HC Deb 14 July 1959 vol 609 cc180-1
2. Mr. Knox Cunningham

asked the Attorney-General, in view of the fact that the law relating to merchant shipping was last consolidated 65 years ago, when a start will be made to consolidate the Merchant Shipping Acts, 1894–1958.

The Solicitor-General

I would refer my hon. and learned Friend to the Answer which my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General gave him on 11th November, 1958.

Mr. Knox Cunningham

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware of the Answer which his right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation gave some four years ago, that he was attracted towards the idea of consolidation but was not able to proceed with it at that time? Will my right hon. and learned Friend indicate whether he can proceed in five, ten or twenty years' time?

The Solicitor-General

I am aware of the Answer to which my hon. and learned Friend refers. He himself knows all about this. Some process much more drastic than consolidation is required in relation to these Statutes. I cannot give any undertaking when the process—I suppose it would mean starting all over again—could be undertaken.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Is the Solicitor-General aware that the relevant trade unions have had this matter under consideration for some years? Before taking any step by way of consolidation or amendment, will the right hon. Gentleman consult them with a view to ensuring that the Statute which will emerge will be a really useful one?

The Solicitor-General

I feel sure that the interests of all those concerned would be considered when the time came to put legislation before this House.

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