HC Deb 06 May 1943 vol 389 cc402-3
The Solicitor-General for Scotland

I beg to move, in page 14, line 28, to leave out "Where," and to insert: The provisions of the Sixth Schedule to this Act shall apply to any inquiry held. This Amendment, and the Amendment which follows—in line 28, to leave out from "Act" to the end of the Clause—will, I feel sure, commend themselves to the Committee, particularly to my hon. Friends who represent Scottish constituencies. The Clause as it stands provides for the procedure at local inquiries, and makes reference to the detailed procedure set forth in an Act of Parliament which applies only to England. Accordingly, it anyone were holding a local inquiry, he would have to refer to this English Statute to find out the procedure. The object of the Amendment is to set up in a Schedule the procedure to be followed at these local inquiries, so that anyone wishing to ascertain the procedure will be able to look it up in the Schedule instead of going to an Act of Parliament which applies only south of the Tweed.

Mr. Buchanan

I can see the force of having this provision in the Bill, but hon. Members have complained all along that too little was in the Bill and too much was referred to other Statutes. I agree it is a simpler and handier method to have it in the Bill. I understand that it is the English Act which determines the procedure at the inquiry. That does not mean that it is bad; but is there not a form of inquiry in Scotland? What is the method now, and what is the objection to making the Act which covers present inquiries cover the inquiries under the Bill?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

The procedure for local inquiries in Scotland is rather out of date just now and really requires to be brought up to date. The hon. Member may be assured that, so far as any local inquiry becomes necessary under the Bill, the procedure will be up to date because it is to be set out in the Schedule. It corresponds, with certain exceptions, to the procedure detailed under the English Act of 1933, which is comparatively recent. By adopting, subject to certain modifications which are appropriate to the Bill, the proceedings set out in the 1933 English Act, we shall have a code for holding local inquiries under this Measure which will be very much more up to date than anything we have had in former inquiries.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 14, line 28, leave out from "Act" to the end of the Clause.—[The Solicitor-General for Scotland.]

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.