HC Deb 25 January 1962 vol 652 cc405-6
31. Mr. Loveys

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will consider sending free copies of all Acts of Parliament to rural district and urban district councils.

The Minister of State, Home Office, (Mr. David Renton) rose

Mr. C. Pannell

On a point of order. I hope, Mr. Speaker, that you will consider this point. This is the second occasion this afternoon when an Answer has been given to a Question without the Member concerned being present. Is this a new custom?

Mr. Speaker

I think that the hon. Member is wrong. I saw the hon. Member for Chichester (Mr. Loveys) rise to ask his Question.

Mr. C. Pannell

I was referring first to Question No. Q4 tabled by the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. W. Hamilton) and, secondly, to Question No. 29 tabled by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes).

Hon. Members

That was not answered.

Mr. Speaker

I do not think that anything out of order happened. The hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) did not ask his Question when he was called. When I have the OFFICIAL REPORT I will look into the matter to see whether anything untoward happened. At the moment I do not believe that there is any irregularity.

Mr. Renton

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend does not think that the expense of sending free copies of all Statutes to urban and rural district councils would be justified.

Mr. Loveys

Is the Minister aware of the anomalies created by continuing the existing practice based on out-of-date judicial considerations whereby in many counties only the smallest authorities with the least need for them receive these Statutes?

Mr. Renton

That raises a slightly broader question than the Question on the Order Paper. I agree that there is an anomaly, and I would be prepared to consider it.

Mr. Lipton

Is the Minister aware that quite a number of these local authorities, rural district councils and urban district councils, particularly where they are under Conservative control, do not want copies of these wretched Acts of Parliament passed by their own Government?