That the Lords Message [25th April] communicating the Resolution, 'That it is desirable that in the present Session all Consolidation Bills and all Bills for re-enacting in the form in which they apply to Scotland the provisions of an existing Statute be referred to a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament,' be considered."—[Mr. R. J. Taylor.]
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth concur with the Lords in the said Resolution."—[Mr. R. J. Taylor.]
§ 11.33 a.m.
§ Mr. Charles Williams (Torquay)
May I ask someone to give a short explanation of what this is all about. We ought not to take everything "on the nod."
§ The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Ede)
It is very unfair of the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams) to come here, all fresh, to raise this point this morning, when we have been here all night trying to carry on the Business of the day. I am surprised that one so well acquainted with the Procedure of this House should be so ignorant of this particular matter.
§ Mr. Ede
I know that the hon. Member is not ignorant of the matter, and therefore nothing I have to say will be any revela- 771 tion to him. When there is a Consolidation Bill which puts existing Statutes dealing with a particular subject relating to England, Wales or Scotland into one Measure, for the convenience of those who have to administer the law, it is usual for a Joint Committee of the Lords and Commons to be set up so that the new Bill can be examined to see that it is a Consolidation Measure and does not introduce by a subterfuge any new principle or practice into law. That appears to me to be a very convenient arrangement. It enables this work to be done with reasonable expedition. It is not new legislation. This method has great advantages for the people who have to read and to administer the law. This Resolution from another place indicates that they are desirous that such a Committee should be set up to deal with certain Measures relating to Scotland. I hesitate to speak on any legislative matters which are concerned with Scotland alone, and I am therefore greatly relieved that the detailed work on this Measure will be done by a Joint Committee who can refer to us the results of their deliberations.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Message to the Lords to acquaint them therewith.