HC Deb 29 May 1934 vol 290 cc93-5

6.54 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 4, line 25, to leave out "in the opinion," and to insert, "within the knowledge."

I must apologise for these manuscript Amendments. The fact is that they were ready five minutes after the House had risen for the Whitsuntide Recess, but, owing to the arrangements in regard to printing, they do not appear on the Order Paper.

In this Sub-section it is provided that the board shall consist of a chairman and two other members and no person who is, in the opinion of the Minister, connected with the industry shall be a member of the board. Whether a man is or is not connected with the cotton industry is not a question of opinion, but a question of fact. Therefore, I suggest the acceptance of my Amendment.

6.55 p.m.


The hon. Member gave me notice of this manuscript Amendment. As the Bill stands, it is left within the discretion of the Minister to say what amounts to a connection with the industry, or not. The Subsection says: no person who is, in the opinion of the Minister, connected with the industry shall be a member of any such board. If the Amendment were accepted, the phrase in the Bill "connected with the industry" would become a matter of legal interpretation and we should have to go to the court to decide what interpretation should be placed upon those words. The Minister would have to go to court and give evidence as to what was or was not within his own knowledge. That is a position which the Minister cannot contemplate. Therefore, I hope that my hon. Friend will not press the Amendment.


I do not wish to press the Amendment, although I am not quite satisfied with my right hon. Friend's explanation. Surely, whether a man is or is not connected with the industry is a question of fact and not of opinion. Either he is connected with the industry or he is not. However, it is a small point, and I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

6.56 p.m.


I beg to move in page 5, line 7, to leave out "made on such an application," and to insert "under Section 4 of this Act."

The expression, "made on such an application" is intended, I understand, to refer to the word "joint." In that case it is not quite correct, because an application for revocation is not necessarily joint. It may be made by one or the other side. If hon. Members will refer to Clause 4 they will see that that is the case. Either of the organisations may make an application for revocation, and then the Minister shall take steps to revoke the Order. It seems to me that the expression, "made on such an application," is either incorrect in this Subsection or redundant.

6.57 p.m.


I hope that my hon. Friend will not press the Amendment. It is clear from Sub-section (5) that a copy of the report of a board appointed to consider a joint application for the making of an Order shall be sent to both organisations. The effect of my hon. Friend's Amendment, if it were accepted, would be that the words "the application" in line 9, would only refer to the word "application" in line 5 and not to that word and also to the word "application" in line 7, with regard to revocation. The Amendment, which is extremely technical, shows the inconvenience of asking the Committee to deal with manuscript Amendments on so technical a matter as this, of which no Member of the Committee except myself and the hon. Member who moved the Amendment has the slightest idea what it is about. I hope the Committee will take my word for it that the Amendment is one which I cannot recommend.

Amendment negatived.

Clause 6 (Administrative provisions), ordered to stand part of the Bill.