HC Deb 19 November 1954 vol 533 cc730-1

Lords Amendment: In page 121, line 23, column 3, at end, insert: In section twenty-three, in subsection (3), the word "agent" and in subsection (4) the word "agent".

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

This brings us to the end of the Amendments which we are asked to consider today.

Mr. Noel-Baker

I should like to support the Motion. We have dealt this morning in one hour and ten minutes with 430 Amendments which have come from another place. Some, as the Minister has said, were more appropriately considered at first in another place. Others have been the result of matters with which we have dealt here. We are very grateful to the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary for the new procedure followed this morning, which has so greatly accelerated our labours and lightened yours, Mr. Speaker.

Every Amendment agreed to this morning has improved the Bill. Some of them have been of very real importance. There have been those, for instance, ensuring that the deputies in fulfilling their duties put health and safety first and those that deal with supplying every miner concerned with the rules about support, in writing, or in pictures which will help them to understand them. There is the very important matter about what the Civil Service likes to call "disinfestation," dealing with rats and vermin, the business of the arbitrator, and so on.

In all these matters the Minister has helped us, and I thank him. I should like specially to thank him, the Parliamentary Secretary and the former Attorney-General, and also to express appreciation of what has been done by my hon. Friends on this side of the House, the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Neal), the hon. Member whom the Minister used to refer to as the hon. Member for Blyton, the hon. Member for Ince (Mr. T. Brown) and, above all, after his great work of last week, the hon. Member for Wigan (Mr. R. Williams), who has carried the burden of the legal work on our side. He worked so hard during the summer that, as a result of overstrain, he had a serious accident which kept him from the conclusion of our labours on Third Reading. We are very glad to see him here today, and I express our gratitude to him.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

I hope to keep in order by saying that I am dealing with what my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary said about the Amendments. In response to the right hon. Gentleman, I should like to remind the House that I said, right at the beginning when we brought the Bill forward and again when we considered these Amendments, that we should welcome the co-operation of hon. Members opposite. I now say publicly that we have had that co-operation in full measure and that it was only with the aid of that co-operation that we have been able to make the Bill what it is and what I believe its interpretation in history will be—a fitting safety code for the great future of the British mining industry.

Question put, and agreed to.