HC Deb 25 July 1950 vol 478 cc313-28

Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed on Consideration of Bill, as amended [20th July]:

Which Amendment was: in page 13, line 6, to leave out subsection (5).—[Mr. MacColl]

Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

7.2 p.m.

Wing Commander Hulbert (Stockport, North)

The two issues involved in this Bill are quite short but they concern a question of principle, and some remarks which I shall make were made in this House during the consideration of the South Shields Bill. Consideration of the Bill has already been objected to on the ground that it is sought to leave out the Section dealing with compensation for part-time officers employed by the authority consequential upon the Gloucester boundary extensions.

The first matter to which I would refer is a personal one affecting the clerk to the justices of the petty sessional division concerned, whose name is Mr. Vowles. After dealing with that matter, I will deal with the principle included in this Clause of the Bill. Mr. Vowles has held the office of clerk to the justices for nearly 24 years. One of the conditions governing his appointment was that he was not required to devote his whole time to his office, and in fact he did not do so. When this Bill was first promoted Mr. Vowles presented a petition to this House to be heard either himself, or through counsel, against the Bill; but as a result of negotiations with Mr. Vowles, his petition was withdrawn. It was withdrawn by a communication sent to him by the authority in these terms: Subject to the approval of Parliament and to Mr. Vowles withdrawing his petition against and not further opposing the Bill, we undertake to see that the Amendment which we are now discussing is included in the Bill.

That is the basic principle involved so far as Mr. Vowles is concerned. I would say that this personal issue unfortunately no longer applies, because, owing to ill health, this gentleman has had to resign his appointment. But the principle remains, and if we come to a state of society where an authority gives a solemn undertaking to a man to pay him compensation, and it can be written off and treated as a scrap of paper at the suggestion of a Minister, it will be a very sad time indeed for men and women employed in the public service.

The Committee decided quite properly, as was their right, to retain the Clause in the Bill making it possible for the officer concerned to receive that compensation. It was at this stage of the proceedings that the Minister of Health first made his intentions known, by saying that if this Clause to which he objected was retained in the Bill, he would oppose the Bill on further consideration on the Floor of this House. That is the reason why important public Business has been interrupted tonight to deal with this issue.

I consider that the House has every right to protest against the way the Minister has endeavoured to treat the promoters of this Bill. The controversial Clause was carefully considered by the Private Committee of this House appointed to deal with the Bill. Just because the Minister, in a moment if pique, decides that he does not like the decision to which the Committee came, he has come here tonight to dispute it and to endeavour by a Parliamentary majority to get the decision of the Committee reversed. I think all sides of the House will share the view that if a Committee is appointed to deal with a Bill, due weight should be given to the findings of that Committee; and that it is quite wrong for a Minister to use a Parliamentary majority of the Government to vary the decision of that Committee.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Mr. Blenkinsop)

May I interrupt the hon. and gallant Member merely to say that I assume he knew of the decision of this House on the same matter in regard to another Bill.

Wing Commander Hulbert

With respect, an unopposed Bill in this House is, I believe, not bound by a decision of this House in any way whatever, and therefore the interruption of the hon. Gentleman seems to be quite irrelevant.

There is another matter to which I would refer, and it is no carping criticism of the Minister of Health; it is that the right hon. Gentleman or his Parliamentary Secretary got other hon. Members to oppose the Bill instead of coming and putting forward their views themselves. But I am very glad to see that the Parliamentary Secretary is present tonight and I understand that if he catches your eye, Mr. Speaker, he will deal with this matter.

Clause 35, which is the offending Clause, gives the right of compensation to all existing officers under the Crown or in the local government service at the time of the change-over to receive com- pensation as laid down in other Acts. The difficulty so far as justices' clerks are concerned it that they are, I believe, in about 75 per cent. of the cases, only part-time officers. The argument used against compensating workers of any grade is that they have some alternative employment. But surely, if we agree that whole-time workers suffer financial loss in the change-over, then so far as part-time workers are concerned the only difference must be that their loss is comparatively less. Because it is comparatively less seems little or no reason to allow them to be cast aside and to have to busy themselves in finding some alternative way of making up the part-time remuneration which they formerly received.

In the provisions under the 1948 Act, there is a stipulation that there should be a two-yearly review of compensation in the light of possible alternative employment that may have been found. If this is regarded as a sufficient safeguard for whole-time employees, why is it considered insufficient in the case of part-time employees? In both cases they work to the best of their ability in the public service. In fact, those who offer their services in a part-time capacity certainly are making a contribution to the economy of the public service.

The objection to the Amendment is that it would penalise former employees who, on account of the small areas in which they have been working, have in the past given their services at comparatively small remuneration on a half-time basis. Consider for a moment the cost to local authorities had all their part-time officers been remunerated on a whole-time basis. These people should be praised and rewarded rather than blamed and penalised for what they have done for the authority to whom they have given such generous service. If the subsection is being opposed on the ground of economy, it is regrettable; this quibbling over so small an amount would be a bad beginning for Government economy in view of present conditions.

Another point which will arise if the Minister gets his way is the insecurity of officers. If a man renders good service to the public, surely he is entitled to think that he will receive reward for that work and that he will not be cast out on the streets through no fault of his own because the authority for which he is working seeks to extend its boundaries.

I understand that the number of people who would be affected by the subsection probably is not more than 500. I hope, therefore, that both the hon. and learned Member for Gloucester (Mr. Turner-Samuels) and the Parliamentary Secretary will not oppose what I am saying and thereby will help to give a just reward to a few hundred people who would suffer very badly by the deletion of the subsection.

My third point is concerned with the legal question of the definition of "employment." A justices' clerk or other employee of the justices does not fall under the category of officers who are eligible for compensation; he is employed by the justices themselves and is paid by them. It will be within the recollection of the House that when Part III of the Justices of the Peace Act of last year comes into operation, those people will continue to be employed by the magistrates' court. That is a serious defect, but this is not the time to refer to it.

I very much hope that the Minister will be able to meet the points which I have made. I really cannot see how his Department can differentiate on an issue such as this between people who were employed full-time and those who were only part-time employees. We have before us the instance of compensation being paid to an officer of a Government Department during the last few weeks—and compensation at a very high rate. I hope that the Minister's reply will be satisfactory and that it will not be necessary for my hon. Friends and myself to divide the House.

7.16 p.m.

Mr. Turner-Samuels (Gloucester)

As the House well knows, I have the honour to represent the ancient and honourable city of Gloucester which at present is so very prosperous as a result of the policy of the Labour Government. On the particular matter which is now before the House, I am sorry that I have to disappoint the hon. and gallant Member for Stockport, North (Wing Commander Hulbert). My instructions, from the Gloucester City Council, are that they are quite prepared to accept the Bill with Clause 35, having subsection (5) excluded from that Clause. That means, in other words, that as far as the Bill is concerned, any claim under it for part-time compensation goes.

The Bill is a very modest one. It merely seeks to add a further 700 acres by way of extension to the present boundaries of the City of Gloucester. Having regard to its present prosperity and development, that area is really too small for the pressing and immediate needs of the city. The land is required for housing, schools, sewerage, roads and—

Mr. Speaker

The purpose of the Bill cannot be discussed. We are discussing subsection (5) of a particular Clause.

Mr. Turner-Samuels

There is no person who will be prejudiced by the exclusion of subsection (5), which was really intended to cover the justices' clerk concerned. Whilst it is true that the subsection includes also other persons such as the assistant clerk, the collecting clerk of the justices, and the Secretary of the local licensing planning committee, there is in fact not one person who can or will be affected by the exclusion from the Bill of the subsection. Mr. Vowles, the clerk to the justices in question, has resigned from that office, and, therefore, it is clear that no one now remains who can possibly be affected by any question or claim of part-time compensation. The controversy over Clause 35 of the Bill is, therefore, very artificial and is really dead so far as concerns the possibility of anyone benefiting from it if the provision remained.

It has been said by the hon. and gallant Member for Southport, North, that the Gloucester City Council were wrong in first of all intimating to Mr. Vowles that they would include his claim and now going back on that undertaking. That assertion can hardly be substantiated, however, in view of what has happened. In any case, the City Council must submit to the principle of compensation which is involved in this particular matter; that is to say, there can be no doubt that for some years, in many public as well as in private Acts, the claim for part-time compensation has been excluded.

The recent South Shields Bill and the Derby Bill, for example, excluded any claim for part-time compensation. The Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, the recent Transport Act, the Gas Act, the Electricity Act and even the Justices of the Peace Act excluded this principle of part-time compensation. In addition, it has been excluded as regards transfers of local government officers under the National Health Act, the National Assistance Act, 1946, the Children Act and the River Boards Act—all in 1948. It is perfectly clear that the whole modern trend has been not to accept claims for part-time compensation and a substantial practice has grown up, in that respect, excluding all such claims.

Dr. Hill (Luton)

Would the hon. and learned Gentleman say whether it is a fact that the Local Government Act, 1933, still on the Statute Book, provides for the compensation of part-time officers?

Mr. Turner-Samuels

The hon. Member is very impatient I am coming to that point. It is going to be an observation of mine that that Section ought to have been repealed. It is clear that Clause 35 of this Gloucester Extension Bill accepts the principle of whole-time compensation only, with the exception of one small matter that is in subsection (5) and which relates only to the handful of people I have already mentioned. Therefore, this attempt now to insist upon subsection (5) is really an effort to impose upon the Bill an absolute contradiction because Clause 35, with the exception of subsection (5), sets out, more or less in conformity with the Local Government Compensation Regulations of 1948, the identical principle there established. To subjoin to that provision the exclusion from it of one or two people is a most objectionable form of discrimination and cannot be supported.

The hon. Member for Luton (Dr. Hill) has referred to Section 150 of the 1933 Act. That Section is still law and it is correct to point out that the provisions of that particular Section do include part-time local government officers for compensation as there provided. It does not say so in express terms, but it does not expressly exclude it, and I think it is clear that the language of the Section does plainly include it, as far as purposes of compensation are concerned on the extension of boundaries, or the transfer of functions. One thing such an officer has to do is to prove that he has suffered pecuniary loss. If he satisfies that condition his claim has to be considered.

But Section 150 pays no regard whatever to length of service, the age of the claimant, or to the earning capacity of the claimant. The House will realise that there have been many changes since 1933. The world has moved quite a long way since then and this question of compensation and the merits of the question of compensation have also moved with it. In the meantime, a Treasury working party have looked into this matter and have decided that on all the facts the 1933 provision is not at all suited to present conditions. For instance, under the 1933 Statute the need for the displaced officer seeking alternative employment was never considered at all. After all, an able-bodied, well-trained useful person at a time of badly-needed manpower is hardly a proper object for compensation for loss of office when there is ample opportunity and national economic urgency for re-establishing himself in occupation.

The idea of making a man a pensioner under those conditions without any regard being paid to his length of service, his age, or loss of earning power can hardly commend itself to any right-thinking or fair-minded person. In those circumstances it was quite right that the whole matter should be re-examined. It had to be re-coded and readjusted to a more realistic basis. That was done, and it was done by embodying the results in the Local Government Compensation Regulations of 1948.

When the hon. Member for Luton intervenes and mentions Section 150 of the 1933 Act, he has of necessity got to make a comparison between what obtained then and what happens under the 1948 Regulations in order to meet the development which has taken place and the adjustment now necessary because of that. The 1948 Regulations lay down that eight years' full-time service is necessary, either in central or local government; that there must be employment of the officer who is claiming immediately before the transfer; and that he must not have refused a reasonably comparable post. There is also a right of appeal. None of these things was embodied in the 1933 Act. Neither was the question of length of service, age or earning capacity, and so forth.

Surely at this time no one is going to attempt to support the 1933 provision in its entirety, having regard to that. It has to be remembered that Section 150 has been systematically departed from, par- ticularly since 1937, when we got what we did not have under the 1933 Act, compulsory superannuation for local government officers, which was established under the Act of 1937. That compulsory system of superannuation did not apply in 1933 and the result is that, whereas before when a part-time officer was deprived of his position, he was not entitled to compensation unless he got it under the Act of 1933, now, under the provision of compulsory superannuation he will if a part-time officer get compensation in that particular case. Parliament itself has approved the Regulations of 1948 and approved the very principle which is sought to be embodied in the Gloucester Extension Bill by the Amendment. In addition, it has to be remembered that the majority of local government officers now come under the 1948 code. All this, of course, makes it all the more necessary and clear that Section 150 should be repealed.

In my humble submission it ought to have been repealed long since and the sooner that matter is dealt with the better, because the only result is to encourage sectional interests to come along every time there is a Private Bill of this kind and indulge in excursions to get compensation for part-time officers and to delay Parliamentary business, when that principle of part-time compensation has now been definitely discarded. For those reasons, I have great pleasure, on behalf of the corporation, in supporting the Amendment, and ask the House to accept the Bill as so amended.

7.30 p.m.

Mr. Garner-Evans (Denbigh)

I do not wish or intend to follow the hon. and learned Member for Gloucester (Mr. Turner-Samuels) in the vast and detailed knowledge which he has shown on the subject of the 1933 Act and the regulations of 1948. What we are discussing tonight is a very simple matter. The Gloucester Corporation made a bargain with a certain person that is the essence of it. There was a possibility of the clerk of a small town being deprived of his rights of compensation, and the Gloucester Corporation made a bargain with him that when presenting this Bill to the House they would include in Clause 35 a subsection protecting his rights. It was a bargain, and although the hon. and learned Member for Gloucester may have been instructed by his corporation, it is the case that when that corporation's representative appeared before a Committee of this House, he re-iterated the fact that the Gloucester Corporation had made a bargain and that it was the Minister of Health who was now seeking to upset it.

When that subsection was included it was not thought possible that the Minister of Health would bring to bear the whole weight of Parliamentary machinery to crush this person and deprive him of his rights. That is what happened. I beg the Parliamentary Secretary to have a sense of proportion in these matters. There is all this talk about the 1938 regulations and the 1933 Act, but the simple matter we are discussing is really whether this town clerk is to be deprived of his rights—whether he is to get his compensation or not.

Mr. Turner-Samuels

The point is that he cannot possibly get any compensation now, whether his claim is conceded or not. He has resigned.

Mr. Garner-Evans

When I said "town clerk" I meant "clerk to the justices." With reference to what the hon. and learned Member has said, it is rather strange that only a few days ago, when a Committee of this House had this matter before it, there was no suggestion that this person had resigned. In fact, the representative of the Gloucester Corporation made it quite clear to the Committee that the Corporation still wished to retain this subsection in Clause 35 in order to protect the rights of that person. Apparently, there is conflicting evidence on this point.

Mr. Turner-Samuels

There is no conflicting evidence. It is quite definite that this man has resigned and that any claim by him is no longer possible. That is not an issue in this matter any longer.

Mr. Garner-Evans

It is very strange that this person, who knew the position and was, in fact, moving towards a petition against this Bill in this House to protect his rights, should suddenly and rather conveniently resign from his position. It is unfortunate for those of us who have gone into the case suddenly to be confronted with facts of that kind. I still say that I, at least, am not satisfied by any evidence. I beg the Parliamentary Secretary, for the sake of this clerk, whether he has resigned or not, to see that he gets his compensation.

7.35 p.m.

Mr. A. J. Irvine (Liverpool, Edge Hill)

The hon. Member for Denbigh (Mr. Garner-Evans) has hung the whole of his case upon the circumstances of this justices' clerk. I ask him and the House to accept the obvious and perfectly plain point that as that person has resigned that line of objection to this subsection is really quite insupportable. Had he not resigned, it might have remained a cogent and relevant consideration, but it does not arise. The consequence of that is that we are left to consider the principle behind this subsection as a matter of principle, and not in connection with any personal case.

I take the view that this subsection is strongly to be objected to as a matter of principle. I go so far as to say that the only good excuse for it was that there was a certain case in the minds of the promoters. Now that that person has resigned, the only excuse for the subsection vanishes, because, apart from the subsection we are considering, Clause 35 applies the provisions of the Local Government Act Regulations, 1948. This subsection is merely an attempt to graft upon the Clause a part of an earlier code, that contained in the Local Government Act, 1944. If the subsection remained in the Bill it would have the consequence of making the position of the officials referred to in the subsection entirely distinctive and anomalous. They would have advantages which no equivalent officers, or very few, anywhere else in the country would have.

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Turner-Samuels) pointed out that under the Local Government Act Regulations, 1948, and under the Transport Act—the same is true under the National Assistance Act, and in the cases of persons losing office as a consequence of the transfer of duties on the introduction of the National Health Service—no compensation is given to part-time servants. If this subsection remains in the Bill it will place the officers to whom it applies in an entirely anomalous position.

Wing Commander Hulbert

Is it not a fact that justices' clerks are not local government officers and are not servants of the Crown?

Mr. Irvine

I admit that that is true. The subsection purports to constitute them local government officials for present purposes. That is one of the reasons for objecting to it. The fact remains that if this subsection remained in the Bill the officers referred to in it would be placed in an entirely distinctive and invidious position in relation to all their fellows. It is entirely wrong that such an exception should be made.

It is true that justices' clerks have the distinctive feature that by far the greatest proportion of them are part-time—the hon. and gallant Member for Stockport, North (Wing Commander Hulbert), has said about 75 per cent., and no doubt he has authority for saying that. The same can be said of other classes of officers who have lost employment and have suffered diminution of emoluments and who, because they were part-time, have not received compensation. I have in mind the clerks of assessment committees, the clerks to drainage boards, fishery boards and catchment boards. These were, in great numbers, part-time officers of local authorities. They lost their appointments as a consequence of the redistribution of boundaries and changes of that kind. They have not received compensation. As high a proportion of those officials were part-time as are justices' clerks.

One has the highest regard for justices' clerks. One knows and has had experience of the services they render. There is, however, an additional circumstance, which I beg hon. Members opposite to bear in mind, that justices' clerks of all people have an admirable opportunity, when they suffer a loss of office of this kind, of recouping their losses. They are in a particularly advantageous position for that purpose. Many a solicitor who ceases to act as justices' clerk and devotes to professional practice the time which formerly he devoted to his duties in the court, will positively gain pecuniarily from the change. It is quite unthinkable that a solicitor who benefits from ceasing to act as a justices' clerk because of the additional time he can devote to his practice—and this is quite a reasonable hypothesis—should receive, in addition to his increased professional earnings, this compensation under the Bill.

Finally, as I understand it, there are regulations still to be made under the Justices of the Peace Act, 1949. It was open to the House of Commons in its consideration of that Bill to require that the compensation code of the 1933 Act should appear in that Bill, and the House chose not to do so. Regulations are no doubt being prepared to take effect under the Justices of the Peace Act, 1949, and those regulations will offer a comprehensive scheme affecting all justices' clerks throughout the country.

Is it not extremely undesirable, therefore, to introduce into this Bill, or into any other local private Bill, a provision in regard to compensation for the justices' clerk locally affected by the Bill which may be quite inconsistent with the comprehensive code of compensation which we can expect to find set out in the regulations being prepared under the 1949 Act? For those reasons I suggest to the House that there are strong objections to this subsection remaining in the Bill.

7.42 p.m.

Dr. Hill (Luton)

I am inclined to agree with the hon. Member for Liverpool, Edge Hill (Mr. Irvine) that it is undesirable on general principles that a clause should be inserted in this Bill as part of a general compensation provision, that Clause being aimed at the exclusion of a certain officer or group of officers. I also agree that only an undertaking entered into could justify such an exceptional course.

I want to say a word or two on the general point, following the hon. and learned Member for Gloucester (Mr. Turner-Samuels), who stated the position quite fairly although he emphasised unduly the significance of the position created by the 1948 Regulations. He stressed the point that there are in the law today two separate kinds of provisions, and this situation arises in part out of the conditions created by the South Shields Bill. This position, I suggest, was created by the failure of the Government frankly to cope with this position, by leaving on the Statute Book provisions which provide compensation under one code and, in a Private Bill, introducing a code which, though it has been in operation since 1948, differs substantially from the code in the 1933 Act.

I am not disposed to defend all the code of 1933 as against the code of 1948, though I disagree with the observations of the hon. and learned Gentleman that superannuation has made a profound dif- ference. Superannuation has been general in the local government service at least since 1922.

Mr. Turner-Samuels

The point I was making was that before 1937 it was voluntary; after 1937 the Act made it compulsory.

Dr. Hill

The point I was making was that, although voluntary, superannuation had become general. So, as a change in the situation, it is a relatively small one. However, I will not take time to dispute that point.

It is time that, in some legislative form which can be discussed in detail in this House, a new code of compensation was introduced. At the moment we have the absurd situation that an officer of a lesser authority who loses his post as the result of a county review—a situation which may obtain in a year or so from now—is compensated on one code and that same officer, if he loses his post as the result of another sequence of events, might be compensated on another code; or, at least, a colleague working side by side with him might be in that position.

I suggest that we are now reaping the unfortunate fruits of the casual, incidental way of introducing a new code. Although it can be fairly argued that the Regulations of 1948 were before the House, it was in such a form that it could either reject or approve the Regulations as a whole. I think it is time that this House had an opportunity of looking at the details of a projected new code, that code to be generally applicable to all local government officers, whatever the type of employing authority and whatever the circumstances in which they lose their posts and so become entitled to compensation.

The position created by the South Shields method is one which is unfortunate and which, if allowed to continue in its present form, will continue an anomalous situation. It is one which, as has been quite fairly said, will be the occasion for controversy and pressure whenever the particular problem arises. I hope that in his reply, therefore, the Parliamentary Secretary will direct some attention to the general proposition and to the desirability of eliminating the differences between codes of compensation which might apply to the same officer or to comparable officers.

7.48 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Mr. Blenkinsop)

I intervene merely to say a word about some of the points that have been raised in this Debate. Most of the subject matter has been dealt with fully by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Turner-Samuels) who, of course, was speaking for the promoters as well as in his capacity as a Member of this House, and by my hon. Friend the Member for Edge Hill (Mr. Irvine), so I do not need to cover that matter again.

In opening this discussion the hon. and gallant Member for Stockport, North (Wing Commander Hulbert) complained that the Ministry of Health had treated the promoters badly. There is no evidence that the Ministry of Health has in any way unreasonably interfered with the promoters of this Bill. It was understood clearly that the practice that had been established, both in another place and here, would be followed. While we agree that the Committee upstairs are entitled to take their own line on any of these Bills—we could not and we would not dispute that for a moment—at the same time it was understood that the Clause that had been adopted, both in this House and in another place, would be adopted for this Bill. I do not think the promoters would complain of the action taken by the Ministry in objecting to the form of this Clause.

Again I am a little surprised that the hon. and gallant Member for Stockport, North, should have criticised the way in which this matter has been brought down to the House this evening, because it is the normal way in which any Amendment to a Private Bill is dealt with; it is not the normal practice for the Government to put down Amendments to such Bills. It has been the practice for a long time that they should be put down privately in view of the nature of the Bills themselves.

The real issue is a narrow one—it does not cover the whole wide field of compensation for local government officers generally, which was dealt with when the House discussed the South Shields Measure. The Bill attempts to deal specially with this small group of part-time officials whose position is analogous to the position of local government officers, even though they may not be directly employed as such. I merely want to emphasise the view of the Government that, at this stage, it is wrong to propose to offer compensation for part-time officials, whether justices' clerks or local government officers. That principle has now been established in several comparable cases, particularly that of the River Boards Act, 1948, mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Edge Hill.

Dr. Hill

If it is wrong in any circumstances for a part-time local government officer to enjoy compensation, why do the Government leave on the Statute Book a piece of legislation which in fact makes that possible?

Mr. Blenkinsop

I was coming to that point. I was emphasising that analogous jobs done by the part-time clerks to catchment boards, fishery boards and drainage boards have already been dealt with under the new compensation code which excludes them from making a claim. Clearly, it would be wrong to treat these part-time officials in a different way. I accept the point put by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Gloucester and the hon. Member for Luton (Dr. Hill) about the rather difficult position which arises when we have two compensation codes in existence. We desire to clear up that matter as rapidly as possible. In point of fact, the difficulty is more apparent than real, as I think the hon. Member for Luton agrees.

It is only possible for an anomaly to arise in about a year's time, and it is highly improbable that it will. However, I accept that it will be desirable as soon as the opportunity permits to deal with that matter in any reform of local government which it might be possible to undertake. In view both of the position in this Bill—the particular issue and the official concerned—and of the wider issue raised tonight, I hope that the House will agree to delete this subsection.

Amendment agreed to.

Standing Order 205 (Notice of Third Reading) suspended.—[The Deputy-Chairman of Ways and Means.]

(King's Consent, on behalf of the Crown, signified.)

Bill read the Third time, and passed, with Amendments.