§ Mr. Michael Heseltine
I beg to move Amendment No. 6, in page 7, line 36, leave out paragraph (m).
At the end of the series of paragraphs giving the powers to the London Transport Executive, there comes paragraph (m) which catches up, so to speak, all activities which are at present being conducted by the London Transport Board and which it would be desirable to transfer to the executive. The discussion in Committee in this connection was directed entirely to finding out where it had been necessary for this undefined and general power to be used in matters not covered by the other paragraphs of the Clause.
On 22nd April, we asked for details, and the Parliamentary Secretary said:I do not have them immediately available, but I am prepared to ask the L.T.B. to look into this matter."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee A, 22nd April, 1969; c. 231.]Up to now, no answer has come.
The House ought to be aware of the powers embraced by this paragraph. Even at this late hour, it would be helpful if the hon. Gentleman could give comprehensive examples showing why they are necessary. The other paragraphs are widely drawn. Although I realise that there are precedents for provisions of this sort, we ought to be told a little more.
The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. Bob Brown)
I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman is not aware that my right hon. Friend wrote to his hon. Friend the Member for Finchley (Mrs. Thatcher) about this matter on 15th May. He 110 explained that we had checked the question with the L.T.B. and had been told that it was aware of one such contract, and that is with B.E.A. for the provision of emergency airport services which are run from time to time as the need arises. The need would arise, for instance, if in-coming air passengers were diverted from Heathrow to Gatwick, and needed to be conveyed to hotels outside the London area by L.T.B. coach.
After discussion with the L.T.B., my right hon. Friend is satisfied that this is the only contract of any significance which is likely to require to be dealt with under this power.
§ Mrs. Thatcher
I have received two long letters from the Minister dated 16th May, but I do not appear to have received one dated 15th May. It may well be that there was another one; he has been writing to me frequently recently. I shall have a look. Perhaps we can pursue the matter on another occasion.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. Marsh
I beg to move Amendment No. 7, in page 9, line 15, at end insert:(6) If at the vesting date any action has been taken by the London Board for the purpose of promoting a Bill in Parliament in pursuance of the powers conferred by, and with the consent of the Minister under, section 17 of the Act of 1962, the Executive may proceed with the promotion of that Bill as if that action had been taken by them in pursuance of the powers conferred by, and with the consent of the Council under, the said section 17 as applied by subsection (2) of this section.This Amendment will enable the London Transport Executive to continue promoting any Private Bill which has been initiated by the London Transport Board but which has not passed through all its parliamentary stages by vesting date under the London (Transport) Bill. Where the Minister of Transport has consented to the promotion of such a Bill by the London Transport Board, the consent of the G.L.C. will not be required for the London Transport Executive to continue it.
No issue of principle is raised. It is a formality only. Clearly, it would be absurd if the executive had to start a Private Bill all over again after vesting date.
§ Amendment agreed to.