HC Deb 23 October 1981 vol 10 c513

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read a Second time:—[Mr. Jopling.]

9.34 am
Mr. Peter Archer (Warley, West )

It would not be right to permit the Bill or the following five measures to be read a Second time without recognising the massive amount of work that they have entailed for the draftsmen, for the Law Commission and for the Joint Committee on Consolidation. It would be understandable if those three groups were to feel that we bring to nought their labours by refusing to accord them time for debate, that, if we debate their labours, we merely criticise their work, or that we simply ignore them when we allow their work to reach the Floor of the House and finally to come to fruition.

Having said that, and having expressed the appreciation of the House, I do not propose to take up further time. I am sure that the favour that the three bodies would most desire from me is that I should not impede their progress. I have ventured to give repeated assurances to the Government that the Opposition are anxious to encourage law reform. We shall do nothing that is avoidable to impede it. If I say no more, I hope that the House will understand that that does not signify any disrespect for the work of the Law Commission, the Select Committee and the draftsmen. Indeed, it is the wish of the Opposition to expedite it. In any event, the House may take heart from the reflection that unless anything unexpected transpires what I have said on this Bill is intended to be applicable to the following five measures, and I do not propose to repeat it.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Michael Jopling): I am extremely grateful to the right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer) for his remarks. We are all extremely grateful for the work of the Law Commission, which comes to the House on frequent occasions. I hope that the House will be able to give the Bill a Second Reading.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.

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

Committee upon Monday next.