HC Deb 09 October 1924 vol 177 cc706-8

I beg to move, in lines 12 and 13, to leave out the words "or Edinburgh."

This amendment and the following amendments on the paper are not of very great importance, but they have been on the order paper for a long time, and they are required for the purposes of procedure. They are only connected with the actual publication in the "gazette' of the objects of a bill sought to be promoted in this house. There is an ambiguity in standing order 33, where it is not clear whether in regard to a Bill affecting Scotland it must be publication in the "Belfast Gazette." That is removed by the Amendments to the Standing Order on the Order Paper. Similarly with regard to Northern Ireland, there is a complete hiatus in the Standing Order, and to remove that difficulty we are simply expressly providing that there must be publication in the "Belfast Gazette." The last Amendment of the Standing Orders is that a copy of a Bill affecting Northern Ireland must be deposited with the Home Secretary. Those are the purposes of the Motion. I am in the hands of the House, but if the Amendments can be passed by the House to-day it will be a matter of great convenience.


I rise to take exception to the Motion. I think it would have been wiser on the part of the Deputy-Chairman if, instead of moving to leave out the words "or Edinburgh," and then to insert later the words and if any powers are sought by the Bill which affect Scotland or Northern Ireland shall be also published once in like Edinburgh or Belfast Gazette,' he had altered the words to "and Edinburgh," because it has to be borne in mind that there are many people in Scotland who have property connections in England. In fact, I think must of the property connections in England belong to Scotsmen. If the hon. Gentleman were to withdraw his Amendment., and move an Amendment on the lines I have suggested, it would meet with the general assent of the House. But, as it stands, it inflicts a very great hardship upon many people in Scotland who have to look up the "London Gazette," which they do not always find very easy, to discover notices relating to various properties. I, therefore, suggest that this Amendment be withdrawn, and, when the House resumes, an Amendment on the lines which I have suggested could be brought in to meet the difficulty.


If it be the general desire that this should not be taken now, I do not want to press it. With regard to the point made by the hon. Member, I think that the object he has in view is served by the Amendment, because if the word "and" were inserted, publication would be necessary both Gazettes, which is exactly what the Amendment of the. Standing Order provides, and if it were not done in the form we have proposed, it would not apply to Northern Ireland, and the two purposes would not be served. After that explanation, I hope the hon. Gentleman will support the Motion.


I am sorry I must persist in opposing it, because if the words I suggest would do any injustice to Northern Ireland, it must be an easy matter to meet the point. Might I suggest. that these notices should be published both in the London and Edinburgh "Gazette" simultaneously; that the word "and" should be inserted to cover that difficulty; and that the words which the hon. Gentleman has already down be left in, to make the matter proper for Northern Ireland. I must take objection to the Motion as it Stands.


There is another point. I have not the Standing Orders before me at the moment, but when we come to the next Amendment, apparently, it would be possible, in the case of a Bill affecting Scotland, to publish it in the Belfast "Gazette," and for a Bill affecting Northern Ireland to publish it in the Edinburgh "Gazette." I suggest that the hon. Gentleman wants to put in the words "as the case may be," or "respectively" to make it clear.


In view of the remarks which have been made, and the views expressed. I think it will be in accordance with the sense of the House if I do not press this Motion, but leave it over to the next Parliament. I, therefore, beg leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.