HC Deb 13 May 1968 vol 764 cc982-3

Order for Second Reading read.

10.1 p.m.

The Solicitor-General (Sir Arthur Irvine)

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

The Bill consolidates the Exports Guarantees Acts of 1949 to 1967, as amended by the National Loans Act, 1968. It is, therefore, consolidation right up to date. The Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills has reported that it has considered the Bill and regards it as pure consolidation and representing existing law. I recommend the Bill to the House.

10.2 p.m.

Mr. Graham Page (Crosby)

I compliment the draftsmen of this consolidation Measure in having reduced to such a surprisingly small compass a very important subject covering five Acts and part of another one.

There is one point on which perhaps the Solicitor-General might assist the House. The repealed Acts dealt with the issue of guarantees by the Export Credits Guarantee Department. Those would be continuing guarantees under the statutes which are now repealed. I have no doubt that somewhere in the Bill those guarantees are validated, even though the Acts under which they were issued are repealed, but I have been unable to find it in this consolidation Measure. It seems to me that if the hon. and learned Gentleman could put on record that guarantees issued under these repealed Acts continue valid under this consolidation Measure—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Member knows that we are discussing on Second Reading of a pure consolidation Bill whether the Measures to be consolidated should be consolidated or remain as separate Acts.

Mr. Page

I was not endeavouring to go into the merits of the Bill in any way. I was asking whether the repeal of the statutes mentioned in Clause 11 would have the effect of invalidating existing guarantees.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.

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

Committee Tomorrow.