniously with production. If authorities
in any area have not got their housing sites prepared, the whole process
is interfered with. It is essential that the Government, that I, should have
these powers from the House of Commons, so that the local authorities
should be able to exercise them.
Mr. York (Conservative): May I interrupt the right hon. Gentleman?
Could he inform the House whether there are cases in which site prepara-
tion by local authorities is behind the arrival of the prefabricated houses?
Mr. Bevan: Yes, Sir, there are instances of that sort, although on the
whole it is true to say that the local authority site preparation has been
ahead-[HON. MEMBERS. "Oh."] Yes, Sir. This fact is a source of much mis.

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Bevan]
understanding, and perhaps I may be permitted to refer to it, without
incurring the charge of extending the discussion too much. People have
said: "The local authorities have had their sites prepared for a long time.
Where are the houses?" The fact of the matter is that it is essential that
the sites should be prepared ahead of the houses. The delay which takes
place between the completion of a site and the delivery of the house by the
Ministry of Works' contractors is an essential cushion. It would be calam-
itous if the houses were ready before the sites, because those appalling storage
and distribution costs would begin to mount.
There are one or two instances where sites have not been prepared and
where particular action has had to be taken, which I can explain to the
House if hon. Members wish me to do so. There is a case about which
there may be some controversy in London. Think it is at East Ham, where
we have had to acquire the fringe of Epping Forest. I regret very much
that we have had to do it but it is for temporary houses. The people of
East Ham must have shelter. If, in other parts of London, it has been
necessary to take the fringes of parks and open spaces to provide temporary
houses, then the commoners of Epping Forest must surrender to the over-
whelming needs of the local inhabitants.
There is a further reason, and I hope that the House will bear with me
by listening to it. The President of the Board of Trade must have power
of purchase. It is proposed to give it to him. In the Development Areas
Act last year, powers of compulsory purchase were conferred upon the
President of the Board of Trade. There is a considerable number of in-
stances, some very serious indeed, where failure to acquire land quickly has
resulted in factories not being put up. I am especially concerned with this
matter. My own constituency is in a development area. I believe that a
past President of the Board of Trade explained that owing to its record
of unemployment in the past the area was among the first priorities. There
are very few sites for factories in South Wales, in those narrow valleys. We
are caught in the straitjacket of private landlordism in those valleys, and
we cannot move. Some of the valleys are so narrow that even the rivers
have to run on their sides. There are very few housing sites. Although we
are classed as a first priority, on two occasions that area has failed to obtain
a factory because a landlord has refused to release sites.
The difficulty lies, of course, in the fact that the manufacturer who wants
to go there is not willing to wait for six months in order to get his factory
put up. He goes somewhere else. He cannot afford the time. So the manu-
facturers in this case went elsewhere. It was one of the most wicked illustra-
tions of the abuse of property that has ever been brought to my notice. It
is an area from which the landlord, who is the coal owner, has sucked riches
for the last 100 years. The area has created millionaires, and now a part
of it has been rendered derelict. The orange is almost dry. The sites are
in possession of the colliery owners but, like vultures, they will not desert
the carrion for fear there might be the slightest bit of nutriment left. They
insist upon hanging on to the land. The result is that the poor people of
the neighborhood are reduced to impoverishment while they wait for the
factory to be established.

Acquisition of Land (Authorization Procedure) Bill
Mr. Molson (Conservative): Before the right hon. Gentleman leaves
that point, may I ask whether we are to understand that, under existing
legislation the President of the Board of Trade has power of compulsory
purchase, but that it is not speedy enough, and that the President must
have other powers?
Mr. Bevan: I thought I was making that very clear. In these instances
the power is not sufficient to ehable the President of the Board of
Trade to get the manufacturer on to the site quickly enough, because the
site cannot be made available; the manufacturer is a person who cannot
wait; he is anxious to get going. For instance in West Cumberland-in
Aspatria-a factory of 33,000 square feet, costing 36,000, to employ 156,
was approved in July. The Board have only just obtained owners' agree-
ment to the district valuer's price. In the North East, in October the
President expressed the view that a 60-acre site at Jarrow should be devel-
oped quickly, and at that time he authorized an expenditure of 90,000
on site preparation alone. The estate was planned to give employment to
4,000. There were 53 tenants interested, and the Board have only just
received permission for entry on part of the site. In South Wales, a factory
of 14,000 square feet, at Maesteg, costing 14,000, to employ 250, was ap-
proved in September. The Board have still not obtained the land.
Mr. Ralph Assheton (Conservative): Is it not possible that people at
present occupying land for some useful purpose have also to be considered?
Mr. Bevan: Yes, but I thought it was regarded on all sides of the House
as an overriding public interest, that these distressed areas should not
become festering cesspools of unemployment, and if therefore the claims
of private landlords are permitted to obstruct the building-[Interruption.]
This is the evidence. The rights of 53 tenants of this great estate must,
surely, be overridden in the interests of the requirements of the popula-
tion. Hon. Members would not have argued this during the war; they
would have set aside the claims at once.

A factory at Pontypool, of 23,000 square feet, to employ 250, was ap-
proved in September. The Board have still not obtained the land. In
Scotland, a trading estate of 50 acres at Port Glasgow was approved in
September. The Board have just obtained the landowners' agreement to
entry on the land, subject to giving notice to tenants. I give these illustra-
tions to show that the existing procedure is quite inappropriate to modern
economic developments. I am quite certain that many hon. Members will
agree with me. One of the tragedies of the immediate post-war period is
that unemployment once more begins to grow sharply, in the very areas
which suffered most from it in the years between the wars. If hon. Members
look at the unemployment graph of Great Britain at the present time, they
will see that it is appearing in Merthyr Tydfil, in the areas of Monmouth-
shire, in Rhondda, on the North-East coast, and some areas of Lancashire,
Lanarkshire-areas which were the pitiful victims of sustained unemploy-
ment in the years between the wars. Full employment in those areas arose
from war expenditure; munition factories were constructed there, and of

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. Bevan]
course now that the munition factories are easing down, unemployment
rises once more. Now that new industries are being established, and other
industries expanded, it is important that they should be expanded quickly
in these development areas. There would be a much easier solution of this
problem than this-if the Government entered directly as an employer, and
become established as such. What we are trying to do is to induce private
employers to go there, and private employers cannot be expected to wait
six or seven months for the sites, whilst competitors are able to get going
in other parts of the country. This expedited machinery is absolutely
essential for our purposes.
The machinery suggested is extremely quick. It is that established for
the acquisition of land for temporary houses. All the local authorities need
do is to serve notice, if necessary, on the site, and act within 14 clays. All
discussion about compensation can be going on when the local authority
is in possession and enjoyment of the site. The Government have no desire
to use these powers frivolously. In the first place, they cannot be exercised
at all until the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Town and
Country Planning have had an opportunity of considering the site. It is,
therefore, going to be cleared by these two Departments first of all-it
would certainly be extremely undesirable for a local authority to rush in
and take a piece of land without any consideration. Furthermore, the
local authority cannot use these powers without permission from the
Minister, whether he be the Minister of War Transport, the President of
the Board of Trade, the Minister of Health, or the Secretary of State
for Scotland. There are, therefore, three safeguards against the use of these
powers, where they are not needed, first the two Departments-the Ministry
of Town and Country Planning and the Minister of Agriculture-and then
the appropriate Minister. We are very keenly aware of the fact that the
application of these powers ought not to be universal, and should only be
used where needed in order to acquire the land for urgent public purposes.
Before concluding, I must say one word about the use of these powers
by the Minister of War Transport. That Minister needs them in the first
place because he himself is a highway authority. He needs them badly. In
the second place, he approves orders for compulsory purchase by highway
authorities. In the third place, he needs them in certain instances where
a railway or road development may be held up by unreasonable stubborn-
ness, maybe on the part of one person amongst about 300 or 400. In the
case of the Minister of War Transport, these powers would not be exercised
unreasonably, because if he used them he would probably have to pay more
compensation for disturbance, for the quicker the powers are exercised,
naturally, the greater will be the disturbance for the owner of the land.
I must, however, inform the House that there are some categories of land
which we think ought not to be subjected to this procedure, that is, National
Trust land, land in the possession of local authorities, and land of archaeo-

Acquisition of Land (Authorization Procedure) Bill
logical interest over which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Works
presides. In the case of land of that kind, there is a different situation.
Where, for instance, a local authority owns the land, at the moment there
is no power for another local authority needing that land to take it. That
is a foolish situation, because local authorities do not always see eye to eye
on those matters. There may be instances in which it is necessary for one
local authority to have land which is in the possession of another. Obvi-
ously, this is a conflict between two conceptions of public interest, and it
would not be an appropriate matter for the Minister alone to arbitrate
upon. Therefore, in that case, in the case of trusts where we cannot find
land in compensation, in the case of local authorities, in the case of archaeo-
logical land, the House is brought into the matter by the Statutory Orders
(Special Procedure) Bill which was carried the other day.

I have attempted to describe in general terms what are the powers in
the Bill. We need the Measure badly. I hope the House will let us have it
as soon as possible. I know that hon. Members opposite may consider this
is very harsh treatment in some instances, but it was their leader who, quite
recently, described housing as a war operation. There would have been
no resistance at all to powers of this sort during the war, and the housing
problem and the economic reconstruction of this country present so many
complications that we cannot permit claims to the private ownership of
land to obstruct the carrying out of the public program. Therefore, I hope
the House will give us the Second Reading of this Bill.

Rt. Hon. W. S. Morrison (Conservative): My main objection to the
argument advanced by the right hon. Gentleman is that he failed en-
tirely to show how this Bill, if it is passed, will add one house to the total
being built this year. He spoke of a great many subjects-of factories a great
deal-which will have to be examined, but the broad fact of the situation is
that of all the elements which go to make a housing program, namely, the
supply of land, of labor, of materials, of organization and drive-all these
things are necessary in a housing program-the only one of these elements
that is in abundant supply is the land. The remainder are all short. When
the right hon. Gentleman asks for our co-operation in the housing problem,
I can promise him that if he will direct the attention of the House to the
real bottlenecks in housing-it is not land that is holding us up, as I propose
to show in a moment-and if he has difficulties in the labor supply, materials
and so on and will explain them to the House, he may be sure of our
collaboration in trying to get them removed.
The right hon. Gentleman prefaced his speech with an historical account
of the various forms of legislation which, in the past, have authorized the
compulsory acquisition of land. He dwelt a long time on the ancient Pro-
visional Order procedure, and upon the Public Works Facilities Act, 1930.
He rather reminded me, when he was describing the tardy progress which
might be made under those ancient Acts, of a man trying to sell a very
ordinary bicycle, and commending it to the would-be purchaser by con-
trasting it with the boneshaker, the "penny-farthing" and the velocipede,
because he did not refer to the powers local authorities have at present.

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. W. S. Morrison]
The Memorandum to his own Bill refers to the legal code regarding the
acquisition of land under the Local Government Act, 1933.
The Explanatory Memorandum shows that the effect of the First
Schedule is, roughly, to re-enact the procedure found in the Local Govern-
ment Act, 1933. Since then, there has been the Housing Act of 1936, with
its own procedure, which is saved by this Bill, and, only just over a year ago,
the Town and Country Planning Act of 1944, which has its own provisions
which are also saved by this Bill. We are not, in this business, so far back
in the remote past as the right hon. Gentleman would have us believe. If
Clause 1 is enacted, local authorities will be armed with the powers of the
Local Government Act, 1933, the third part of the Housing Act, 1936, and
the Town and Country Planning Act, 1944. Over the main part of the area
of legislation there is no question of the obsolete methods of Provisional
Order and so on.
There is no objection in principle to the powers which the right hon.
Gentleman is seeking in Clause 1 of the Bill and in the relevant Schedule.
I say that, of course, with due warning to the right hon. Gentleman that
we shall try in Committee, if there are small points which need amending,
to suggest them to him; but, to the principle of codifying existing legisla-
tion, we do not take any particular objection. There is no doubt some
advantage in providing one unifying procedure for the acquisition of land.
That is not in question; it is a meritorious thing to do, and, if Clause 1
is enacted, the code which will emerge will be, substantially, that which is
already laid down in the Local Government Act, 1933, Part III of the
Housing Act, 1936, and the Town and Country Planning Act, 1944....
There are one or two Amendments we would like to suggest, particularly
in regard to statutory authorities, which I do not think are very adequately
protected here. But, taking the broad view which one is bound to take on
a Second Reading occasion, we shall be prepared to do our best to help the
right hon. Gentleman in his work on Clause 1. There is one aspect of the
existing code to which I would draw the attention of the House, and that
is that it is democratic in its essence. It possesses the feature that before a
man's land is taken, or his tenancy disturbed-and he may be a small man
or a big man-he shall have a right to be heard. Democracy consists not
only in the rule of the majority. It consists also in the right of the minority
to be heard. No one has asserted that right more vigorously and forcefully
in the past than the Minister of Health ....
I have always looked forward to hearing the right hon. Gentleman with
that pleasure which one has to listening to a virtuoso, and his speech today
was a delightful performance, although there was not a house visible in it.
It is very important that we should preserve in all these proceedings the
right of the objector to be heard. Any attempt to do away with that right,
although it appears attractive at the moment to the power which is opposing
it, is bound in this democratic country in the long run to create friction,
injustice and more delay, which it should be the object of a statesman to
avoid. In Clause 1 the procedure is democratic. Provision is made, if a
man objects, for having a public inquiry and a hearing before action is
taken-a hearing for both sides. But Clause 2 and the Schedules which ap-

Acquisition of Land (Authorization Procedure) Bill
pertain to it represent a departure from the democratic procedure laid down
in Clause 1. There we pass at one step from the democratic to the bureau-
cratic, because there is no adequate opportunity for the ordinary man who
is affected, to state his case in the open and to be heard.

Even if there were advantages, which I very much doubt, from the point
of view of the efficiency of this procedure, I should be very slow to advise
the House that it was good statesmanship in this country to purchase a delu-
sive efficiency, at the risk of invading what are the rights of the subject, rich
or poor. I propose to show there is really no justification for that in peace-
time. The right hon. Gentleman prays in aid of this proposal under Clause
2, the Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act of 1944. He says that is,
roughly, the procedure which he is seeking to re-enact. Of course, that was
a temporary Act passed for a certain limited purpose which I shall describe,
and I do feel the strongest objection to re-enacting a form of legislation,
which was conceived during the war to meet a wartime emergency, as a per-
manent part of our legal system in times of peace. If I may make the position
clear on procedure as envisioned in this Bill, let me contrast the two forms
of procedure laid down, first in Clause 1, and secondly in Clause 2. The
House will then see, I think, to what they are being asked to agree.
Under Clause 1, the authority must give due notice of its intention by
publishing an advertisement in the local papers. It must, in general, serve
notices on those whose ownership, or tenancy, of the premises is affected
and, if objections are made and not withdrawn then the owner, lessee, or
occupier, can have an inquiry or a hearing. That is the method of procedure.
Clause 2 is very different. Here is the bureaucratic method at work. The
procedure, as I understand it, is as follows: The acquiring authority must
first serve notices on those who are affected, giving them 14 days in which
to make representations to the confirming Minister-14 days to make one's
representation-and these objections do not carry with them any rights to an
inquiry or any of the democratic privileges to which I have alluded. There
is no provision for debate or discussion or for solving the issue that may be
involved by our customary method of talking it over. The objections have
only got to be considered by the right hon. Gentleman or by his Department.
There is nothing to tell the public who are affected, how deep, how detailed,
how sympathetic, that consideration may or may not be. This consideration
may be the most perfunctory flicking over of papers by a harassed civil serv-
ant, in the Department of the right hon. Gentleman, but, for the purpose of
this Bill, that is enough. Thereafter, the bureaucratic machine moves with
an irresistible force against the subject, who is given no further chance to
make his voice heard. The Minister then sends a written authorization to
the acquiring authority-not to the person whose premises are affected. At
any time thereafter within three months the acquiring authority may enter
the premises. The man can be most ruthlessly turned out of his home, his
farm, or his factory, and he has no redress. It is true he is given some mone-
tary compensation, but if the House considers the human problem here
involved, they will see there are some things that money cannot buy and
that monetary compensation cannot in fact compensate.

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. W. S. Morrison]
If you take a man's dwelling house-which comes under this procedure-
you do not only take from him so much in value which you can pay back.
You take the roof from over his head and from over the heads of his wife
and children. If you take a man's farm, or factory, or market garden you are
not only taking money's worth; you are taking the base of his operations,
the base of his conduct of life. That is why I say it is essential before that is
done we should give the man a right to be heard. There is about this, and
it will appear so to many people who are affected, a sort of hole and corner
procedure. I hope the right hon. Gentleman on reconsidering this matter
will find it possible to dispense with Clause 2. It is true, as the right hon.
Gentleman reminded us, that before he sets this Juggernaut car in motion
he has to be satisfied upon two subjects, and those two matters are described
in Clause 2, paragraph 1. He has to be satisfied:
"(a) that it is expedient that the local authority . should purchase any land
for the said purpose, and
(b) that it is urgently necessary in the public interest that the acquiring authority
should be enabled to purchase the land without delay."
The right hon. Gentleman has only to be satisfied that it is necessary
for the local authority to purchase the land, but, if purchase of the land
was all that was necessary to the right hon. Gentleman's purpose, that could
be done by other means. What he wants to secure is not rapid purchase but
rapid entry. That is the essence of the problem as he revealed to us.
I think it is a very strange thing that the right hon. Gentleman should
be able to set this extremely harsh and, I think, unjust machinery in motion
before he is satisfied that quick entry is necessary, before he is satisfied that
not only quick purchase but quick entry is necessary.
Mr. Bevan: Purchase is urgent.
Mr. Morrison: It does not follow. This is exactly the point I am mak-
ing. I am glad the right hon. Gentleman has appreciated it. It strikes
me as very peculiar that the right hon. Gentleman should be empowered
to authorize rapid entry and dispossession without being satisfied that such
rapid entry and dispossession are necessary in the public interest. This is a
point, of course, which we shall further explore in Committee, but I think
it is one of such importance that it ought to be mentioned here.
Mr. Bevan: Surely this is the point. "Entry" is described elsewhere
in the Clause. This is the question of purchase. One does not urgently
purchase something which one is not going to use, and the use of the land
is dealt with elsewhere.
Mr. Morrison: I do not think the right hon. Gentleman has yet got
my point. As I understood his argument to us, he said he wants these ex-
treme powers because he needs to enter on the land. That is the point. I
say he ought to be satisfied before launching these powers that it is necessary
in the public interest to enter upon the land without delay. I do not think
it sufficient he should merely satisfy himself it is urgently necessary to pur-
chase. I hope I have made that clear. If there is nothing in the point, per-
haps we can have it described later, but I do think there is something in it,
and we ought to draw attention to it now, so that there will be ample oppor-

Acquisition of Land (Authorization Procedure) Bill
tunity for the right hon. Gentleman and his Department to consider the
point. If there is nothing in it, well and good, but if there is something in
it, it is my duty to warn him now, so that the matter can be further looked
into. If the drafting in the Bill does not express his intention exactly, then
this is an opportunity for him to have it amended.

The right hon. Gentleman asks for our co-operation in housing. There
is nothing in the Bill to suggest that this peremptory method of proceeding
is confined to land for housing purposes. He went on to elaborate other
purposes for which it is equally necessary, but we have to approach this
matter on the footing that it is not related solely to the housing shortage.
When we are considering the scope and range of this Measure, we ought to
remember that we cannot salve our consciences by allowing some harsh and
unjust transactions to be legalized on the ground that there is sorrow and
difficulty through the lack of housing accommodation, because the range
and scope of the Measure far exceeds that limited subject. We may return
to that matter later on, in Committee. I think it would be desirable to con-
sider whether, in view of the big battalions ranged against us and the possi-
bility of the Bill going forward with Clause 2 still in it, we should not try
our best to secure some limitation in relation to the urgent necessity of
I return for a moment to the question of the Housing (Temporary
Accommodation) Bill, on which this Measure is founded. I reject as entirely
untenable the argument that, because that Act was passed in 1944, it justi-
fies the right hon. Gentleman for the present. The circumstances, the pur-
poses and the duration of the two proposals are entirely different. The
provision of sites for temporary houses is a problem by itself. In the first
place, the houses are to last for a limited period, and the land can then be
restored to its original use. The right hon. Gentleman himself gave us
an assurance which I was very glad to hear today about Epping Forest. The
right hon. Gentleman says that it is the idea to have temporary houses that
will be pulled down and the land restored to its original use. When we
are getting sites for temporary houses, we are not confronted with any long-
range planning problem, and we can get to work, even if we do it ill, when
the temporary houses are removed. But, when it comes to building perma-
nent houses, we are making a permanent alteration in the use to which the
land is put, and that is a planning operation of great importance.
Mr. Bevan: Has the right hon. Gentleman forgotten that, before any
of this can start, the Minister of Town and Country Planning has to ap-
prove the proposals?
Mr. Morrison: No, I welcome that, but the point I am making is that
we cannot justify a procedure which was good enough when there was
no planning involved, for a situation in permanent housing where planning
is very important, and that there ought to be time for the consultation be-
tween the two Departments which is abundantly necessary. We are all
agreed, on this housing matter, that permanent houses are better than

British Speeches of the Day [Mr. W. S. Morrison]
temporary ones, and one of the problems in taking sites for temporary houses
is to see that we do not clutter up sites which may be available for permanent
houses, because such a deviation might delay the ultimate final solution
of the whole problem. I say, in general, that the right hon. Gentleman is
dealing with permanent houses and that there is ample time for the applica-
tion of the procedure under Clause 1 of this Bill.
I would point out that the Act of 1944 was passed when the war was still
raging and when there was a fear that the temporary houses would have to
form a regrettably much higher proportion of our total housing than would
be the case in peace, and when it was feared that they might come in such
numbers that there would not be enough land for them. Power was taken
for one year, and that Act was passed. But all this has changed now ....
The right hon. Gentleman has all the resources of the nation at his com-
mand for housing, if only the Government will liberate them and permit
them to be used, at a time when the emphasis is on permanent houses and
there is plenty of time for the democratic, as distinct from the bureaucratic,
procedure of acquisition. The Act of 1944 was strictly limited to one year,
but it is proposed to make this proposal for expediting the procedure last for
five years, and, thereafter, be renewed from year to year by means of an Order
in Council. The fear against which the Act of 1944 was directed was, that
houses may fall upon us at a speed which might make the supply of land
not enough. Now, there is no such fear. The contrary is the case, and, of
all the elements which are wanting for a solution of this housing problem,
the land is, I think, the only one that is up to schedule.
Let me remind the House of what was said by Mr. Tom Johnston, a
Member of the Labour Party, liked and respected in all parts of this House,
and whose absence from which we all deplore today, who, speaking on this
very subject in 1945, said:
"It is true that, before houses can be built, the land must be there, and, so far,
due to one reason or another, we have secured approved sites in Scotland for 112,858
houses, and in England, sites for 570 houses."
This was 12 months ago-
. so that we now have sites in Scotland for four years production at the rate
of the best pre-war years. Site approvals in England number 570,000 and there is
almost a two years' supply of land, so I submit that it is not the land issue that
is holding us up at the moment."
So said Mr. Johnston. That was nearly 12 months ago, and, in our search
for some recent figures, we are not assisted by the secrecy and mystery in
which the housing operations of this Government seem to be involved: I
see that the right hon. Gentleman himself spoke on 17th October last and
referred to this subject. He said that 900,000 sites have been approved. Yes,
but that only means approved by the Ministry of Agriculture. The right
hon. Gentleman went on to justify, quite properly, the necessity for con-
sultation, not only with the Ministry of Agriculture, but with the Ministry
of Town and Country Planning. What is the position with regard to the
Ministry of Town and Country Planning? How many have they approved?
. . The Minister of Town and Country Planning. . had a Press confer-
ence'on 17th of this month, and he said that it had been alleged that plan-
ning was delaying the urgent housing program. The right hon. Gentleman

Acquisition of Land (Authorization Procedure) Bill
\aid there was no truth in the charge, and that this was demonstrated by
She following figures:
"The target approved by the last Government for England and Wales was 300,000
houses built or in course of building in the first two post-war years, whereas, by the
end of November last, the work of my officials, acting in consultation with other
Departments. had made it possible for the Minister of Health to approve sites for
711.259 houses."
The point that is being made in this House today by the right hon.
Gentleman is that it is to the land that his attention should be directed as a
solution of the housing problem. He made that point for what it is worth,
but this global possession of land for housing is more than adequate as these
figures show it to be. Yet we are told that, in the distribution of land, some
local authorities have too much, and others too little. How comes it that
local authorities up and down the country who have these vast provisions
for the acquisition of land should be short of it, or should even have none
at all? Does it not show that if they have these powers, taking the average
of all the local authorities throughout the country, the fact that they either
have too little, or even no land at all proves that there must be something
very much wrong in that particular locality.- [Interruption.] -Oh, yes, that
is my point, and we have yet to hear a single example cited from any one
local authority which could not be overcome by Clause 1 of this Bill. If
these local authorities have not carried out their powers, why have they not
been able to do so? If the right hon. Gentleman will provide us with one
actual concrete example of a shortage of land which necessitates or justifies
the proposals under Clause 2 of the Bill, we on this side of the House will be
prepared to listen to him.
These are the main points with which I wish to trouble the House on
this question. As I have already said, if I felt that this Bill would assist in
the problem of housing, I would hesitate to oppose it or criticize it, but the
right hon. Gentleman has quite failed to convince me that it will touch
the housing problem. The trouble lies not in the land, but elsewhere, and I
do not think that the public interest is served by the right hon. Gentleman
coming before us, and, therefore, before the public, with a Bill, the message
of which is, that the trouble about the housing situation is the shortage of
land. That is not the cause, and it tends to divert public attention from
what is really wrong with the housing problem in this country, because the
Bill does not state a true cause, but a wrong cause. If the right hon. Gentle-
man would show us a clear example where he is really being held up for
lack of land, we would perhaps consider what is to be done about it. But
there is no speech that has been made yet which does this, and, of course,
we are at an early stage in the discussion on the Bill, but I repeat that the
Debate up to the present has not produced a single concrete example justi-
fying even the harsh provisions contained in the Bill.
The fact is that of all the factors in this housing problem to which the
right hon. Gentleman has directed our attention, and for which he seeks our
co-operation, as well as our criticism if we think he is wrong, of all the ele-
ments in this problem, the one that should be left out is the land. I do not,
therefore, feel disposed to advise my friends to vote for the Second Reading
of the Bill. The figures which have been quoted this afternoon clearly show

British Speeches of the Day
that the problem, if there is one at all, is a local one, and it is for this reason
that I do not feel that I can advise my friends to vote for a Bill which directs
the attention of the House and of the country to the wrong issues in connec-
tion with this problem. [House of Commons Debates]

The first hour of every sitting day in the House of Commons is
devoted to answering questions which Members of Parliament put
to Ministers. A selection from some of the questions asked during
January, 1946, is included below, together with the Ministers'

Mr. Edelman (Labour) asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
what are the intentions of His Majesty's Government concerning the own-
ership and functioning of the Ruhr iron and steel works.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. John Hynd): Our policy is gov-
erned by the economic principles agreed at Potsdam, which require the
elimination of excessive concentrations of economic power. The British
authorities have already taken over possession and control of the firm of
Friedrich Krupp and its subsidiary and affiliated undertakings; and further
steps will be taken, when necessary and expedient, to carry out the agreed
policy. [January 22, 1946]

SPAIN (British Attitude)
Captain Swingler (Labour) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
whether he has any further statement to make in regard to the policy of
His Majesty's Government on Spain.
The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Bevin):The situation in Spain
is under constant consideration by His Majesty's Government, who are
in consultation with the United States and French Governments on the
subject. His Majesty's Government have on all relevant occasions dis-
played their dislike of the present regime which abetted our enemies, and
have forcibly enunciated their anxiety that the present regime should, by
the activities of the Spanish people themselves, be superseded by a regime
popularly supported. His Majesty's Government have in no way modified
these views.
Mr. Wilkes (Labour): Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that
at this moment Russia, China, Belgium, Holland, Norway and many other
countries have not recognized the Franco regime in Spain, and would he not
agree that where others have given us a lead we should not be slow to follow?
Mr. Bevin: It all depends on what lead you want. I am not going to in-
dulge in diversionary tactics of any kind. I announce policy to the House
and propose to pursue it to the end. [January 23, 1946]

Question Time in the House of Commons
POLAND (Political Murders)
Professor Savory (Ulster Unionist) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs whether he is aware that Bolislaw Scibiorek, President of the Com-
mittee of the Wici, Polish Peasants Organization, was murdered on No-
vember 2, 1945, that Jan Rytlewski, a prominent member of the Polish
Christian Labour Party, was murdered at Juchda, on November 2, 1945,
that Jozef Wrona, Peasant leader, was murdered at Zolkiewka on December
8, 1945; and whether, in view of these repeated murders of political oppo-
nents which follow on several others, he has drawn the attention of the
Polish Provisional Government to the continued violation of the terms
under which it has been recognized.
Mr. S. Silverman (Labour): On a point of Order. In view of the fact that
Poland is a State which we, in fact, recognize and with which we exchange
diplomatic representatives, is it in Order to describe it on the Order Paper
as the "Polish Provisional Government"?
Mr. Speaker: Yes, I believe it is quite in Order and the correct description.
The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Bevin): I am seriously concerned
at the number of political murders that have been committed in vari-
ous parts of Poland in recent weeks, in circumstances that in many cases
appear to point to the complicity of the Polish Security Police. I re-
gard it as imperative that the Polish Provisional Government should put
an immediate stop to these crimes in order that free and unfettered elections
may be held as soon as possible in accordance with the Crimea decisions.
Professor Savory: Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is by no
means a complete list, that all these victims are members of the Opposition
parties and partisans of Monsieur Mikolajczyk, and will he urge that the
General Election takes place before all potential leaders of the Opposition
have been murdered?
Mr. Bevin: I do not desire to add to what I have already said. The task
of re-creating Europe and getting tranquility is a very difficult one; we have
to exercise patience. At the same time, I am looking forward to the end
of these police States. [January 23, 1946]

Major Boyd-Carpenter (Conservative) asked the Minister of Food whether
he will now permit the manufacture in this country of local cheeses.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (Dr. Summerskill): The
manufacture of a number of varieties of local cheeses in this country
is already permitted, but I regret that the amount of milk likely to be avail-
able for manufacturing purposes this season will not allow my right hon.
Friend to extend the range.
Major Boyd-Carpenter: Does the hon. Lady suggest that local cheeses of this
kind consume any more milk than the mousetrap variety obtainable in
the shops?

British Speeches of the Day
Dr. Summerskill: I am afraid that the hon. and gallant Membter does not
understand the position. The whole point is that we can only manufacture
in this country cheeses which conform to a certain type-the Cheddar type.
-[HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] I would ask hon. Members to ask their wives
why. It is because we can only put a certain type on the ration. It would
be unfair to limit a certain number of housewives to one type and a certain
number to another; we should have trouble in every shop. Therefore
cheeses manufactured conform to the Cheddar type. The cheeses manufac-
tured in Lancashire, Cheshire, Wensleydale, etc., conform to that type.
Others, I am afraid, do not.
[January 23, 1946]

BRITISH ARMY (Netherlands East Indies)
Mr. Piratin (Communist) asked the Secretary of State for War what has
been the cost since August 17, 1945, of transporting, maintaining and sup-
porting the military forces in Indonesia.
The Secretary of State for War (Mr. Lawson): The cost of the military forces
stationed in Java and Sumatra since August 17, 1945, to January 31, 1946,
is very roughly 4,000,000.
Mr. Piratin asked the Secretary of State for War how many Japanese troops
have now been disarmed in Indonesia by forces under British command,
and how many have been withdrawn from the islands.
Mr. Lawson: The latest information available is that approximately 180,-
000 Japanese troops have been disarmed in Indonesia by forces under
the command of the Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia, and by
Australian military forces. Some 25,000 of these were in Java and Sumatra.
Over 4,000 Japanese troops from Sumatra have already been evacuated to
concentration areas in the Riouw Archipelago.
[January 28, 1946]

Viscount Hinchingbrooke (Conservative) asked the Prime Minister whether
His Majesty's Government have made representations to the U.S. Govern-
ment that British and Canadian participation in the forthcoming atomic
bomb tests in the Pacific is desirable and consistent with the principle of
joint experimentation developed during the war.
The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee): Yes, Sir, the participation of British repre-
sentatives in these trials is at present being considered in consultation with
the United States authorities.
Mr. Gammans (Conservative): Will the Prime Minister say whether this
country has any rights in the atomic bomb at all now?
The Prime Minister: That seems to be a different question altogether.
Mr. De la Bere (Conservative): I do not like such putting-off technique.

Question Time in the House of Commons
Viscount Hinchingbrooke: Will the representatives in this maltcr be mili-
tary men and not merely Press observers?
The Prime Minister: Clearly, they will not be Press observers: they will be
official representatives. [January 28, 1946]

Mr. Gammans (Conservative): asked the Prime Minister what arrangements
have been made with- the U.S.A. regarding the pooling of information
with Great Britain obtained as a result of the use to date of atomic bombs;
and if any British military or naval advisers have been invited to be present
at the experiments which are about to be carried out in the Pacific in the
use of these bombs against obsolete warships.
The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee): We have throughout worked in close con-
sultation with the United States Government on this, as on other aspects
of atomic energy. As regards the second part of the question, I would refer
the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for South
Dorset (Viscount Hinchingbrooke) yesterday.
Mr. Gammans: In view of the fact that the early experiments were very
largely started in this country and we shared our secrets with the United
States, does the answer of the Prime Minister mean that the United States
acknowledges our right to share in the results of these experiments?
The Prime Minister: No, Sir. My answer states that we are working in close
co-operation with the United States. The answer I gave yesterday showed
we are in close consultation on the question of these experiments.
[January 29, 1946]

ATOMIC ENERGY (Government Plans)
Mr. Oliver Lyttelton (Conservative) asked the Prime Minister whether His
Majesty's Government have any further plans for developing the use of
atomic energy in this country.
The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee): The House will recall that on October 29th
last I announced that the Government had decided to set up a research
and experimental establishment at Harwell, near Didcot, to be concerned
with all aspects of the use of atomic energy. This establishment will require
fissile material for its work, and the Government have accordingly had under
consideration the most suitable organization for the production of such
material for this and other purposes. The object in view will be to make
available as speedily as possible material in sufficient quantity to enable
us to take advantage rapidly of technical developments as they occur, and
to develop our program for the use of atomic energy, as circumstances may
require. The production of these materials will be a responsibility of the
Ministry of Supply and the appropriate organization is being set up within
that Department.
The choice of a suitable head for this organization is clearly a matter
of supreme importance, and for this new post the Government have been

British Speeches of the Day
fortunate in securing the services of Marshal of the Royal Air Force Lord
Portal of Hungerford. I am also happy to be able to inform the House that
a very distinguished scientist in the person of Professor J. D. Cockcroft has
been selected for the post of director of the research establishment at Har-
well. Professor Cockcroft is at present director of the Canadian experimental
atomic energy plant, and it has been arranged with the Canadian authori-
ties that he should remain in Canada for the time being until they have
been able to appoint a successor to him in that capacity.
[January 29, 1946]

GERMANY (Food Situation, British Zone)
Sir R. Glyn (Conservative) asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
what is the food position in the British zone and how far have the
efforts of the Control Commission succeeded in increasing agricultural and
horticultural production; and how much food and coal, and of what kinds,
has been imported from the United Kingdom since September.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. John Hynd): The British zone
is not self-supporting in food, and imports are necessary to maintain
even a minimum level of nutrition. The Control Commission have so far
had little opportunity to increase food production: last year the enemy
were still in occupation of the zone at the vital sowing period. There are
serious shortages of seeds, fertilizers and implements. A comprehensive plan
to increase the arable acreage has, however, been put into opci nation this
As regards the second part of the Question, food imports from the United
Kingdom in the period September 1, 1945, to January 15, 1946, have been
12,000 tons of flour, 11,400 tons of barley, 40,000 tons of potatoes, 465 tons
of potato flour and 15,000 tons of biscuits. In addition, some 280,000 tons
of wheat, and quantities of other foodstuffs of various kinds, have had to
be procured on United Kingdom account from other countries in order
to prevent disease and unrest. No coal was imported from the United
Sir R. Glyn: Would not the hon. Gentleman admit that very good work
indeed has been done by the Allied Control Commission to increase food
production, and could he put some papers in the Library to show what that
work is, because every item of food grown saves exporting food from this
Mr. Hynd: I agree that remarkably good work has been done in this, as
in most other directions by the Allied Control authorities. Information as
to the progress in these matters is already contained in the excellent publica-
tion The British Zone Review, which is in the Library, and we hope within
the course of a very short period to be able to publish a comprehensive
statement of what has been achieved.
Sir Ronald Ross (Conservative): Is any food coming in from the agricultural
zones of Eastern Germany which normally supplied a good deal of the
British Zone's requirements?

Question Time in the House of Commons
Mr. Hynd: I should like notice of that question to give a precise reply,
but in general I should say that no food is coming from the Eastern zones,
although certain quantities of fertilizers, etc., are being received.
Sir W. Darling (Conservative): Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the allo-
cation of barley sent to Germany has been at the expense of the Scottish
distilling industry, as a result of which valuable exports which arise from
that industry will not be available to his right hon. Friend the President
of the Board of Trade?
[January 30, 1946]

Mrs. Jean Mann (Labour) asked the President of the Board of Trade for
how long is the present issue of clothing coupons expected to last; and if he
will consider supplementing the number of coupons or shortening the
Mr. Belcher (for the President of the Board of Trade): The House was in-
formed on August 21st last that the present issue of coupons would have to
last a longer period and that the public must be asked not to expect a
further issue of coupons until May 1st. It is most unlikely that supplies
will permit any shortening of the period, but a fuller statement on the sub-
ject will be made shortly. [January 30, 1946]

BRITISH GUIANA (Development and Welfare Grant)
Mr. H. Stewart (Liberal National) asked the Secretary of State for the Colo-
nies what grants under the Development and Welfare Fund are to be
made to British Guiana; how much money granted under the former Act
is likely to remain unspent next April, and what effect this will have upon
the new grant; how much money is to be allocated for the development of
the interior; is it his intention to encourage the local government to develop
the interior by offering concessions to private individuals or companies and
the raising of private capital; what private enterprises are now contemplated;
and whether any money is to be raised by loan locally for development
The Parliamentary Secretary for the Colonies (Mr. Creech Jones): The allocation
to British Guiana from the sum of 120,000,000 made available under
the new Colonial Development and Welfare Act amounts to 2,500,000.
Commitments under grants already approved under the Colonial Devel-
opment and Welfare Act at April 1, 1946, are likely to be of the order of
800,000 and will count against the Colony's allocation under the new Act.
The amount of money to be allocated for the development of the interior
cannot be determined until the Colony's sketch plan for development and
welfare can be revised and fully discussed locally in the light of the Colony's
allocation under the Act, and the funds likely to be available locally.
With regard to the last part of the Question, the amount to be raised by
local loan for development purposes cannot yet be finally determined and
must depend upon the Colony's financial position from time to time. The

British Speeches of the Day
total sum available from local sources is, however, likely to be at least
1,000,000, but not, on present information, more than 2.000.000. It is
certainly the intention of the Colonial Government to develop the interior
by all possible means having regard to the resources available. These will
no doubt include opportunities for private initiative and enterpi ise, where
they are appropriate, but full information is not at present available in this
Mr. H. Stewart asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware
of the heavy deficit shown in the recent budget of British Guiana; what steps
he is taking to enable the local government to meet the heavy costs of social
services, particularly education and medical; and whether it is his intention
to ease the standards of education and health services, as contemplated in
recent years, in order that the Colony's finances may be reasonably balanced.
Mr. Creech Jones: Yes; I am aware that the 1946 budget, on the basis of
existing taxation, provides for a deficit of nearly three million dollars. Brit-
ish Guiana has met from revenue all expenditure of the war period, includ-
ing war and other emergency services, and is estimated to have surplus bal-
ances of approximately 51/2 million dollars at December 31, 1945. The esti-
mated deficit for 1946 is due mainly to the necessity to continue temporarily
certain emergency expenditure, while the Colony will suffer from a decrease
in the high level of wartime revenue derived from bauxite.
Early last year approval was given to the raising of a local loan which
should serve to stabilize the position. The question of increasing revenue
is under examination and the Colonial Government propose to introduce
legislation to expand the scope of Income Tax and increase the yield from
higher income groups. The budgetary and general economic position are
now under examination by a recently appointed economic adviser. Further,
21, million has been allocated under the Colonial Development and Wel-
fare Act towards agricultural and economic development and social services.
It is not proposed that the standards of education and health services should
be lowered, and it is hoped that expanded costs of these services will he met
by an expansion of revenue.
[January 30, 1946]

FRENCH INDO-CHINA (Withdrawal of Troops)
Mr. Piratin (Communist) asked the Secretary of State for War to what ex
tent British and Indian troops have now been withdrawn from Indo
China; and by what date complete withdrawal is expected to be completed.
The Secretary of State for War (Mr. Lawson): The program of withdrawing
British and Indian troops from French Indo-China has now been in progress
for some time. Two Brigade Groups of the 20th Indian Division have al-
ready been withdrawn. It is planned to withdraw the headquarters of the
division by the end of this month and it is hoped that the third ;nd last
brigade, which is remaining solely to guard disarmed Japanese. will Ie with-
drawn by the end of February.
[January ,3. 1916]

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