§ Order for Second Reading read.11.36 pm
§ The Solicitor-General (Sir Patrick Mayhew)
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
The Bill has an unprecedented legislative history, as do the other two Bills that we shall consider today. All three are identical to Bills that fell at the dissolution of the previous Parliament. At that point, they had completed all or most of their stages in another place and they had all been considered by the Joint Committee on Consolidation &c. Bills, which had duly reported.
When the three Bills were introduced in another place, it was wisely resolved that in those special circumstances they should not be referred to the Committee, notwithstanding Standing Orders. I emphasise that these Bills are identical to those which were considered by that Committee in the previous Parliament only a few weeks ago.
It is a happy custom to thank the members of the Joint Committee for ensuring that consolidation Bills are in proper form when they come here. I should like to express our thanks to the Committee in respect of this and the other Bills that we shall consider today. I hope that, subject to the technical amendments, the House will think it right to give the Bill a Second Reading.
§ Ms. Harriet Harman (Peckham)
The Opposition have no points to make on any of the three Bills. We also should like to thank the Joint Committee on Consolidation, &c. Bills for its work. It is an unenviable task. We welcome the consolidation as making the law more accessible and less complicated. We look forward to more consolidation measures.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Bill accordingly read a Second time.
§ Bill committed to a Committee of the whole House.—[Mr. Goodlad.]
§ Bill immediately considered in Committee.
§ [MR. HAROLD WALKER in the Chair]
§ Clauses 1 to 39 ordered to stand part of the Bill.