HC Deb 19 February 1948 vol 447 cc1465-6
Colonel Wheatley

I beg to move, in page 86, line 3, after "authorities," to insert: "or organisations."

I understood, when in Committee, that the Minister said he would look at this particular Clause again with a view to seeing if he could not meet the point which was raised in Committee. My right hon. and hon. Friends and I feel that the Clause is drawn too narrowly. I draw attention to the fact that it says not only that an authority "may make," but also assist in the making of arrangements. It seems to us that if we put in the words "or organisations," it, gives a local authority a chance to make use of various societies and organisations which may be in the area, and which may be found to be most useful, such as the Women's Voluntary Service, an archaeological society, or some such society as that, which would help in making these arrangements. I draw the attention of the House to the point that this is a purely permissive Clause. We can see no reason why the Minister should want to circumscribe the arrangements of the local authorities in this way. In fact, he has told us many times this afternoon that he wants to leave local authorities as free as possible. If he will accept this Amendment he will only be carrying out his own wishes in this matter.

10.15 p.m.

Mr. O. Poole

I beg to second the Amendment.

If the right hon. Gentleman will glance at column 565 of our deliberations in Committee he will see that when we discussed this point on that occasion he availed himself of the opportunity to give us some of the best and most amusing of his rhetoric that we have had so far. I must say that on that occasion it seemed that we were swept away by it, and it is only on maturer and calmer deliberation since that we have thought it necessary to put down this Amendment again. The right hon. Gentleman said that he would look at the matter again, and it is with that in view that I am seconding the Amendment.

Mr. Bevan

I have looked at this point again, and I find that my spontaneous inspiration is confirmed by sober reflection. The fact of the matter is that the term "organisation" is much too wide. It can cover almost anything. I am informed that the term "authorities" is perfectly adequate for the purpose, and will really meet all the requirements of the hon. and gallant Gentleman.

Amendment negatived.