HC Deb 03 June 1932 vol 266 cc1477-8

As amended (in the Standing Committee) considered.


May I ask for your guidance, Sir, on. a point of Order. I have always been given to understand that the object of sending Bills to Standing Committee was to relieve the House of work. We are now faced on the Report stage of a Bill with a large number of new Clauses, new Schedules and Amendments. May I ask whether the Standing Committees are really for the purpose of relieving the House of a vast amount of work, and what is the position if we are to go on having an immense amount of work put on to our shoulders on the Report stage in this way.


The hon. Member is quite right. The Committee stage of a Bill is a stage in which Amendments are put into the Bill. The Order Paper would lead me to think that some of them, at least were not considered in Committee, but were left over to the Report stage. For my own sake, I should be very glad if it were otherwise; it is undesirable that so much should be put on to the Report stage, and is a practice that we ought not to encourage.


May I take it that it is clear that there should be a general endeavour on the part of Standing Committees upstairs to get as much of the amending of the Bill done as is humanly possible. Am I correct in thinking that that is right?


The Report stage should be one on which we should do what has been left over from the Committee.


May I say as a member of the Committee that one consistently urged that too much should not be left over till the Report stage, but the Government took the attitude that many drafting amendments would be required, and that is the reason why they were left over.

The MINISTER of HEALTH (Sir Hilton Young)

Perhaps I may offer a word of explanation. It is recognised, of course, that in normal cases the maximum of work that can be done should be completed on the Committee stage. In the case of this Bill, as the hon. Member knows—we had the advantage of his attendance in a Committee of which he was not a member—there were very exceptional circumstances. This Bill was introduced in conditions which made it seem right to me—I certainly do not in the least apologise for it—to take the fullest possible advantage of the discussions in order to obtain the best possible Bill. The reason why so much is left for final formulation at the Report stage is simply this. This is a new sphere of legislation in which there is very little precedent. It is a matter of the greatest possible intricacy and difficulty to find a satisfactory and correct draft. I believe it would not have been in the interest of good legislation, and it would not really have saved the time of the House, to rush matters rapidly in Committee, and I believe we have saved the time of the House in the long run, in addition to making for better legislation, by taking a little longer time to consider the actual words and putting them down on Report.


Of course, I do not impute blame to anyone, and I fully accept the right hon. Gentleman's explanation in all its details. It is essential that the House should give careful consideration particularly where there are no precedents.

  1. NEW CLAUSE.—(Application of betterment as capital.) 334 words
  2. cc1479-80
  3. NEW CLAUSE.—(Consultation of Commissioners of Works as to schemes affecting certain buildings.) 229 words
  4. cc1480-4
  5. NEW CLAUSE,—(Limitation of street work Charges). 1,492 words
  6. cc1484-9
  7. NEW CLAUSE.—(Provision as to the Preservation of Trees). 2,240 words
  8. cc1489-90
  9. CLAUSE 2,—(Local authority for purposes of Act). 171 words
  10. c1490
  11. CLAUSE 3.—(Appointment of joint Committees). 32 words
  12. cc1490-515
  13. CLAUSE 6.—(Preparation or Adoption of Schemes.) 9,877 words, 1 division
  14. cc1515-6
  15. CLAUSE 7.—(Notices in relation to the making of, or under, schemes.) 269 words
  16. cc1516-27
  17. CLAUSE 8.—(Approval, validity, coming into effect, variation and revocation of schemes.) 4,503 words, 1 division
  18. c1527
  19. CLAUSE 9.—(Supplementary schemes for areas comprised in regional schemes). 41 words
  20. cc1527-45
  21. CLAUSE 10.—(Interim development orders). 6,903 words
  22. cc1545-7
  23. CLAUSE 11.—(Contents of schemes, and authorities respossible for enforcing them.) 748 words
  24. cc1547-52
  25. CLAUSE 12.—(Provisions in schemes with respect to buildings and building operations.) 1,757 words
  26. c1552
  27. CLAUSE 13.—(Power to enforce and carry into effect schemes.) 38 words
  28. c1552
  29. CLAUSE 14.—(Supplementary orders.) 41 words
  30. cc1552-3
  31. CLAUSE 15.—(General development orders.) 238 words
  32. cc1553-5
  33. CLAUSE 16.—(Power to permit building operations pending the coming into operation of a general development order.) 884 words
  34. cc1555-61
  35. CLAUSE 17.—(Power to make orders for preservation of certain buildings.) 2,406 words
  36. cc1561-2
  37. CLAUSE 18.—(Provisions as to compensation for injurious affection, etc.) 93 words
  38. cc1562-4
  39. CLAUSE 19.—(Power of Minister to exclude compensation in certain classes of cases.) 830 words