HC Deb 06 August 1924 vol 176 cc2967-8

Lords Amendment:

In page 21, line 6, leave out "twenty seven" and insert "thirty"

Lords Reason:

The Lords insist on their Amendment in Clause 17, page 21, line 6, to which the Commons have disagreed, for the following Reason:

Because they think that the Bill will not be given a fair chance unless the period for which it is to be in operation is as long as six years.


I beg to move, That this House doth not insist on its disagreement to the Lords Amendment on which the Lords insist, but proposes to amend the said Lords Amendment by leaving out the word 'thirty,' and inserting the word 'twenty-eight' instead thereof. The House will remember there were two of the Lords Amendments with which the House disagreed. The first and the most important related to the inclusion of trams and trolley vehicles in the Clause which applies restrictions on London vehicles plying for hire. On that point I am glad to say the Lords have not insisted upon their Amendment, as I should have been compelled to regard it as vital. On the second Amendment, extending the duration of the Bill from 1927 to 1930, the Lords have insisted. During the course of this Bill I have had it impressed upon me by my friends and by those who are interested in keeping this Bill as a temporary Measure, that there should be as short a period to it as was consistent with getting ready other legislation. I was persuaded, for that reason, to limit the period to three years, and I was supported against the proposals made in another place. I have been into this matter to see what I could do under the circumstances of the difference with the other House, and I understand that there are three courses. The first is to disagree with the Lords Amendment, and in that case I am told the Bill is lost. I am very anxious not to do anything to risk losing the Bill, as it is regarded as of such importance for the regulation of London traffic. On the other hand, I am not prepared to break faith with those to whom I made promises. So I am going to ask those who have supported me in this to further support me in a proposal that I have to make, namely, that I do the next best thing by recommending the House to adopt the substitution of 1928 for 1930, in the hope that that will be a compromise that can be effected and I can get my Bill.


Four instead of three?


Yes. I therefore beg to move.


I appreciate the spirit in which the right hon. Gentleman has met us. Many of us feel very strongly that in the interests of London traffic and London local government this should be only a temporary Measure. It is quite clear that if a Bill of this kind is passed for six years it might very well be regarded as a permanent Measure. I should have liked even a shorter term than three years. Although I should not be a bit sorry to see this Bill go altogether, I appreciate that the Minister has put in many months of work in guiding it through Parliament, and it would be a little too much to ask, in insisting on the principle that the Bill should be a temporary Measure, that, he should run the risk of losing it altogether. Under those circumstances—though for my part I am very sorry to see this extension of the term which will strengthen the position of the Department to keep the administration of the Bill in the hands of the bureaucracy instead of local government—I shall support the Minister.