HC Deb 15 July 1964 vol 698 cc1292-4

Lords Amendment: In page 7, line 9, after second "of" insert: a class of goods consisting of or comprising

Mr. du Cann

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

It might be convenient to consider, at the same time, the Amendments in page 7, line 10, leave out from "entered" to end of line.

Line 17, leave out "class are included" and insert: description are included in a class specified". Line 20, leave out from "goods" to "shall" in line 21 and insert: of any description are not included in any such class".

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

If the House is agreeable.

Mr. William Wells (Walsall, North)

Speaking for myself, I have no difficulty about the Amendments in lines 9, 10 and 17, but I find it hard to follow the Amendment in line 20. I should be grateful, personally, if the Minister would explain that one in some detail.

Mr. du Cann

I will do my best to do that.

I well remember what the hon. and learned Member for Liverpool, Edge Hill (Mr. A. J. Irvine) had to say about this matter during our earlier discussions. The House is well familiar with the care and attention which he devotes to technical matters of this sort. That was well exemplified in the speech which he made a few moments ago. The hon. and learned Gentleman, in Committee, asked a number of questions about the terminology of this Clause, and I gave an undertaking that we would look into the matter, consider very carefully what he said and endeavour to produce better wording which we agreed in principle was required. That is the history of the matter.

All these Amendments are drafting Amendments. They are tidying-up proposals and correct minor inconsistencies in certain provisions of Clause 6, which refers to classes of goods.

The hon. and learned Member for Walsall, North (Mr. W. Wells) was good enough to say that the Amendments in lines 9, 10 and 17 cause him no difficulty. None the less, out of courtesy to the House, I think that I should say a few words about them. The Amendments in lines 9 and 10, which affect subsection (3), cure an inconsistency between that subsection and Clause 5. I am glad that they are satisfactory to the House in general.

The Amendments in lines 17 and 20 express more consistently the idea that "goods" are included in "classes" and "classes" are included in "lists". The matter is as simple as that, or, if hon. Members like, as complicated as that. It is difficult to find words more adequate to describe the purpose of the Amendments. The Amendment in line 20 requires to be considered in the context of the whole.

Our intention is to improve the wording, which I always thought needed improvement. That is why I gave the House an undertaking. The Amendment in line 20 is as important as the other three.

Mr. W. Wells

The undertaking which the Minister gave on Report has not been covered either in these Amendments or, as far as I have been able to follow, in the proceedings in another place. Although they are improvements, and therefore, we accept them, I am no more satisfied now than I was during our earlier debates about the loose use made in the Bill of highly technical terms, such as "description", which I fear will lead to a good deal of confusion, although, by way of consolation, a good deal of work for the legal profession.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendments agreed to.