HC Deb 25 March 1976 vol 908 cc745-6

Order for Second Reading read.

9.22 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary, Law Officers' Department (Mr. Arthur Davidson)

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

The Bill relates only to Northern Ireland and is designed to improve the statute law in force in Northern Ireland by repealing obsolete, spent, unnecessary or superseding enactments, a wholly desirable object.

The Bill has already been before the Joint Committee on Consolidation. I pay tribute once again to the work of that Committee, and particularly to its distinguished Chairman, Lord Simon of Glaisdale.

Let me briefly tell the House that the Bill repeals 41 whole Acts or their equivalents. It effectively repeals no fewer than 221 enactments. I do not think that the House would wish me to go into each one of those. Therefore, I commend the Bill to the House.

9.24 p.m.

Sir Michael Havers (Wimbledon)

It is fitting that we should repeal so many old Irish Acts and enactments, having spent some three hours earlier today discussing the subject of Ireland. I do not see any Irish Members present in the Chamber to welcome this important measure, but I appreciate the great burden placed on the Parliamentary Secretary's shoulders this evening in piloting through the House this very important Bill.

I join with the hon. Gentleman in his congratulations to the Joint Select Committee on Consolidation on the tremendous amount of work it carries out on these measures, and I add my personal admiration for the ingenuity of the learned Chairman of that Committee, Lord Simon of Glaisdale. When recently he was faced with a situation of having no quorum in his Committee, and faced with witnesses who had travelled long distances to give their evidence, he managed to cope with the situation, he took the evidence, and at the next meeting of the Committee he persuaded its members to adopt the minutes of evidence. That was a brilliant achievement it saved a great deal of time and money, and it has enabled the House to be able to deal so expeditiously with this Bill tonight.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.

Bill committed to a Committee of the whole House.—[Mr. Arthur Davidson.]

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.