§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
§ 10.10 p.m.
§ Mr. C. R. Hobson (Keighley)
We accept the principles involved in the Bill, but there are one or two questions I should like to ask, chiefly concerning the nature of the works which have been taken over. From the Bill, I understand that they are for the underground railway, for the extension of which in London there has been previous legislation. The Bill refers, however, to works in Birmingham and Manchester. The House would like to know the nature of the works which are to be taken over.
The other point on which I should like information is why the Bill contains a Clause concerning the Prudential Assurance Company. Is it because, as a result of previous legislation, there were special agreements in law with this company?
§ 10.11 p.m.
§ The Assistant Postmaster-General (Mr. Kenneth Thompson)
The Bill relates not to the underground railway of the Post Office, with which the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. C. R. Hobson) is familiar, but to underground works that were acquired under Defence Regulations for the communication purposes of the 347 Post Office. I think that if the hon. Gentleman will read references in the Bill in the light of my remarks, they will be perfectly clear. I hope that the House will accept my remarks in that way.
The hon. Gentleman also asked about the saving Clause for the Prudential Company. That arose because of the special interests that the company has. Those interests were brought out during the Committee stage of the Bill in another place, and we thought it right to accede to the request for this Clause since, in point of fact, most of what was required had already been done. I believe that the Bill in its present form is satisfactory, not only to my right hon. Friend and to the Post Office but to all the various interests concerned in these separate works.
Question put and agreed to.
Bill accordingly read a Second time.
Bill committed to a Select Committee of Seven Members, Four to be nominated by the House and Three by the Committee of Selection:
Any Petitions against the Bill presented by being deposited in the Private Bill Office at any time not later than the seventh day after this day in which the Petitioners pray to be heard by themselves, their Counsel or Agents, to stand referred to the Committee, but if no such petition is presented, or if all such petitions are withdrawn before the meeting of the Committee, the Order for the committal of the Bill to a Select Committee to be discharged and the Bill to be committed to a Standing Committee:
Any Petitioner whose Petition stands referred to the Committee, subject to the Rules and Orders of the House and to the prayer of his Petition, to be entitled to be heard by himself, his Counsel or Agents, upon his Petition provided that such Petition is prepared and signed in conformity with the Rules and Orders of the House, and the Member in charge of the Bill to be entitled to be heard by his Counsel or Agents in favour of the Bill against such Petition:
Power to report from day to day Minutes of Evidence:
Three to be the quorum.—[Mr. Marples.]