HC Deb 15 June 1934 vol 290 cc2106-8

2.39 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 39, line 46, at the end, to insert: (7) If any undertakers or non-statutory undertakers or any local authority think themselves aggrieved by any prescription of the Board of Trade made under thi6 section, they may, within twenty-one days of the making of the prescription, notify the Board in writing of their objection thereto and thereupon the Board (unless they modify the prescription to the satisfaction of the objectors) shall refer the objection to the arbitration of a competent and impartial person to be appointed for the purpose by the Lord Chancellor, and that person may confirm, with or without modification, or annul the prescription, and his decision, after considering any representations made by the objectors or by the Board in writing and if requested by either of them to do so, after hearing the objectors and the representatives of the Board, shall be final and conclusive. (8) Any decision of a person appointed by the Lord Chancellor as aforesaid purporting to have been signed by him shall for all purposes and to all intents be primâ facie evidence of the due making and signing thereof without proof of such signature. At present under Section 6, Sub-section (1) of the Gas Regulation Act, 1920, there is an appeal to the chief gas examiner by the undertaker or local authority against the prescription of the gas referees. This Sub-section is repealed by the Bill as on 1st January, 1935, when the office of chief gas examiner is abolished. The Board understand that no appeal under that Sub-section has ever been made. While they agree that the gas industry may think it desirable that there should be an appeal against prescriptions made by the Board of Trade, the Board feel doubtful whether a specific appeal would be useful to the industry as the best means of moving a Government Department. The Board feel that the only authority to appoint someone to hear an appeal should be the Lord Chancellor, who would undoubtedly appoint a person of legal qualifications with or without knowledge of the particular scientific nature required by the circumstances of the appeal which he is appointed to hear. The gas industry desire to press for an appeal, and this Amendment is accordingly moved. In effect, it revives on the 1st January, 1939, the present appeal, and enables a gas undertaker or local authority to appeal to a, person appointed by the Lord Chancellor against a prescription made by the Board of Trade. Between 1st January, 1935, and 1st January, 1939, there will be no appeal against a prescription made by the gas referee.

Amendment agreed to.

2.41 p.m.


I beg to move, That the Bill be re-committed to a Committee of the whole House in respect of the Clause on the Notice Paper in the name of Secretary Sir Godfrey Collins.

The Clause in question was put down by the hon. Member for Woodbridge (Mr. Ross Taylor) on the Committee stage, but it was not in a form which we could accept and was not moved. Since then we have conferred, and we have adjusted the Clause. It was put down on the Paper on Report stage, but it was not competent to move it at that stage. I, therefore, move that the Bill be recommitted so that we may get this Clause in.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill accordingly considered in Committee.

[Sir DENNIS HERBERT in the Chair.]