HC Deb 26 July 1935 vol 304 cc2192-3

Lords Amendment: In page 22, line 22, at the end, insert: (d) considering the operation of the enactments relating to housing and making to the Minister such representations with respect to matters of general concern arising in connection with the execution of those enactments as the Committee think desirable.

11.48 a.m.


I beg to move, as an Amendment to the Lords Amendment, at the beginning, to insert, "When requested by the Minister."

During the Committee stage of the Bill, we discussed whether the Central Housing Advisory Committee should be a body with a roving power, and with power to initiate matters in relation to housing. It was considered in some quarters that though they had power to advise the Minister they ought not to be busybodies wandering all over the place, but ought to confine themselves to their proper activities of giving advice to the Minister on matters upon which he needs advice. My impression is that the additional words have been inserted in another place in the interests of people who may be living in the hope that they will find themselves upon the Advisory Committee, when they could proceed to make themselves a nuisance to the Minister and to everybody else who might be unwise enough to appoint them. I very much hope that we shall not set up a roving commission of this kind.


I beg to second the Amendment to the Lords Amendment.

11.50 a.m.


I do not think my hon. Friend need have any apprehension about this matter. The new paragraph permits, and I think quite properly, the advisory body which is set up to advise the Minister, to brng forward suggestions on which they wound like to communicate and give advice to the Minister. The Minister is, of course, free to accept the advice or otherwise. In connection with the Post Office Advisory Body, for instance, I know that some little time ago that body had not the power to initiate matters in connection with the Post Office. It only had to consider matters which were referred to it and there was a good deal of dissatisfaction on the part of certain people because of that. I had experience of that body for three or four years, after such additional powers as are now proposed were given to them. They could initiate matters, discuss them and then ask the Minister to consider them. In my experience those powers never gave rise to the difficulty to which my hon. Friend has referred, and I hope that the proposal will not lead to any such difficulties in this connection. I hope that my hon. Friend will not insist further in his Amendment.

Amendment to Lords Amendment negatived.

Subsequent Lords Amendments to page 25, line 2, agreed to.