HC Deb 19 December 1941 vol 376 cc2225-6

Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [18lh December]: That the Grand Union Canal Company be relieved from the obligation to promote not later than the Session of 1946 a Bill to consolidate the Acts relating to the several parts of their undertaking and the obligation to promote not later than the Session of 1944 an Amending Bill with a view to facilitating the task of consolidation, being obligations to which the Company are subject by virtue of a promise given in the proceedings before the Committee to which the Regent's Canal and Dock Company (Grand Junction Canal. Purchase) Bill was referred in the year 1928 as varied by Resolutions passed by this House on the 12th day of July, 1932, the 27th day of July, 1937, and the 27th day of June, 1940.

Question again proposed.

Mr. Mander (Wolverhampton, East)

Up to the time when the discussion upon this Motion ended yesterday the Chairman of Ways and Means had not given us any reply to the points which had been put to him, and I feel that some further explanation of the position is necessary. If a company are under an obligation to pass a consolidating Act, that is a good thing in itself, and there must be some adequate reason for releasing them from the obligation in peace-time. I quite understand that in war-time there would be no desire to press them to do it, but the Motion would absolve them from the necessity of doing it at any time in the future. The Chairman of Ways and Means said yesterday: The reason why the request is made depends to some extent on the war situation, but not entirely so. He went on to say: I am fully satisfied that it is quite impracticable for this to be done, at any rate during the war period. I am satisfied also, though there might be differences of opinion on it, that it will really be impracticable for them to do it even after the war."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th December, 1941; col. 2057, Vol. 376.] So it does appear that there is some doubt whether after the war it would be possible for the company to pass a consolidating Act, and if there is any possibility of their doing so, I should have thought it was a right and proper thing for the House to insist upon that obligation being carried out.

The Chairman of Ways and Means (Sir Dennis Herbert)

I did not say anything about this in formally moving the Motion yesterday, because I made the only statement which it was practicable to make in the time which was available. I understood the Motion would be objected to, and, as the hon. Member knows, if objection is taken to a Motion, it cannot be considered at this time.

Ordered, "That the Debate be now adjourned."—[Chairman of Ways and Means.]

Debate to be resumed upon the second Sitting Day after 18th January.