HC Deb 10 May 1968 vol 764 cc785-7

12.30 p.m.

Mr. Laurence Pavitt (Willesden, West)

I beg to move Amendment No. 1, in page 1, line 6, leave out 'aids' and insert 'Aid'.

It would also be convenient if we considered at the same time Amendments No. 38 and No. 41.

I apologise for the long list of purely drafting Amendments with which we are now faced, but I assure hon. Members that this Amendment, together with all the others, in no way alters the context of the Bill that they have already read. This is a drafting Amendment. Like so many other things, I have come to understand the satire of the words of Lewis Carroll which he put into the mouth of Humpty Dumpty: Words mean what I intend them to mean. When it comes to drafting a Bill, as an ordinary back bencher, it is difficult to get the word; to mean precisely what one wants them to mean.

Although this Amendment alters only one letter it alters, to some extent, the approach of the Bill. We are now talking about helping people rather than about the instrument of a hearing aid. By making this into a Hearing Aid Council, making it an aid to people suffering from a hearing disability rather than talking about the technical and highly technological instrument which people wear, this has changed the approach of the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: No. 2, in line 9, leave out 'and promulgating';

No. 3 in line 11, leave out from 'aids' to 'together' in line 12;

No. 4, in line 15, after 'study', insert 'the';

No. 5, in line 15, after 'facilities', insert available';

No. 6, in line 16, leave out 'to members of the public'.—[Mr. Pavitt.]

Mr. Pavitt

I beg to move Amendment No. 43, page 1, line 19, leave out from beginning to end of line 7 on page 2 and insert— (3) The Council shall draw up standards of competence for dispensers of hearing aids and codes of trade practice for adoption by such dispensers and by suppliers and shall from time to time review those standards and codes may vary them as they consider appropriate. (4) The Council shall submit to the Board of Trade, for their written approval, any standard or code drawn up under this section or any variation to any such standard or code which the Board may have previously approved; and the Board in approving any standard, code or variation may make their approval conditional upon its being modified in such manner as they may require: Provided that the Board shall notify the Council of any modification which they propose to require as a condition of their approval and consider the observations of the Council thereon; (5) The Council shall publish in such a manner as they consider appropriate but with such modifications, if any as the Board of Trade may have required as a condition of their approval, any code or standard drawn up under this section and approved by the Board of Trade and any variation to any such standard or code which has been so approved. Although this seems a long Amendment I can assure hon. Members that it is purely a drafting Amendment, rearranging the wording in such a way as to make it legally more acceptable and more readily interpreted should that be required. It would be correct to draw the attention of the Committee to the fact that this Amendment, like all the others, has the support of all sides of the Committee. I should like to pay a tribute to the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton), who is Father of the House, and has done so much in the preliminary stages of this Bill, giving time and thought, indeed his full support and help. I would also pay tribute to the hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Alasdair Mackenzie) who has consistently backed my endeavours. Throughout the initial stages of this Amendment, and all others the two parties opposite have been more than helpful and I should like to record my appreciation of that.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Pavitt

I beg to move Amendment No. 8, in page 2, line 8, leave out subsection (4).

This is a little different from the others, in that at the time the Bill was being drafted, the Trade Descriptions (No. 2) Bill was going through the House. That Bill has now completed its stages, and this subsection is no longer necessary.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: No. 9, in line 13, after 'constitution', insert 'and powers.'—[Mr. Pavitt.]

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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