HC Deb 21 May 1924 vol 173 cc2237-8

had given notice of an Amendment, on page 2, line 20, to leave out the words "except that," and to insert instead thereof the words "applicable to industrial assurance companies."


Will the hon. and learned Gentleman explain his Amendment? I am not sure whether it alters the Bill.


It is simply this. I made a false point on the Second Reading though I explained it to my hon. Friend directly afterwards. I misunderstood the reading of the Bill. The Amendment is quite simple, the Clause says: Sub-section (1) of Section four of the Industrial Assurance Act, 1923, shall be repealed from the words 'except that' to the end of the Sub-section. The result of that would be that you would simply leave at the end of Subsection (1) the words "except that", which would be nonsense and nothing would happen. It is an obvious correction. I am only taking the opportunity of saying I am sorry I misled my hon. Friend in the construction I put on the rest of the sentence. I think he will agree it is an exceedingly difficult Clause for anyone to follow in the form in which it is drawn, being entirely legislation by reference.


If the hon. and learned Gentleman does not move his Amendment I will put the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."


I suggest that the right hon. Gentleman should ask the Minister in charge of the Bill to look at the matter. I have looked at the Amendment, and I am not quite clear whether it will not make matters a little more difficult. I do not know whether my hon. Friend can speak positively, but I have some little doubt whether this may not add to the already difficult position in which the friendly societies find themselves.

The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. William Graham)

The point which has been raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman is comparatively simple. This Bill provides for an alteration of the Act of 1896, and it was necessary to repeal this Section in the Act of 1923. The narrow point before the Committee is whether the repeal covers the words "except that." It is a pure point of drafting whether those words are included. My advice is that there is no doubt whatever that they are so included in our Amendment, and I can give the hon. and learned Gentleman considerable precedent from the Act of 1923, which will fully bear out what we have done in this legislation. I hope, with that explanation, they will allow the Clause to pass.

Question put, and agreed to.