HC Deb 25 March 1968 vol 761 c1120

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read a Second time.—[Dr. Dickson Mabon.]

12.35 a.m.

Mr. Graham Page (Crosby)

As an English Member I hesitate to trespass into Scottish legislation and to do so slight critically, but as a Consolidation Bill this does not seem to make much progress towards a reduction in the number of Statutes on the Statute Book. It divides one Statute dealing with Scottish and English law into two separate Statutes, but that is not reducing the volume of the Statute Book.

In a number of places the Schedule refers to the repeal of the whole Act and the reader may think that that is a rather formidable thing to do, but in fact it means not the repeal of the whole Act but only as it applies to Scotland. This is a process of consolidation which is rather unimaginative, and I hope that in future we shall be able to provide consolidation Bills with a rather better structure, making it easier for them to be amended as the law is amended and kept up to date. If we continue dividing English and Scottish Acts into two, we shall only increase and not reduce the number of Acts on the Statute Book.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.

Bill committed to a Committee of the whole House.—[Dr. Dickson Mabon.]

Committee this day.