HC Deb 24 July 1953 vol 518 c758
The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sir David Maxwell Fyfe)

I beg to move, in page 8, line 30, to leave out "or four," and to insert "four or eight."

The object of this Amendment is to make subject to negative Resolution procedure an Order in Council by the Minister of Transport under the new Clause 8, which was added in Committee, appointing a day for the reintroduction of the heavy goods vehicles drivers' licensing scheme, which was provided originally by Section 31 of the Road Traffic Act, 1934. When the Bill was in Committee, both the right hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) and the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) stressed the desirability of giving Parliament full control of any such decision.

I should say—and the right hon. Member for South Shields will appreciate this from his experience—that it runs counter to the normal practice to make orders settling an appointed day for the operation of a permanent statutory provision subject to the control of the House; but in this case, in view of the importance of any decision to reintroduce the scheme, the Minister of Transport has felt that he ought to meet the wishes of the Opposition. That is why this Amendment has been put forward. I want to enter a caveat, simply from the point of view of legislative practice and entirely irrespective of the party at present in office, that this should not be regarded as a precedent having general application.

11.15 a.m.

Mr. Ede (South Shields)

My hon. and right hon. Friends and I are very grateful to the Home Secretary and to the Minister of Transport for meeting the points we put forward in Committee. I agree that this is an exceptional case, but the importance of the subject warrants it being exceptionally treated.

Amendment agreed to.