HC Deb 15 April 1954 vol 526 cc1343-4
Mr. Bottomley

Might I seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker, on a matter which affects Members of Parliament representing consituencies in the county of Kent?

The Kent County Council promoted a Water Bill which was supported by all Members of Parliament. It then went to another place with a recommendation from this House that there should be a Joint Committee to consider it. The purpose of having a Joint Committee was to save the ratepayers of Kent the extra cost otherwise involved.

I now gather that in another place the decision to have a Joint Committee has been renounced and that there are to be two Committees. It would be possible for me or any other hon. Member to object when the Bill returns from another place, but in doing that we should defer the Third Reading of the Bill, which we desire. I should like to know whether it is possible for elected Members of this House to safeguard the money of the ratepayers in the county of Kent.

Mr. Speaker

All I can say to that is that the setting up of a Joint Committee of both Houses requires the consent of both Houses separately. In the circumstances, as the other place has not agreed to a Joint Committee, there is nothing more I can say. The same result might be the case if a Joint Committee were proposed in the other place and rejected in this House. The proposal requires the free concurrence of both Houses before such a Committee can be set up.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—[Mr. Heath.]