HC Deb 10 July 1968 vol 768 cc568-9

As amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.

5.40 p.m.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Sydney Irving)

We may take with the new Clause Amendment No. 1, in Clause 4, page 2, leave out lines 12 to 41, and the new Schedule—Provisions Contingent on Expiration of Sections 1 to 3.

Mr. Ronald Bell (Buckinghamshire, South)

May I ask you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, to consider the possibility of accepting manuscript Amendments to the new Clause because of the unusual circumstances which have arisen by the Government's tabling the new Clause rather late simply to improve the drafting of the Bill? The tabling of the new Clause has caused all the Opposition Amendments to fall. The manuscript Amendment which I would seek to move, of which I have given you notice, would simply link the Amendment which I had on the Notice Paper to the wording of the new Clause. I would seek to amend the new Clause instead of the Clause in the Bill. There is therefore no change of substance.

This is an effort merely to cope with the situation caused by the Government's desire to improve the Bill's drafting. We have had almost no opportunity to react to the situation. I recognise that manuscript Amendments always present problems to the Chair, but I hope that you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, will feel that this is an occasion when they may be accepted.

Mr. Antony Buck (Colchester)

I support what my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) has said. It is a little unusual to find in connection with a Government Bill of very short compass a proposal to delete 30 lines of it and to insert a smaller number of lines. I hope that you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, will be able to accede to my hon. and learned Friend's request.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I should like to help hon. Members. However, I am afraid that I could not select the Amendment. For the guidance of the hon. Members concerned, may I say that, in my view, there is nothing in the Amendment which could not be discussed in the debate on the new Clause.

Forward to