HC Deb 08 June 1915 vol 72 cc220-1

The office of Minister of Munitions and the Ministry of Munitions shall cease to exist on the termination of a period of twelve months after the conclusion of the present War, or such earlier date after the conclusion of the present War as may be fixed by His Majesty in Council, and then any appointments made under the powers conferred by this Act shall be determined, and any powers or duties which have been transferred to the Minister of Munitions under this Act, shall without prejudice to any action taken in pursuance of those powers or duties revert to the Department or Authority from which they were transferred.


I beg to move to leave out the words, "after the conclusion of the present War." ["Such earlier date after the conclusion of the present War."]

The words which I propose to omit seem to me redundant in the first place; and, secondly, there is another and a better reason. It might conceivably be desirable to abolish the Ministry of Munitions before the War comes to an end. [An HON. MEMBER: "No!"] Circumstances might arise in which there would be another rearrangement, and in that case, instead of repealing this Act, the Order in Council might bring the Ministry of Munitions to an end as a matter of arrangement. Therefore, it does give extra powers which are not in the Bill, and it conceivably might be valuable if this Amendment of mine, omitting those words, were adopted.


As I understand, my hon. Friend proposes to leave out the second set of words, "after the conclusion of the present War," so that the Ministry shall continue until twelve months after the end of the present War, or that it may be brought to a conclusion at an earlier date by Order in Council. It does not appear that the words he seeks to leave out really alter the sense at all. But, on the principle that brevity is the soul of good legislation, I think it is as well to leave the words out.

Amendment agreed to.

Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.