HC Deb 24 July 1967 vol 751 cc12-3

Order for Second Reading read.

10.28 a.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Norman Buchan)

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

The Bill is pure consolidation, and, apart from Clause 18, which relates to the execution of warrants in Border counties of England and Scotland, and a number of amendments and repeals, applies only to Scotland. The main Statutes covered by the consolidation are the Police (Scotland) Act, 1956, the Seventh Schedule to the Police Act, 1964, and the Police (Scotland) Act, 1966.

The purpose is to have one main enactment relating to the police in Scotland which will be much more convenient to Members of this House and, of course, to all those who have to consult regularly the terms of the legislation, particularly police authorities and the police themselves, to whom it should be of special benefit. Accordingly, I commend the Bill to the House.

10.29 a.m.

Mr. Graham Page (Crosby)

The House is grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his explanation of the Bill. It is called the Police (Scotland) (No. 2) Bill, but it might be better called the Police (Scotland and Border Counties) (No. 2) Bill, because it affects England by Clause 18, under which certain powers are given to the police in the Border Counties. This puts right a piece of legislation that was bad in form, when we included in a Schedule to the 1964 Act amendments to the 1956 Act as they applied to Scotland, which were very difficult for any practitioner to read into the 1956 Act. Therefore, this is a very useful consolidation.

But we have a rather unusual report from the Joint Committee of the House of Lords and of the House of Commons appointed to consider all consolidation Bills, which gives rise to a need for an assurance from the Government that the conditions on which the Bill was recommended to the House have been carried out. The Report says that the Bill was drafted and is now submitted to the House on the assumption that the Road Traffic Regulation Bill will receive the Royal Assent before this Bill becomes law. It was only last week that we dealt with all the stages of the Road Traffic Regulation Bill, and I do not know what stage it has reached in another place or whether it has received, or when it will receive, the Royal Assent. Perhaps we might have an assurance that the business will be so arranged that that Bill will be presented to Her Majesty for Royal Assent before this Bill is so presented.

Secondly, the Committee said that the Bill was returned to this House on the assumption that the Road Traffic Regulation Bill would pass "in its present form". In fact, it was amended here only a few days ago, and that was subsequent to the Committee's Report. May we have an assurance that last week's Amendments do not affect in any way the Consolidation Bill now before us, that is, that all the conditions required by the Consolidation Committee will be, or have already been, carried out?

Mr. Buchan

I am grateful for the words with which the hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page) opened his speech.

We can give both the assurances for which he asked. We will make sure that the Royal Assent is given to the Road Traffic Regulation Bill before this Bill, or at the same time. I am aware of the lion. Gentleman's second point. The situation is not substantially affected and the assurance can be given that the position is as it was. With that, I commend the Bill to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.

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

Committee Tomorrow.