HC Deb 06 August 1924 vol 176 cc2996-7

Lords Amendment:

In page 1, line 20, after "county" insert. "should Resolutions in favour of such combination be passed by the representative members of the committees for the several counties."

Agreed to.

Lords Amendment:

In page 1, line 21, leave out from "counties" to end of Clause 1, and insert (4) Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Section the Minister shall, on the first establishment of agricultural wages committees, establish one committee for each combination of counties specified in the Second Schedule to this Act. (5) Where one committee has been established for a combination of counties, the Minister at any time thereafter may, and on the representation of the committee by resolution of the representative members shall, dissolve the committee, and until such committee is dissolved the counties included in the combination shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be one county.


I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

This proposal was moved by the Government, its object being one which we quite accept and which was suggested from the other side. It is that the representative members should be responsible for any proposal either to combine two counties or to separate two counties which have previously been united for these purposes.


As there has been only a short time in which to go through these Amendments which have only been printed within the last hour or two, will the right hon. Gentleman explain exactly what difference is made by the Lords Amendment in this respect. Do I understand that a number of counties are now to be joined and that an option is given to the representative members to come out of any such combination and to establish separate committees if they so desire? What is the difference between the Bill as it left this House and the Bill as it is now submitted to us in relation to the combination of counties.


I should explain that in a number of cases counties are united in couples and after a certain time it is intended that the representative members should have the power to bring about a dissolution of such union or combination.


Am I right in thinking that what the right hon. Gentleman means is, that as the Bill left this House, if a county desired to untie itself, so to speak, it required a resolution of the committee which included the appointed members? Under the Lords Amendment, as I understand it, that resolution would have to be a resolution by the representative members only, and that, I think, is a vital difference. If I am right in thinking that, it seems to me important to leave the decision as to whether two counties are or are not to be united in the hands of the local people.