HC Deb 28 June 1974 vol 875 cc1982-3
Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

I beg to move Amendment No. 32, in page 10, line 59, leave out from 'and' to end of line 60 and insert: 'an order made under any provision of this Act except section 9 below may be varied or revoked by a subsequent order made under that provision'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this amendment we will take Government Amendments Nos. 33 and 34.

Mr. Lyon

Amendments Nos. 32 and 33 are consequential amendments arising out of the later amendment to the commencement clause. The important amendment is No. 34, which seeks to meet a point urged upon me by the sponsors of the Bill, namely, that the commencement of the Bill should be on a fixed date.

I had some difficulty because, as the House knows, regulations are to be made under the Bill to indicate, for instance, which judicial tribunals will be covered by the Bill and which will not. There are certain classes of occupation where questions about spent convictions will be allowed or will not be allowed. Therefore, the regulations will take a little time to prepare as one has to try to survey the whole field to see where the regulations should catch.

In addition, one has to listen to observations by interested bodies before the regulations are tabled. I could not be sure how long that would take. I am determined that it shall take the shortest possible period, but it may still be longer than is normal for the coming into effect of an Act of Parliament.

I was loth initially to have a firm date for bringing the Bill into effect, but the sponsors urged upon me the desirability of having a firm date, and we we have compromised on Amendment No. 34. It gives the firm date of 1st July 1975, but it allows the Government to table an order to bring in the Bill if by any chance we are ready before then. I suspect that we shall be. To avoid any eventualities—and who knows what eventualities are before us in the next few months?—I have taken a rather longer date, but if we can table the orders before that time we will do so to bring the Bill into effect as soon as possible.

Mr. Dixon

We sympathise with the Minister in these uncertain political times, and the sponsors are appreciative of the fact that he has come some way towards meeting our point. He has Oven himself flexibility, and I hope that he will arrange matters in his Department with the greatest expedition. He may manage to bring the Bill into effect on 1st January 1975. Possibly, if he and his officials put their skates on, we may have it in operation on 1st December 1974, or 1st November 1974, or 1st October 1974.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made: No. 33, in page 10, line 62, after 'Act' insert 'other than section 9 below'.—[Mr. Alexander W. Lyon.]

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