HC Deb 02 April 1963 vol 675 c262
Mrs. Freda Corbet (Peckham)

I beg to move, in page 67, to leave out line 21.

Mr. Speaker

I think that it would be for the convenience of the House if we discussed, at the same time, the following five Amendments standing in the name of the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) and other hon. Members.

Mrs. Corbet

That would be comvenient, Mr. Speaker. I understand that the Government are likely to accept the Amendment and therefore, to economise on time, I do not want to repeat the arguments which I put forward at an earlier stage of our proceedings. I hope to have leave of the House to say something further after the Joint Under-Secretary of State has spoken.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. C. M. Woodhouse)

The hon. Lady the Member for Peckham (Mrs. Corbet) has argued her case with her customary lucidity and with even more than her customary persuasiveness. I have good news and a pleasant surprise for her. We are prepared in principle, to accept the intention of the Amendment. There are arguments both ways, but there is no decisive consideration on balance. But as this is a highly technical function which affects only a small number of people, I think that there is something to be said for its being dealt with by a specialised department in a larger authority.

I hope that the hon. Lady will not regard this as a precedent for any future responses to Amendments. I want to qualify what I have said by saying that we cannot accept the Amendment literally. It will need a certain amount of redrafting. If she examines the Clause closely, she will see that one of the results of the Amendment would be to leave line 34 floating in the air, attached to nothing whatever. There will, therefore, have to be a certain amount of redrafting, but this will be taken care of in another place.

Mrs. Corbet

In view of the assurance that the hon. Gentleman has given, I willingly beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.