Common sense (UK), intellectual ability, intellect.
We heard it all from Mr Viney - the 1950s revisited. Unions know best, employers are all bad and the workers have not got the nous to stand up for themselves. According to Mr Viney, they have not got the nous to even know there is a union out there if they want to join it.
The first thing we require of those recruits, who are required for all branches of the Armed Forces and particularly for the infantry as well as the Royal Artillery and, I understand, the Royal Armoured Corps, is that they match up to the physical standards I have just mentioned. Secondly, we are increasingly demanding more brains of them--or perhaps I should say, if I may use this word in your Lordships' House, "nous".
Indeed, its lasting fascination with body on frame led Detroit to misguidedly champion the S.U.V. — a passenger transportation device built on the frame of a pickup truck — that allowed the industry to once more recycle the production lines and engineering nous it historically relied on.