HC Deb 18 February 1948 vol 447 cc1186-7

Amendments made: In page 5, line 41, after "may," insert: subject to the provisions of this section.

In page 6, line 8, leave out from beginning, to "make," in line 9, and insert: (2) Before reducing any grant by virtue of this section, the Minister shall.

In line 11, at end, add: and he shall not make the reduction until the said report is approved by a resolution of the Commons House of Parliament."—(Mr. J. Edwards.)

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

Lieut.-Colonel Elliot

It will be agreed that this Clause has been greatly improved by the Amendments which have been made. These Amendments were put forward by us on the Committee stage, and I think that they commended themselves to the Committee. The reduction of a grant is a very serious thing. In fact, the real danger is that it is so powerful a weapon that the Minister can scarcely ever employ it. He certainly could not employ it without the full concurrence of the House. I think that the procedure adopted will greatly strengthen his hand in that he has to seek the prior approval of the House of Commons before bringing this very powerful engine into play. We are very grateful to the Minister for having made the Amendments.

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