§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—[Mr. Ure.]
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
I think the Lord Advocate might have given a little explanation of this Bill. As far as we are concerned, we entirely approve of it. We are glad to see that at last the Government are becoming economical with public funds. For the first time, instead of increasing the public burdens by employing new officials, they are actually taking away a burden already being borne. In these circumstances we are only too glad to welcome a rather belated measure.
§ Mr. C. E. PRICE
May I ask whether any provision is made for retirement? In the Act which this Bill proposes to amend, I do not think there is any provision as to the age at which retirement should take place. Ought not such a provision to be introduced?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
As we have had no explanation from the Lord Advocate, if 1644 I had not fortunately provided myself with a copy of the Bill, I should have been in complete ignorance of what is proposed to be done. I understand that the Bill has a very laudible object, namely, to reduce officials. This is to be taken as the first application of improved methods on the part of the Government. It is their first step in penitence. They feel that they have been for so long creating officials that the least they can do is to bring in a Bill to reduce officials. I should like to know whether I have misrepresented the object of the Government?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Then may I congratulate right hon. Gentlemen on the Front Bench opposite on their tardy change of opinion. I hope it is an augury of what will happen in the future; that we shall no longer have these Bills adding to expenditure and creating new officials.
§ Colonel GREIG
We had a special appeal from the other side this afternoon that the Housing Bill, which creates a number of new officials, should be passed.