HC Deb 13 March 1963 vol 673 cc1463-4

9.0 p.m.

Mr. D. Price

I beg to move, in page 51, line 25, to leave out "or efficiency".

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir Robert Grimston)

I think that it will be convenient to take with this Amendment the next following Amendment, in line 28.

Mr. Price

Yes, Mr. Deputy-Speaker.

These two Amendments taken together are intended to meet a point raised in Committee by the hon. and learned Member for Liverpool, Edge Hill (Mr. A. J. Irvine). The present subsection provides that, if in any proceedings under the Bill any question arises on the accuracy or efficiency of weighing or measuring equipment, the court may refer this to the Board of Trade whose decision should be final. The provisions of the subsection are based on the present law which has been running since 1904 and has caused no difficulty.

However, the hon. and learned Gentleman suggested that it might not always be desirable for the Board's decision to be final since this would make it binding on the court even if, for instance, it were found to contain some inaccuracy or procedural fault. I promised to look into it.

The effect of the Amendment is that, by deleting the reference to "efficiency", the hon. and learned Gentleman's point is met since the matter which could be referred for determination by the Board would be limited to the objective question of the accuracy of the equipment in question. Whether or not it was efficient equipment would, if the Amendment were accepted, not be a matter for the Board's determination but for the court to decide.

I hope that the Amendment goes a considerable way to meet the point which the hon. and learned Gentleman raised, and I ask the House to accept it

Mr. A. J. Irvine

I am grateful for the manner in which this question has been approached. I think that the Amendment improves the Bill in a not unimportant respect. It marks a change for the better, and I am much obliged for the way in which our proposal has been treated.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 51, line 28, leave out from "question" to end of line.—[Mr. D. Price.]