HC Deb 11 April 1930 vol 237 cc2600-4

Order for Consideration of Lords Amendments read.

Motion made, and Question, "That the Lords Amendments be now considered," put, and agreed to.—[Mr. W. Adamson.]

Lords Amendments considered accordingly.

CLAUSE 3.—(Schemes for drainage works.)

Lords Amendment: In page 6, line 1, leave out from the beginning to the word "to."

The SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. William Adamson)

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


May I ask the Minister for an explanation of this most important point? None of us is quite certain what it means. Would the right hon. Gentleman be so kind as to tell us what he is doing in this matter? Then we should be able to get at him.

Lords Amendment: In line 2, after the word "lands" insert: in respect of the estimated cost of carrying out the scheme and of maintaining the works.


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


If the Minister did not know anything about the last Amendment, may I ask him if he will be able to give an explanation of this one? [Interruption.] We have a right to know what we are doing.


This is one of a series of Amendments, and it is designed to make it obligatory for a sheriff to direct that operations to be carried out are carried out under the supervision of a man of skill.

Lords Amendment: In line 27, after the word "proportions" insert: as may be fixed in any agreement made by the parties and confirmed by the Department or, failing such agreement.


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


Will the right hon. Gentleman give an explanation, because I believe that last time he gave the wrong one. I shall be obliged if he will give the right one on this particular Amendment.


That is a most insulting remark, because I am positive that the hon. Gentleman, the Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams) knows nothing about the Bill.

Subsequent Lords Amendment to line 38 agreed to.

Lords Amendment: In page 8, line 24, after the word "shall" insert: in so far as such cost does not exceed the estimated cost of maintenance specified in the scheme.


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


I ought to point out to the House that this imposes a charge on the public funds.


May we know the extent of the charge? Before the House of Commons passes a charge upon the public funds, we ought to have an explanation from the Minister as to what expenditure is likely to be involved; otherwise, our proceedings become farcical.


I had some interest in this Bill upstairs, and I want to ask if it in any way affects the proportion of taxation which is paid in this country and in Scotland? Does it in any way give Scotsmen an additional benefit beyond the eleven-eightieths to which they are entitled? I ask that as an Englishman representing an English constituency. Every hon. Member, except the Scottish Members, will realise that on these occasions great charges are often put upon English taxpayers by the Scottish taxpayers, and it is about time we stopped putting burdens on people who cannot afford them as well as Scottish people can. What will this particular financial charge be, and what proportion will fall entirely on Scottish shoulders?


Before the right hon. Gentleman replies may I ask him to say if it is not a fact that a very considerable subsidy from the Scottish taxpayers comes to this side of the Border?


The increased cost will be shown in the financial memorandum to the Bill, but as I am advised at the moment it may be nothing. It is not expected in any case that it will be a large cost and it may not increase the cost at all. I hope that will satisfy the hon. Member.


A Note will be made in the Journals of the House recording that this Amendment raises the question of Privilege.

Remaining Lords Amendment agreed to.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3.

Adjourned at Six Minutes before Four o'Clock until Monday next, 14th April.