HC Deb 28 July 1965 vol 717 cc641-2

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

12.10 a.m.

Mr. Graham Page (Crosby)

I do not seem able to entice the Solicitor-General to his feet. I should have thought that this Bill needed a little introduction to the House because normally, when consolidating, we are consolidating Acts which are a matter of history. This Measure is probably unique, because it is consolidating Acts which are not very old—the 1959 and the 1965 Acts.

Indeed, as I read this Measure, it is so premature that it will not come into operation until certain provisions of the 1965 Act have come into operation. It is consolidating before an Act which it consolidates has wholly come into force.

I gather that the reasons for it are to provide for international convention and also to correct the structure of the 1959 Act, which has been rather knocked about by the 1965 Act. As such, it is welcome and I should have thought that the hon. and learned Gentleman could have given it a little blessing.

12.11 a.m.

The Solicitor-General (Sir Dingle Foot)

I readily respond to the hon. Gentleman's invitation. This, of course, is purely a consolidation Measure. It has been approved by the Joint Committee and I should not have thought that it raised any difficulties of principle. It is true that we are not dealing with legislation going back over a long period, but there cannot, of course, be any general rule about consolidation Measures. They are generally desirable, when we are dealing with matters, as we are here, of no little complexity, in order to confine the law in one Statute. That is all that this Bill is designed to bring about.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.

Bill committed to a Committee of the whole House.—[Mr. Gourlay.]

Committee this day.