HC Deb 18 October 1944 vol 403 cc2435-6

2.3 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel Dower

I beg to move, in page 21, line 29, leave out "twenty-one," and insert "twenty-eight."

This Amendment has reference to the Debate in Committee on extending the period under which it is possible to appeal against the validity of an Order. My right hon. Friend then said that he was prepared to accept an extension from 21 days to 28 within which to make an appeal. I think that 28 days is the very minimum; many people think it should be six weeks.

Sir J. Mellor

I beg to second the Amendment.

2.4 p.m.

Mr. Silkin

I should not have had any objection to this Amendment but for the fact that the Minister has already given way on so many others that, in the aggregate, the amount of time which will be lost will be very great. Obviously it is difficult to say that 21 days is right and 28 days wrong, or that 42 days is right and something else wrong. It is difficult to argue about these things in terms of so many days, but we have to look at the whole picture. The picture which is now presented is this: First, there is an advertisement of the intention of a local authority to proceed. At least two months' notice is given, and the Minister has just said that he hopes the notice will be longer. Then there are the advertisements of the scheme itself and a period of not less than 28 days in which to put in objections. Then there will normally be a public inquiry and everyone who has a right to be heard will be. Then the Order will be made, and, after all that, a person who considers that the Order has been improperly made has a right to go to the High Court. I should have thought that, taking all these things together, 21 days would be sufficient in this Clause. I beg the Minister not to give way any more and to keep the time to 21 days.

2.6 p.m.

Mr. H. Strauss

I do not think my hon. Friend the Member for Peckham (Mr. Silkin) is giving sufficient weight to what we said in Committee and what we have done in other passages in the Bill. There are good precedents for six weeks. There is also one precedent for 21 days, but the period that, on the whole, commended itself to the House in Committee was 28 days as a general compromise. From the point of view of the working of a local authority, it is not convenient to have a lot of different time limits scattered about the Bill. As we have made the period of notice generally 28 days, it is convenient that the same period should be inserted here.

Amendment agreed to.