HC Deb 25 October 1972 vol 843 cc1274-5

Lords Amendment: No. 420, in page 182, line 5, leave out Clause 234.

Mr. Graham Page

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this Amendment it will be convenient to discuss Lords Amendments Nos. 424, 427 and 432.

Mr. Page

This group of Amendments deals with freemen in the existing boroughs.

In the course of the Bill's various stages we have had considerable discussion over how to preserve the rights of freemen. I am not speaking now of honorary freemen who are given the position of freemen as some sort of honour but of the real freeman of the town. The traditional qualification is that of birth, as the son of a freeman, or marriage to the daughter or widow of a freeman or what is known as "servitude" by being apprenticed to a freeman.

We discussed this matter at great length with those representing the freemen of the country and with their legal advisers. I can assure the House that this present Amendment preserves effectively all the rights of the existing real freemen and that freemanship will now continue. I am sure that the House will not wish me to go through all this in detail since the Clause is well agreed with those mainly concerned.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendments agreed to.

Lords Amendment: No. 431, after Clause 238, in page 183, line 44, insert:

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