HC Deb 08 February 1967 vol 740 cc1594-609

11.45 a.m.

Mr. John Biffen (Oswestry)

I beg to move, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Salop (No. 2) Order 1966 (S.I. 1966, No. 1529), dated 6th December 1966, a copy of which was laid before this House on 12th December, be annulled.

Sir John Langford-Holt (Shrewsbury)

On a point of order. Can I seek your guidance, Mr. Deputy Speaker? In paragraph 4 on page 5 of the Order there is a reference to a series of maps called the boundary maps, 54 in number. Throughout the Order there are references to these maps. I estimate that in the first four Schedules, for example, there are about 80 references to the maps and parts of them. Column 2 of Schedule 5 on page 58, for instance, refers to The parts of the parish of Condover numbered E 4 and E 5 on boundary maps 19, 24. 25 and 26… Lower down it refers to that part of the parish of Astley numbered E 3 on boundary map 15… and the final paragraph refers to that part of the parish of Whittington numbered E1 on boundary maps 1, 2, 5 and 6 and that part of the parish of Ellesmere Rural… and so on.

I have been to the Library and to the Vote Office in an effort to get a sight of these maps, or to get a copy of them. I have been unable to do so. How are hon. Members supposed to deal intelligently with an Order if they have no access to these maps which are absolutely vital to an Order which deals with boundaries?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Eric Fletcher)

I have had no notice of this question, but I can appreciate the difficulties in which hon. Members find themselves. I will arrange at once for inquiries to be made and I will endeavour to arrange for copies of these maps to be made available either in the Library or in the Vote Office. As soon as I have any information, I will make an announcement about it in the House.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

I appreciate your difficulty, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and I apologise for not having given you notice. However, always optimistic, I recently inquired in the Vote Office, thinking that at any moment these maps might appear. How is the House placed? I am anxious to listen to the debate with an intelligent ear, but how can the House have a discussion of an Order which is as obviously incomplete as this?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

This Order was made on 6th December and laid on 12th December, which is some two months ago. I understand that the maps in question are printed by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, by the Ordnance Survey, and I take it that it would have been open to any hon. Member before now to have made an application on a green form for a copy of these maps.

Mr. John Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon Thames)

Further to that point of order. Although I am sure that the House will treat with great respect what you have said, Mr. Deputy Speaker, nonetheless has it not been said from the Chair on numerous previous occasions that, when a matter is due to come before the House, there is an obligation on the Government to secure that the House has available such necessary documents as will enable the House properly to come to a decision? In this case, as I understand it, the Order itself refers explicitly and in terms to the maps. Difficult though the Order is to comprehend with them, it is impossible to comprehend without them. Has it not been the practice of the Chair to insist that the Government should not put the House in a difficulty by failing to make available everything necessary for the House to conduct its debate, any documents which may be necessary when the House is debating a matter?

As I understand it, the House is being asked to come to a decision whether to approve an area in this Order. It is accepted that the Order is not comprehensible without these maps, and it is apparently accepted that they are not available. Surely it is for the Chair to protect the proceedings of the House from being made, to use a colloquialism, a nonsense of, by the inability of the Government to provide the necessary materials. Can the Parliamentary Secretary help us?

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. James MacColl)

Like you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I have had no notice of this point, but I am advised that this is the normal custom. If there had been any hint that any information was wanted, or any hint of dissatisfaction with the service that we were providing, we would have provided the maps immediately. We are very anxious to provide them. I am advised that we have acted in the normal way in these matters and we assumed that there was no objection. I am extremely sorry if hon. Members have been inconvenienced by this. It is not through any desire of ours to hide anything. We are perfectly happy to provide any information to any hon. Members if we have warning.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The answer to the point of order raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) is that it is quite definitely within my recollection, as the right hon. Gentleman has indicated, that directions have been given by the Chair on previous occasions that it is the duty of the Government of the day to make available to hon. Members all documents relevant and necessary for the consideration of Orders coming before the House. Each Order must be dealt with on its merits. There may be times, obviously, when it is not easy to see exactly what documents some hon. Members may consider relevant.

I would hope that in future when Orders of this kind come before the House any maps referred to in the Order are made available. In this case it is perhaps unfortunate that the request made by the hon. Member was not brought to the notice either of the Chair or of the Government until just now. In the circumstances all that we can do is to proceed as best we can, and ask the Minister to arrange for copies of these maps to be made available as soon as possible.

Mr. Victor Goodhew (St. Albans)

Further to that point of order. I seem to remember that when we were debating the arrangements for the redrawing of the various boundaries in Greater London, and dealing in particular with the amalgamation of various boroughs on other occasions, there was incorporated in the White Paper before the House a large-scale map showing these boundaries, carefully drawn so that hon. Members could understand and study them. I also remember an occasion when we were dealing with British military bases in Cyprus, when again large-scale maps were provided to hon. Members as part of the information before them in the White Paper. Here we have such a paltry and small-scale map as to make it quite impossible for hon. Members to appreciate the terms of the Order. That being so, would it not be wiser if consideration of the Order were deferred until we have these maps available?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Each case must be dealt with on its merits. We had a similar Order last night, dealing with the Hartlepools, which contained a map, which hon. Members who took part in the debate, found perfectly adequate. It is not always useful to draw analogies from previous Orders. This point having been raised, perhaps the Minister can indicate how long it would take for maps to be made available.

Mr. MacColl

In the Library there is the original Report of the county review containing a very good map, but I appreciate that it is not the map referred to, and I realise that this is not an answer. I do not want to blithely suggest that we adjourn discussion of this Order, because it is on a negative Resolution and it might look as if I was playing for time, hoping that the time might expire. I am here to defend the Order and I am anxious to do so in every way that I can. If any hon. Member had so much as whispered that there was any point to be made, or any further information needed, we would certainly have made it available.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

I apologise for not having given the hon. Gentleman notice of this, but I made one visit to the Library and two to the Vote Office, as an indication that I was hoping that something would turn up. The hon. Gentleman can be assured that I know all the boundary changes referred to in the map, because I know the district well, but I feel most strongly that the House has a right to all the information before it reaches a decision.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The hon. Gentleman is perfectly right to raise the point, but it is also fair to observe that neither the hon. Member for Oswestry (Mr. Biffen), in whose name this Prayer is put down, nor any of the other hon. Members whose names are attached to the Prayer, has raised the point. It must be a matter for the hon. Member for Oswestry to decide whether he wants to move the Motion.

Mr. Biffen

It would be my wish to proceed with the Motion. I appreciate the point of Order that has been raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Shrewsbury (Sir J. Langford-Holt) and I believe that it touches upon the rights and facilities available to hon. Members. I want to make it quite clear that I have no desire to see these maps. I am only too well aware, as is my hon. Friend, of the circumstances in Shropshire, and therefore I did not make any such request. At no stage did I feel inhibited by the absence of the maps, but the point raised touches upon a rather different issue of principle, namely the availability of documents to the House. I would not wish this to be a point upon which consideration of this Motion should not proceed this morning—

Mr. Jasper More (Ludlow)

I am sorry to interrupt my hon. Friend, but before he proceeds, may we have some undertaking from the Government that time will be made available for discussing the Order? We are limited by the 40-day rule to the 15th February, when discussion of the Order must be completed. May we have an undertaking from the Government, in view of the time that we have occupied discussing this point of order, and the time that may elapse before obtaining these maps, that an extension of the 40 days would be granted to make up for lost time, before the matter is disposed of finally?

Mr. MacColl

I do not think that we can extend the 40 days. It would probably mean an amendment of the Statutory Instruments Act, or whatever relevant statute governs the matter. The question of time is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House, and I know his keen interest in this matter. No doubt he would like to find time if this is possible. I am in the difficulty that this Prayer has been put down and I am here to defend it. I am at the service of the House, but I cannot give any undertaking on behalf of my right hon. Friend that he will be able to find time if there is no time. I will draw his attention to this point.

12 noon.

Mr. Biffen

After that auspicious start, I now address myself to the Prayer. I shall keep my remarks reasonably brief because other hon. Members wish to speak and we do not have as much time, perhaps, as the House would wish.

The Salop (No. 2) Order is of great significance for the future of local government. The background is probably well known, and I apologise to hon. Members if I make points with which they are already over-familiar. The Local Government Act, 1958 provided for a series of county reviews, and it is that which has now been set aside by the establishment of the Royal Commission on Local Government. The House is this week to conclude the stages of the termination of the county reviews Measure. The Royal Commission is expected to report in about 18 months. In the meantime, however, under the 1958 Local Government Act. Shropshire, a pioneer county, had concluded its review. Many of the recommendations were generally acceptable, and are accepted, and the Salop (No. 1) Order went through the House without any Prayer.

This No. 2 Order, however, raises matters of much wider significance, and we are now, alas, presented with a situation in which the Order in its entirety must be either rejected or accepted. This was not my wish at the outset, and it was only Ministerial intransigence on certain of the proposals contained in the Order which led to the present problem.

My objection to the Order is rooted in Article 5, the article which provides that the Borough of Oswestry as now existing will lose its identity by being merged into the surrounding rural district. The merger is not desired by the borough and it was not initially desired by the rural district council. The recommendation of the county council when first made was received with considerable opposition by both these authorities, and this opposition has been persisted in with great vigour and tenacity by the borough council ever since. Moreover, the Order raises the whole question of what size a borough has to be to ensure that it has an independent future in local government.

Oswestry has a rateable value of about £490,000 and a population of about 12,000. In one sense, therefore, confirmation of this Order will immediately and categorically prejudice any borough which is of that size, or smaller. On another interpretation of the Order, only one borough retains borough status in the county of Shropshire as a result of these proposals, that is, the Borough of Shrewsbury, with a population of 50,000 and a rateable value of about £2½ million. That interpretation, therefore, must cast doubt on every existing independent local authority which is smaller than Shrewsbury.

These points are of sufficient weight and moment to have stayed the Ministry's hand on the earlier representations which were made. But when I speak of the existing size of Oswestry, this is, as it were, a static argument which does not look to the future. Yet there are many indications that Oswestry itself will grow in size, these coming not least from the county council itself which was the original author of the plan to denude Oswestry of its borough status. Only recently the county council commented that Oswestry might play a part in the solution of the West Midlands overspill problem. I hold in my hand a cutting from the Oswestry and Border Counties Advertiser which says of the County Council that, The meeting was held specifically to discuss the creation of a new town at Dawley, but Oswestry was mentioned by Sir Philip Magnus Allcroft, chairman of the Planning Committee". The dismemberment of Oswestry is not a straight take-over by the surrounding rural district. The rural district will take over from the existing Borough of Oswestry responsibilities for health, housing, collection of rates and public baths, probably in terms of staff employed accounting for about 50 per cent. of the activities of the existing borough. The county council will take from the existing borough highways, lighting and library responsibilities. But the "Rural Borough of Oswestry" which remains, as it were, almost as a parish council authority left behind after the transfer of the activities of the existing borough to the surrounding district, will still have responsibility for parks, open spaces and the market.

The market is vital to the demonstration of the nonsense behind the Order. In staff terms, possibly one-third or more of the responsibilities of the old borough will be retained by the rural borough, and the market is the thirteenth largest in the country. It is equal in throughput to the Smithfield Market in Shrewsbury Initially, the argument that there would be a marriage of the natural interests of the surrounding rural area and of the Borough of Oswestry turned upon, for example, such common facilities as the market. Yet when the Order is laid we find that the market, which more than any other single facility might be expected to tie the interests of the rural district and the borough, still remains with the borough. This is proposed, as I understand it, because the market functions under charters in the Corporation Acts of Oswestry and not under the Food and Drugs Acts.

It is all very well to explain why, at the end of the day, it has not been possible to transfer the market to the new authority, but it was exactly this kind of consideration which, had it been given proper merit by the county council and by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government before its endorsement of the county council's decision, would have demonstrated that this was a botched-up job of local government reform.

On all the indications so far, the new enlarged council of Oswestry rural district, including now the bulk of the work of the Oswestry borough, will have a sizeable staff—probably 59 or so—running at an estimated annual cost of over £77,000. Is this the product of economies of scale? All the indications are that, if one takes into account the cost of the new enlarged powers of the Oswestry rural district, the powers left to the rural borough of Oswestry and the added responsibilities taken on by the county council, the aggregate cost of local government in the new situation will be far greater than it was in the situation which has been set aside by the Order. How consistent is that with the Government's general policy of seeking to restrain costs and prices? Indeed, this is a highly controversial decision and, even now, we should ask ourselves whether this dislocation of local government in Shropshire should proceed. It is a decision which is costly to the ratepayers. It is a decision which pays scant regard to local feelings or to the realities of local government finance. It certainly shows a disrespect for the prospective findings of the Royal Commission on Local Government.

A rejection of the Order would not just be a victory for Oswestry. It would be a victory for the House of Commons in the face of a paralysing Whitehall insensitivity which has so ill-advisedly set the Minister on this unhappy course.

12.10 p.m.

Colonel Sir Harwood Harrison (Eye)

You, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and the House may be surprised that I, sitting for an East Anglian constituency, should want to say a few words on the Order. I have never found any Member of the House who has to deal with more local authorities than myself. I deal with 10—one county council, two municipal boroughs, three U.D.C.s and four R.D.C.s Eye, one of the municipal boroughs, is over 700 years old and gives its name to the constituency which I have the honour to represent, but it is the smallest borough in England.

Mr. More

I was about to claim that honour for the Borough of Bishop's Castle.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Eric Fletcher)

I do not think that it would be in order to refer either to Eye or to Bishop's Castle in connection with this Order.

Mr. More

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Bishop's Castle is included within the scope of the Order.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Then I apologise. I do not think that it would be in order to deal with the circumstances of Eye in connection with the Order.

Sir H. Harrison

I was making that earlier reference merely to illustrate that it is the smaller boroughs which are concerned about this type of Order. The Royal Commission is sitting, and I understand that these boroughs believe that this Salop Order is the thin end of the wedge. I should like an assurance from the Minister on behalf of my constituents that, if he gets this Order through and it is not annulled, he does not have many other plans for other counties.

It is not for me to take part in debate of the details of what is included in the Order. I fully support what my hon. Friend the Member for Oswestry (Mr. Biffen) said. This is the sort of thing which will arise in other counties and other ratepayers will be put to extra expense. This is why I believe that this Order and others like it should be held up. This is why I shall vote to annul the Order.

12.13 p.m.

Mr. Gerry Fowler (The Wrekin)

I shall not follow the hon. Member for Oswestry (Mr. Biffen) in arguing about Oswestry market. Nor can I accept the argument that excessively small local authorities should survive. I should like the Minister to make some reference to two rather more important matters of principle.

The first matter has already been alluded to by the hon. Member for Oswestry, namely the fact that the Order appears to anticipate the findings of the Royal Commission. Alternatively, if it does not, what we are saying is that there will be another reorganisation of local government in Shropshire in two years' time. This would be a rather wasteful procedure. My hope is that when the Royal Commission reports we shall be in a position to set up much larger first-tier units of local government and much larger second-tier units, or district councils, too.

I would argue that some of the district councils set up by the Order are not large enough. Thus, the population of the new Rural District of Clun and Bishop's Castle is only just over 10,000. The product of a penny rate in that area is about £580. Yet, strangely, the municipal Borough of Oswestry, the product of whose penny rate was over £1,800, is abolished as a separate entity by the Order.

Not only is Clun and Bishop's Castle too small, in my view, both in terms of its rate revenue and in terms of its potential attraction to officials and, indeed, to able councillors, but the Rural District of Ludlow still will have a population of only between 23,000 and 24,000. The Rural District of Market Drayton, with a population of about 15,000, is left untouched.

Mr. More

With reference to the hon. Gentleman's comment about Clun and Bishop's Castle, although we may be small we specialise in quality.

Mr. Fowler

I do not think that I need reply to that. These units will not be viable units vis-à-vis any very large new regional authority which could be set up after the Report of the Royal Commission. Nor would they be able to stand up to the claims and the expertise of any large town included in the same regional authority as a result of the Royal Commission's Report. In any case, it would be inefficient to have too large a number, a plethora, of small authorities under one large authority.

I think, for that reason, that the Order anticipates a particular finding of the Royal Commission, or action by the Government on the Report of the Royal Commission, whereby the rural west of the West Midlands—Shropshire and Herefordshire—would be hived off from the urban concentration to the east so that the overspill areas and the hinterland of the conurbation would still be separated in terms of local government from the conurbation they serve. The Order points to that conclusion and it is not a conclusion that I very much like. It will leave us with exactly the same problems in relation to coherent planning of overspill or of regional transport as we have at present.

Another matter is the question of representation on the new local authorities. We have improved the present situation, but we are still leaving ourselves with a semi-democratic rather than a democratic structure of local government.

Take the Ludlow Rural Distrct. Ludlow Borough has nearly one-third of the electorate of the new rural district, although it is given only one-quarter of the councillors. Half of the electorate of Ludlow Borough live in one of the four wards of that borough, but that will have only three representatives on the new Rural District Council, whereas the rest of Ludlow will have nine. Ludlow Borough as a whole is under-represented. That particular ward is heavily under-represented. In that ward each councillor will represent about 850 electors, whereas in the parish of Wheathill in the same rural district there will be one councillor for 105 electors. That is not democracy.

The same applies in nearly all the other rural districts. In Bridgnorth Borough each councillor will represent an average of 540 electors, while the egregious Quatt Malvern has one councillor for 148, about one-quarter of that number of electors.

We shall retain the present situation in which the country dominates the town, but we shall exacerbate the present situation, because we are putting urban areas into rural districts and ensuring that people in those urban areas, even when they provide a large part of the rate resources and even when a large part of the population live there, nevertheless will be under-represented and dominated by the country. If I dare mention this, this also has a political implication. It means that one party is likely to dominate these new rural district councils.

It also means, finally, that there will be a plethora of uncontested elections in some of the excessively small rural electoral areas. Thus, in the Clun R.D., Shelve has just over 60 electors. It is highly unlikely that there will be many contest for that seat. If anyone disputes what I say, I would point out that in 1964, in the then Clun Rural District, there were 31 seats at stake and there were no contests. In the Ludlow Rural District that year there were 13 seats at stake, and there were no contests. That, to my mind, does not advance the cause of local democracy; nor does this Order.

In the case of county council electoral areas which it does not touch, it still leaves us with the situation where one of the electoral divisions of Shrewsbury Borough has an electorate of 7,000. Wellington in my constituency returns a county councillor with 6,000 electors, whereas in Ludlow Rural District there are two county council electoral divisions with 1,500 and 1,700 electors. That is scarcely democratic.

This Order is not the radical reform which is required of local government. Far from being forged in the white heat of the scientific revolution, it has all the marks of being forged in Abraham Darby's furnace at Coalbrookdale, a worthy product of the eighteenth century. It will not supply the needs of local government in the twenty-first century, and I hope that the Minister will think again.

12.20 p.m.

Mr. Jasper More (Ludlow)

I am happy to agree with much of what the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. Fowler) has said. He appeared to deal in much more detail with areas in my constituency than in his own. I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman has ever been to Shelve, for example. If he had met some of the inhabitants, he would have known that they were people of exceptional judgment, interested in their public affairs and sensibly agreed on whom they wanted to represent them on the Clun Rural District Council. That goes for a lot of that area, in which I live. Consequently, I feel myself entitled to speak about it.

I was also surprised at the hon. Member's suggestion that what had been done was done in such a way as to have some political motivation about it. I was unaware that rural parishes were supposed to be more inclined to one political party and that urban parishes were more inclined to another. Perhaps, with his long experience of Shropshire, the hon. Gentleman has made a special investigation and can explain.

Mr. Fowler

I did not suggest that this had been done with any political motivation. I said quite the reverse—that there has been a lack of political motivation here which is staggering.

Mr. More

That explanation is more remarkable than the original speech.

As one who has witnessed at close quarters the painful processes which have had to be gone through to get this Order to the House of Commons, I can assure the hon. Gentleman that it was not forged in the furnace of Abraham Darby, but largely in the cloistered calm of our ancient Shire Hall building, now standing semi-derelict in the main square of Shrewsbury. In the days when we still occupied it, I sat through a number of discussions, watching the different stages of embarrassment on the faces of members of our Review Panel whose task it had been to bring these recommendations before us. They were all public-spirited gentlemen, colleagues of mine on the Salop County Council, glowing with public virtue and devoting a great deal of time to what must have been an uncongenial task.

Mr. Nicholas Ridley (Cirencester and Tewkesbury)

May I point out to my hon. Friend that the same process took place in the County of Gloucestershire? As a result of its deliberations, the review was abandoned and no further action was taken. Would he not agree that it is very odd that my constituents should have been put to the trouble for nothing, whereas this Order is to go through?

Mr. More

It is very odd, and I regret that the same did not happen in Shropshire. A lot of trouble might have been avoided for everyone. However, these are matters of main principle to which I wish to return before I leave the topic.

As the Prayer was introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Oswestry (Mr. Biffen) on the subject of the Borough of Oswestry, perhaps I might begin with a brief reference to the boroughs with which I am concerned. They are Ludlow, Bridgnorth and Bishop's Castle.

The hon. Member for The Wrekin has pointed out the unequal representation which the Order involves. There might be rather different feelings in the Borough of Ludlow itself, which is one of Britain's most famous and perhaps the most lovely to look at. Its charter was granted in the year 1189, and it is a borough in which the mayor goes officially to the parish church every Sunday and, until a few years ago, its Member of Parliament was prayed for by name. I might add that that is no longer thought necessary today.

Bridgnorth is an equally ancient and historic borough with a charter dating from the year 1157. A Stuart monarch said that it had the most lovely prospect in England from its castle walls. Bishop's Castle has a charter dating from 1203. I do not think that our discussion of the Order should proceed without some lament that these ancient and historic corporations should be coming to an end in this way.

Before coming to the general principle, there are two other places which I might mention. On page 56 of the Order, hon. Members will see a reference to the Parish of Woodhouse. The proposal in that case seems to be a bit of bureaucratic nonsense which might have been avoided. It is to abolish the Parish of Woodhouse and put it into Hopton Wafers. The Parish of Woodhouse contains precisely two inhabitants, living in the same house. The parish meeting is probably one of the best-attended and best-conducted in the whole country. It meets probably every evening in front of the television set in the drawing room of my constituent, Mrs. Childs, and there is always a 100 per cent. attendance. This piece of bureaucratic tidying-up is difficult to understand.

I also draw the attention of the House to page 60 of the Order. Schedule 6 details the number of councillors which it is proposed to allow for the different Shropshire rural districts. Among other parishes in the Rural District of Bridgnorth, one sees the name of Ditton Priors. I am astounded to see that in the case of Ditton Priors it is proposed to allow only one councillor.

The House may be aware of what Ditton Priors has suffered in the last three weeks. There has been an invasion by the Ministry of Defence, with a large ammunition dump installed, and a farmers' field invaded and arbitrarily converted into a car park. The Shropshire lanes have been invaded by great fleets of ammunition lorries. Private rights have been overriden, and there has been a total disregard of what should have been done in the interests of local farmers—in the resale to them of land which had been taken arbitrarily from them under the stress of war. In order adequately to represent the rights of that disgracefully treated parish, we ought to see provided in the Order not one councillor but twelve or twenty—

Mr. Ridley

One hundred.

Mr. More

Even a hundred—to declare the rights and wrongs of this disgraceful matter. That is what ought now to be given greatly increased weight in the Rural District of Bridgnorth. It need not necessarily be done as a permanency, but, until the wrongs have been righted, the Order ought to be amended so that Ditton Priors can have a greatly increased representation when these matters come up for discussion by the rural district council. On account of Schedule 6 alone, the Order ought to be withdrawn and amended with a provision to that effect.

I take it that the debate on this Motion will be continued on another day, because I am only at the very beginning of my observations. If the time of the House permits, I wish to say a great deal more on the subject of the Salop Order. And it being half-past twelve o'clock, Mr. Deputy Speaker, being of opinion that, owing to the lateness of the hour at which consideration of the Motion was entered upon, the time for Debate had not been adequate, interrupted the Business, pursuant to Standing Order No. 100 (Statutory Instruments, &c. (procedure)), and the Debate stood adjourned till Monday next, pursuant to Order (Sittings of the House (Morning Sittings)).