HC Deb 11 December 1922 vol 159 cc2540-2

Before any Order is made under the preceding provisions of this Act a draft of the Order shall, unless it is either an Order suspending the operation of any of the provisions of this Act or prohibiting the landing of animals, or an Order consequential on the making of any such Order of suspension or prohibition, be laid before each House of Parliament for a period of not less than twenty-one days on which that House is sitting, and if either House before the expiration of that period presents an Address to His Majesty against the draft or any part thereof, no further proceedings shall be taken thereon, but without prejudice to the making of any new draft Order.


I beg to move, to leave out the words "any of the provisions," and to insert instead thereof the words "Section one."

I move this Amendment in a different form from the Amendment on the Paper. The Amendment on the Paper applied to Orders suspending any of the provisions of the Bill, but the Amendment now proposed excepts Orders under the first Clause of the Bill. I understand that there is power to suspend Clause 1 in certain circumstances. I understand that the Government are prepared to accept the Amendment in the form in which I now propose it.


The right hon. Gentleman had put down the same Amendment as myself, and now moves it in a different form. The object of my Amendment was to secure that any Order made by the Minister under this Bill should be laid before Parliament. I cannot see that the Amendment as moved will secure that result.


I did not want to take up time or I should have explained that the result of the alteration is simply this, that if the Minister should know that there was a certain outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Canada, then, without waiting for Parliament to be called together, he could suspend the operation of the Act as far as that one thing is concerned.


I accept the Amendment if it is understood that that is what it means.


On behalf of the Government we accept the Amendment suggested by my right hon. Friend. The object of the exception is this: that unless we read these words in you could not suspend the importation of cattle from Canada if Parliament was not sitting, and you could not do it without 21 days' notice if it was sitting. If a sudden outbreak took place, no Member of the Committee would like that result to ensue. But, in fact, there is no power in the Bill to suspend the operation of anything except Clause 1. The Amendment makes clearer what is intended to be the effect of the Clause.

Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move, to leave out the words "is sitting" and to insert instead thereof the words "has sat."

I am advised that the words "is sitting," if retained, would mean the losing of Saturday and Sunday, and in the case of a Recess, the losing of that also, so that the control of the House over a provision of this kind would be very materially reduced.


I accept the Amendment. There seemed to be some doubt as to what was the best form of words to use. After consulting the authorities I understand that the Amendment expresses better what is the intention of the Bill, namely, that each House shall have every possible opportunity of discussing the matter.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.