HC Deb 26 April 1955 vol 540 c897


As amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

10.20 p.m.

Mr. Edward Short (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central)

Before the Bill passes to another place, I should like to pay tribute to those who have helped to make this little Bill possible—first of all to my colleagues, who have given a great deal of their time to it over the last four months and who even came to London on a very wet and cold day during the Christmas Recess to consider it. I should like to thank them for their help.

Although I was extremely disappointed in the Government's attitude towards the original Clause 1—and on that, of course, we live to fight another day—I should like to thank the Parliamentary Secretary for the assistance which he has given us. In all the discussions which I have had with him, both in public and in private, he has been most kind, courteous and helpful. The Bill owes a great deal to him and, if I may say so, to his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Renton), whom I should also like to thank.

I am also extremely grateful to the Government for making the final stages of the Bill possible in rather difficult circumstances, and not least to the Prime Minister for the personal interest which he has taken in the matter.

The Bill will mean that about five million old-aged pensioners, disabled people, blind people and young people throughout the country will be able to continue the travel concessions which they have been enjoying. On their behalf I should like to thank the House for making possible the passage of the Bill to another place.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.