§ Order for Second Reading read.
The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Sir Philip Cunliffe Lister)
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
This is purely a Consolidation Bill. It consolidates the Act which was passed last year, and all the preceding Companies Acts. It has been before a Joint Committee of both Houses, who have reported that it is purely a Consolidation Bill, and it comes to us with that certificate. In 1272 moving the Second Reading, I feel that it will be in accord with the wish of the whole House that a tribute should be paid to the Parliamentary draftsmen. When we consider the magnitude of the Bill and the fact that it represents about as difficult a piece of consolidation as any Parliamentary draftsman could be called upon to produce, and when we remember that this work has had to be undertaken at the same time as a great deal of other work in connection with many complicated Bills, that the Bill has passed the vigilant and careful scrutiny of the Joint Committee, and that the Joint Committee are able to present a unanimous Report that the Bill is a perfect piece of consolidation, it will be recognised how great a debt we owe, in all quarters of the House, to the Parliamentary draftsmen.
§ Mr. KELLY
A number of my hon. Friends were somehow or other informed that the Second Reading of this Bill was not to be taken to-day, and, under that impression, they are now fulfilling certain other engagements which they had been endeavouring to put off. I want to mention that in order that it may be understood in case any complaint is made because of the absence of certain individuals who might have intended to say a word or two on this Bill.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I am sure that no one would dream of making any complaint. I am perfectly certain that it is the desire of the whole House that this Measure should proceed as expeditiously as possible.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read a Second time.
§ Bill committed to a Committee of the Whole House for Monday next, 29th April.—[Sir P. Cunliffe-Lister.]
§ The remaining Government Orders were read, and postponed.