HC Deb 28 July 1930 vol 242 cc67-70

Nothing in this Act shall be taken to authorise any person to execute any works or do anything in contravention of the provisions of the Ancient Monuments (Consolidation and Amendment) Act, 1913.—[Dr. Addison.]

Brought up, and read the First time.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

4.0 p.m.

It is proposed to insert this Clause to bring the law into line as regards Crown and other property, to secure that nothing shall be done under this Bill to affect ancient monuments which are in charge of the First Commissioner of Works without the consent of the First Commissioner. It is purely a formal matter.


I would like some information about this proposed new Clause, which the right hon. Gentleman said he is moving so as to protect the position of the First Commissioner of Works. It is a little curious that the First Commissioner is not here to protect his own Commissioners. The point, however, that I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to answer is this: In the event of some ancient monuments being in such a position that land drainage cannot be effected under the Bill, what is the procedure that will then take place? It is quite conceivable that one of these ancient monuments, which all of us wish to preserve, might really be standing in the way of carrying out some of the Clauses of the Bill. I think that the House has every right to some explanation as to what proceedings will take place in such a case. I feel sure that if we could have some clear explanation, it would be possible for the House to pass the Clause as it stands, but unless the Government are prepared to give us some explanation, I do not see why they should have a Clause when, although the right hon. Gentleman says there is nothing in it, it may be conceivable that there is some necessity for some means of getting round this particular case. I do not think there is any further point I wish to raise on this Clause, but I do press for an answer to the point I have put.


By the leave of the House, I would say that in Clause 77 of the Bill the same provision is contained with regard to property in possession of the Crown. In this particular case, seeing that the First Commissioner of Works is charged with the custody and maintenance of these monuments, quite clearly a drainage authority should not proceed to endanger such monuments until they have consulted with the First Commissioner of Works. It is only that his consent should be obtained, and, seeing that he is in charge of these monuments, it is only reasonable that he should be made aware of what is proposed to be done.

Question, "That the Clause be read a Second time," put, and agreed to. Clause added to the Bill.


The next Amendment I select is that in the name of the Minister, on Clause 2.


May I respectfully ask why the new Clause standing in my name and the names of other hon. Members—(Land Drainage Appeal Tribunal)—is not called? If it is not in order, may I have some direction from you as to how I could obtain the discussion of this matter, seeing that it is one of very great importance, and, naturally, one does not wish to attempt in any way to proceed in any but an orthodox manner.


It is not usual for the Speaker to give reasons why he does not select any Amendment. In this particular case the Clause is out of order, because it creates a charge, and a charge cannot be created on the Report stage.


Should I be in order at a later stage in moving the re-committal of the Bill in order to get a discussion, and at what time would you rule that I should make that Motion?


I do not think that it would be at all suitable procedure.


My only course then, I take it, would be to speak on the Third Reading against the Bill, and to raise the question of the omission of certain things from the Bill?


It is quite an unusual procedure for the Speaker to give advice as to how and when Members should raise various questions. My time would be more than fully occupied if that were the customary procedure.


Would it not be perfectly possible for the hon. Member to put himself in order by throwing the charge for this appeal court on to the ratepayers, as everything else in this Bill is thrown?


On the Report stage, we cannot put any charge on the ratepayers which was not there already. The right hon. and gallant Gentleman will find that that will affect very seriously some of the Amendments he has on the Order Paper.


This matter was discussed very fully in Committee, and there was no suggestion then that it was out of order. If the Bill be re-committed, would it be in order for us again to deal with it?


I think it would be a wrong process to re-commit the Bill. The proposal has been already very fully discussed in Committee, and I should deprecate the procedure of again fully discussing the matter on Report. That would be rather an abuse of the procedure of the Report stage.

Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

I see that there is a notice on the Order Paper in the name of the Minister of Agriculture to re-commit the Bill to a Committee of the Whole House. If that Motion be carried, would it be in order for us to move this Clause when the Bill is re-committed?


The hon. and gallant Member will realise that the notice which the Minister of Agriculture gave was to re-commit the Bill with regard to Clauses that are already in the Bill. In this ease the Clause could not possibly be recommitted without a fresh Money Resolution. This is not a Clause which is now in the Bill, and I do not see how the Bill could be re-committed in respect of it.

Lieut.- Colonel ACLAND - TROYTE

When the Money Resolution was passed, this Clause was in the Bill—Clause 53.


That does not make the smallest difference. It is not in the Bill now; that is the point.


Would it be in order to discuss the principle of this Clause on the Third Reading?


It certainly would not be in order to discuss anything that is not in the Bill. I think the proceedings show it to be advisable to follow the usual procedure and for me not to give reasons for the selection or otherwise of new Clauses or Amendments on the Report stage.