HC Deb 04 August 1965 vol 717 cc1832-4

Question proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.

10.29 p.m.

Mr. Graham Page (Crosby)

I have the same objection to this Clause as to Clause 59 in the previous Bill, namely, that it excludes from consolidation the law relating to pre-1965 agreements. As the Long Title does not include the magic words about corrections and improvements, I believe that I could have devised an Amendment which would have been in order in this case, but it would be a grave English constituency Member who endeavoured to amend a Scottish Bill, and it would also have involved me not only in amending the Clause, but in drawing the Schedules of obsolescent law myself, and I am afraid that I shied from that.

I will content myself with referring the Committee to my previous criticism of this kind of Clause and with the comment that I think the inclusion of it in a consolidation Bill is unfair to those who are involved in hire-purchase transactions.

10.30 p.m.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. William Ross)

The hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page) will appreciate from the speech of my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General that it was to me that the former President of the Board of Trade gave a pledge that there would be consolidation. If the hon. Gentleman had any knowledge of what the law of Scotland was like in regard to hire purchase, he would appreciate why not one Scottish Tory is here to support him in his protests on this matter. The law is now pellucid com-pared with what it was and I am sure that anyone who is interested in hire purchase matters will welcome the Clause. The Title does not refer to "all enactments" but "certain enactments".

Mr. Graham Page

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his remarks. I did refer to the phrase "certain enactments" in connection with the Title of the previous Measure. I think that it should have contained the other phrase to make the matter clear to the public. I will merely quote some words used by the Solicitor-General in the House the other night, when he said: Oliver Cromwell once described the laws of England as 'a tortuous and ungodly jumble'."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 2nd August, 1965; Vol. 717, c. 1221.] I suggest that the law of Scotland could be similarly described.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 58 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedules agreed to.

Bill reported, without Amendment; read the Third time and passed, without Amendment.