HC Deb 03 December 1948 vol 458 cc2315-6

11.10 a.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Younger)

I beg to move, in page 1, line 10, to leave out from "expedient," to "that," in line 11, and to insert: in connection with any of the following matters. I regret that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is not present. He has been unavoidably delayed, but he will be here before long. The first of these Amendments is really only a drafting Amendment to get rid of the phrase, to which objection was taken in Committee: for the effecting, or for facilitating the subsequent effecting, of any of the following purposes… My right hon. Friend agreed to try to find some suitable alternative and we hope that the House will think he has succeeded in so doing.

Mr. Osbert Peake (Leeds, North)

This Amendment to Clause 1 and the corresponding Amendment to Clause 2 are highly gratifying to the Opposition. They get rid of one of the most horrible pieces of draftsmanship I have ever seen during the whole of my Parliamentary experience. They produce a result precisely similar to that of the Amendments which we put down on Committee stage, and which we were then told could not possibly be accepted.

Mr. Charles Williams (Torquay)

I feel that some support should be given to my right hon. Friend. There is always a certain amount of suspicion with regard to any Government Amendment. These appalling words, which really are quite unnecessary and ought never to have got into the Bill, are quite rightly being eliminated at this time. I deprecate the fact that words of this kind were ever put into the Bill. They ought to have been eliminated long before now. I would ask the Patronage Secretary to make right hon. Members on the Government Front Bench appreciate that they must be more careful and observant in the drawing up of Bills, so that we are not called upon to work in this way on something which is unnecessary and ought never to have appeared in the Bill. I welcome the charming way in which the Under-Secretary put his case, and although we miss his right hon. Friend, I feel that the hon. Gentleman has fulfilled the duty no less adequately than his right hon. Friend would have done.

Amendment agreed to.