HC Deb 24 May 1939 vol 347 cc2439-41

The Minister may, by agreement with the council of any county, county borough, or county district, delegate to the council all or any of his functions under Sections thirty-five and thirty-six of this Act, and, where such functions are so delegated, the council shall act as agents for the Minister in the discharge of those functions and the Minister shall repay to the council the cost of their so acting.—[Mr. Ede.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Ede

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

This is another matter in which the Minister might be assisted if, in certain cases, this work is done by the authority.

10.7 p.m.

Mr. Elliot

The suggestion is that the Minister might delegate some of the functions under Sections 35 and 36 of the Act. We think that, in dealing with the industrial processes which involve flame and glare, as we have the collaboration of the Iron and Steel Federation and the Coke-ovens Association, it is perhaps better that we should work under the factory inspectors rather than under the local authorities. In working under the factory inspectors we get uniformity. I am very anxious to meet the hon. Member as far as possible, and there are several proposals which he is to bring forward upon which I hope to meet him, but I hope he will not be disappointed in our not being able to meet him on this occasion. Clause 36 deals with camouflage, which is a highly technical subject, and I think it would be a pity to entrust that to the lay officials of the local authorities. As I have said, we desire to meet the hon. Member and hope to do so on other Clauses, and I hope that he will not find it necessary to press this Clause.

Mr. Ede

I recognise the great experience of the Government in camouflage, and for that reason I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Clause.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

10.9 p.m.

Mr. Ede

I wish to ask leave to move the Clause standing in my name in an amended form, and I believe that it will be for the convenience of the Committee if I am allowed to do so.

The Chairman

I cannot allow the hon. Member at this stage to move the Clause in another form. The hon. Member must wait until we have disposed of the other Clauses.

Mr. Ede

I regret that my worst suspicions have been confirmed by you, Sir Dennis. However, I understand that the Minister is willing, if I move the Clause in the form in which it appears on the Paper so as to avoid all complications, to make a statement with regard to it. This, I think, will expedite the business of the Committee. Therefore, with your permission, Sir Dennis, and with that of the Committee, I will move the Clause in the form in which it appears on the Paper.