HC Deb 25 October 1972 vol 843 cc1275-6

Transfer of armorial bearings from old to new authorities N.—(1) Subject to subsection (2) below, Her Majesty may by Order in Council authorise any new local authority specified in the Order to bear and use any armorial bearings which may be so specified and which, immediately before 1st April 1974, were lawfully borne and used by an existing local authority which ceases to exist by virtue of section 1 or section 20 above. (2) On Order in Council under this section shall provide that before any armorial bearings of an existing local authority may be borne and used by a new local authority in accordance with the Order, they shall be exemplified according to the laws of arms and recorded in the College of Arms.

Mr. Graham Page

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

This new Clause provides a simplified way of permitting the new authorities to inherit and continue in use the coats of arms of their predecessors. Many existing authorities wish to see the preservation in use of their existing armorial bearings. This is very reasonable and understandable. Many coats of arms used by the towns and boroughs are ancient in origin, and the Government wish to facilitate their continued use, but in order to continue their use under the present law a most elaborate process is involved. In this Clause we provide a simpler process. The Clause allows existing coats of arms to be transferred from the present authorities to the new ones by means of an order in council. In conjunction with the College of Arms, the Department of the Environment and the Welsh Office will he issuing guidance in due course to the new authorities telling them where and when to apply for the transfer of coats of arms.

We realise that certain authorities are being split by the Bill. In some cases therefore there may be doubt as to which new authority should be entitled to use the coat of arms of an existing authority. Points such as that will be considered by the College of Arms, which will advise Her Majesty on the contents of the proposed order in council. We hope that there will not be any disputes and that there will be amicable settlements. But I am sure that it is right to make it as easy as possible for existing authorities which have coats of arms to transfer them to the new authorities.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendments agreed to.

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