HC Deb 07 July 1949 vol 466 cc2333-5
38. Mr. Eric Fletcher

asked the Minister of Health when he proposes to introduce the legislation recently announced to repeal the Local Government Boundary Commission Act.

Mr. Bevan

Very shortly.

Mr. Fletcher

Would the Minister assure us that the Boundary Commission will not be disbanded until the House has had an opportunity of considering the matter?

Mr. Bevan

The Boundary Commission cannot be disbanded until the House of Commons has given me the statutory right to disband it. It is, of course, at the moment in suspense

Mr. Lipson

What is to happen to some of the recommendations of the Boundary Commission? Is the Minister still prepared to give favourable consideration to them?

Mr. Bevan

The very valuable report of the Boundary Commission will, of course, be put before the Government in their review of the reform of local government.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Will my right hon. Friend impress upon his right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council the desirability of our having a general Debate on this subject before the House rises for the Recess?

Mr. Bevan

I am sure that my right hon. Friend heard that supplementary question.

Mrs. Middleton

Will the Minister tell the House what he proposes to do about the urgent priority recommendations of the Boundary Commission which in several cases have been curtailed considerably.

Mr. Bevan

When I made the original statement on this matter, I said that the statutory position would revert to what it was before the Act setting up the Commission was passed by the House. I also explained that in my view the procedure for obtaining relief by local authorities would be more expeditious under Private Bill legislation than under the Boundary Commission.

44. Mr. Granville Sharp

asked the Minister of Health what has been the approximate cost to date of the Local Government Boundary Commission set up in 1945; what value has been derived from this expenditure and that of the local authorities which have given evidence to the Commission; whether recommendations made to date will be made public; and, when amalgamation recommendations are approved by the local authorities concerned, what steps he proposes to take to enable the cost and delay of Private Bill procedure to be avoided.

Mr. Bevan

The approximate cost of the Local Government Boundary Commission up to 30th June last was £140,000. The value of this expenditure is reflected in the annual reports of the Commissioners and in the information which they and the local authorities have gathered. As regards the third part of the Question, the recommendations made by the Commission have been published in their reports and in their statements of proposals, and, as regards the fourth part, Private Bill procedure is governed by the Standing Orders of the Houses of Parliament, but certain alterations of area may under the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1933, which it is proposed to restore, be made by Ministerial order, subject in some cases to confirmation by Parliament.

Mr. Sharp

Does the reply mean that the recommendations which they have already decided upon, and which have not yet been published, will be published?

Mr. Bevan

I understand that they have made their final report.