HC Deb 08 June 1964 vol 696 cc170-2

Amendments made: In page 7, line 32, leave out "Minister" and insert "Secretary of State".

In line 36, leave out "Minister" and insert "Secretary of State".—[Sir E. Boyle.]

Mr. Chataway

I beg to move, in line 39, to leave out from beginning to "is" in line 41 and to insert and, after causing a local inquiry to be held into the matter, the Secretary of State". The effect of the Amendment is to require that a local inquiry must be held before the Secretary of State concludes that a library authority has failed to carry out its duty relating to the public library service and before he makes an order declaring the authority to be in default and imposing requirements for the removal of the default. The action which can be taken under the Clause may be drastic, and it is, therefore, accepted that it ought to be preceded by a local inquiry.

Mr. Willey

I rise only to say that, as I indicated in our discussion on the first new Clause, we welcome the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 8, line 5, leave out "Minister" and insert "Secretary of State".—[Sir E. Boyle.]

Mr. Chataway

I beg to move, in page 8, line 16, after "district" to insert: with a population less than 40,000". Would it be convenient to the House to discuss with this Amendment the Amendment in line 19?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

Yes, if the House agrees.

Mr. Chataway

These Amendments deal with the point raised by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Sir B. Stross) during the debate in Committee on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill". The effect of these Amendments is that, on the dissolution of a joint board under the Clause because of failure to comply with an Order requiring it to remove a default in the performance of its duties, the council of a borough or urban district with a population of over 40,000 comprised in the board will revert automatically to being a library authority, whereas, as the subsection was previously drafted, it rested with the Secretary of State to decide whether it should again exercise library functions. This will continue to be the position in the case of boroughs and urban districts with populations less than 40,000.

I said in Committee that my right hon. Friend was prepared to accept the Amendment, and I believe that it fully meets the arguments then advanced by the hon. Member.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In line 19, after "board", insert:

"with a population less than 40,000".—[Mr. Chataway.]

In line 20, leave out "Minister" and insert "Secretary of State".

In line 25, leave out "Minister" and insert "Secretary of State".

In line 28, leave out "Minister" and insert "Secretary of State".

In line 34, leave out "Minister" and insert "Secretary of State".

In line 41, leave out "Minister" and insert "Secretary of State".

In line 42, leave out first "Minister" and insert "Secretary of State".—[Sir E. Boyle.]

Sir E. Boyle

I beg to move, in page 9, to leave out lines 1 to 4.

This is a rather quaint technical Amendment made necessary by the appointment of the Secretary of State for Education and Science in place of the former Minister. This arises because Section 290 of the 1933 Act, which contains provisions relating to the conduct and expenses of local inquiries, applies when a Secretary of State is authorised to hold an inquiry relating to the functions of a local authority. Now that we have a Secretary of State for Education, it is unnecessary to include in the Bill a subsection making the provisions of Section 290 applicable to inquiries held under it. So the change in Ministerial arrangements means that we can lose four lines of the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.