HC Deb 26 July 1974 vol 877 cc2166-7

Order for Second Reading read.

7.46 p.m.

The Solicitor-General (Mr. Peter Archer)

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

The Bill seeks to consolidate the Friendly Societies Acts of 1896 to 1971 and certain other enactments relating to friendly societies. If the House has any questions on which I may be able to shed light, I shall be happy to assist.

7.47 p.m.

Mr. David Waddington (Nelson and Colne)

I should like to mention one or two matters. Perhaps we should not be too conceited at our skill in dealing with these consolidation measures. I know that there have been no fewer than four consolidation measures on this topic—so that in respect of friendly societies there have been many Bills over the years and a number of consolidation enactments. We welcome the Bill.

It might be appropriate if I remind the House that it was a Conservative Solicitor-General in the previous Government who initiated the practice of taking all stages of consolidation Bills on one day. Perhaps it is right to mention that this is what is now happening because some people may have been surprised to see the procedures which were followed a few moments ago. They might be rash enough to imagine that time was being wasted, when in fact a great deal of time has been saved by adopting this procedure.

The Solicitor-General

I would remind the hon. and learned Gentleman that the new arrangement, which appears to be eminently sensible, originated from discussions between the two sides, and everybody agrees that it is a marked improvement.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second Time.

Bill committed to a Committe of the whole House.—[Mr. Pavitt.]

Bill immediately considered in Committee; reported, without amendment.

Motion made, and Question, That the Bill be now read the Third time, put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 56 (Third Reading) and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the Third Time and passed, without amendment.