HC Deb 08 July 1965 vol 715 cc1787-8
The Chairman of Ways and Means (Dr. Horace King)

I beg to move, That the Committee on the Covent Garden Market Bill have leave to proceed notwithstanding the absence of more than one of the Members. On 23rd June the Chairman of the Committee on the Covent Garden Market Bill reported to the House that the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Hull, North (Mr. Solomons) was unable on account of illness to attend the Committee. Since that date the Committee has sat with its bare quorum of three Members, until yesterday, when the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Mr. Woodnutt) was also taken ill and unable to attend, which made it necessary under the Standing Orders for the Committee to adjourn for the day for lack of a quorum although all the parties were present.

Now, the Committee has so far sat for 17 days, and it seems likely that another four days will conclude the business. Fourteen Petitions have been lodged against the Bill, and the hearing has been attended by 11 counsel and one private Petitioner. The Chairman of the Committee, the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Mr. Blackburn) and the parties concerned have expressed their support to the proposal contained in this Motion; indeed they are most anxious in view of the labour and expense that has already been involved that the Committee stage of this Bill should be brought to the speediest possible conclusion.

I am happy to say that the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight has been able to attend the Committee this morning and I hope that it will not be necessary for the powers proposed by this Motion to be exercised, but I hope that the House will agree that in the circumstances they should be given.

Question put and agreed to.