§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ Mr. N. Macpherson
I should like to ask the Secretary of State for Scotland a question. We have been told that the arrangement in Clause 2 is a compromise between the view taken by the county councils and by other local authorities. Is the Convention of Royal Burghs in agreement with these provisions or is this also a compromise?
§ The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Henderson Stewart)
It is a compromise arrangement.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clause 5 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Schedule agreed to.
§ Bill reported, with an Amendment; as amended considered.1251
§ 11.4 p.m.
§ Sir H. Lucas-Tooth
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."
We have had a fairly considerable debate on the Bill and I do not know that it needs many further words of mine to commend it to the House. There have been criticisms raised in Committee and I do not complain in any way. I can assure hon. Gentlemen who raised them that those matters will receive the close attention of the Home Office and we shall do our best to meet them where it lies in our power to do so.
The Bill was welcomed on Second Reading, and it will, I think, make a very fitting sequel to the debate this afternoon. It shows that the House of Commons is determined to do what it can to stop traffic accidents, particularly accidents to children. I do not think I need say any more, and I hope the Bill may receive its Third Reading, and be passed into law as quickly as possible.
§ 11.5 p.m.
§ Mr. Ede
The hon. Gentleman has commended the Bill without any very great enthusiasm, and in that he can rest assured that he is fully in consonance with the feeling on this side of the House. It is a Measure that I think could have been made more useful than it is. We can only hope that in administration it will be rather more generously assisted by some of the authorities than was hinted might be the case during the course of our Committee discussions.
I hope that the fact that this Bill has been criticised this evening, as not being strong enough in one or two particulars, will be taken note of in the country. When this Bill becomes law it must be understood that we regard it as the minimum that is required to meet the situation and can only hope that it will be so respected by the motoring and other sections of the community as to make it quite clear that we regard the saving of infant life as a matter of the very first importance.
§ Mr. H. Nicholls
I think that we should accept the Third Reading of this Bill with enthusiasm. It is a real step forward. It is putting on record something that has depended merely on good 1252 will in the past, and while there are several points where there has been disagreement, this is, in my view, a really worthwhile step forward. The Exchequer are to spend an extra£80,000, and the Exchequer and local authorities together are to spend£430,000 a year extra on dealing with this safeguard to our children; and I think we ought not to accept it in any half-hearted manner.
While I accept all the other points made by right hon. Gentlemen, I think that the country ought to know that this is the outcome of very many months of careful thought in this House, and that we are sending it out believing that it is a Measure that will bring about the good results that we all have at heart.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed, with an Amendment.