HC Deb 15 December 1936 vol 318 c2269
50. Mr. LEWIS

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he will arrange that, in future, when any Government Bill seeks to enact a provision by reference to any previous Act of Parliament, copies of the relevant sections of such Act of Parliament shall be circulated to Members at the same time as the text of the Bill is made available to Members?

The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Lieut.-Colonel Colville)

I would refer my hon. Friend to his question to me on 24th November and to my reply thereto. The alternative suggestion which he now puts forward has been carefully examined, but is found to be open to the same objections as his previous proposal. I regret, therefore, that I do not feel able to adopt it for the reasons given in my previous answer,


Does the Financial Secretary realise that if hon. Members take Government Bills home in order to study them they are quite unable to apprehend their meaning owing to the system of legislation by reference which makes it impossible for hon. Members to study Government Bills in their own homes with understanding?

Lieut.-Colonel COLVILLE

I have given careful thought to the suggestion and in fact the special printing of a collection of Sections would be even more expensive than the printing of a Bill.


Would it not be well that hon. Members should be able to understand a Bill? Is it not the purpose of the Government to prevent a misunderstanding of Bills?


Does the hon. and gallant Member think that but for the purposes of repeal it would be better to avoid the method of reference altogether?

Lieut.-Colonel COLVILLE

That is another question.