§ (4) The Secretary of State shall lay before each House of Parliament a copy of any report made to him by the Scottish River Purification Advisory Committee upon any matter which in his opinion is likely to be of general public interest.
§ 12 midnight.
§ The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Thomas Fraser)
I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
I think it would be for the convenience of the House if I did not make a speech on each of these Amendments. The Government propose to advise the House to agree to all the Amendments. If any hon. Member wishes to have an explanation or justification of any of them, I shall be pleased to do what I can to assist.
§ Mr. Hoy (Leith)
In regard to the first Amendment, I should have thought that the Under-Secretary of State might have had a word to say, as he rejected a similar Amendment in Committee. He said it was unnecessary to put it into the Bill, and both sides of the Committee agreed with him. I was rather surprised to see this Amendment on the Order Paper tonight, and I think the hon. Gentleman might have given us an explanation of why he has changed his mind.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Elliot (Glasgow, Kelvingrove)
I do not think it is true to say that both sides agreed. I think it was 1126 decided that some alteration should be made and that the matter should be brought to public notice when suitable occasions arose. I think the Government would do well to insert this Amendment.
§ Mr. Fraser
I think this matter was left open when the Bill left this House. From the Government Bench we had expressed the view that it was unnecessary to put the provision in the Bill that the reports of the Advisory Committee should be published. In consequence of the discussions in another place, we agreed that such reports of the Advisory Committee as in the opinion of the Secretary of State for Scotland would be of general public interest should be published. We still think that the Advisory Committee will give the Secretary of State advice on matters which would not be of sufficiently wide interest to justify publication, but it is provided that reports on wider issues should be published.
§ Question put, and agreed to.