§ Amendment made: No. 4, in page 22, line 48, leave out 1st January' and insert 1st April'. —[The Solicitor-General.]
§ Clause 40, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Bill reported, with amendments.
§ Mr. Simon Hughes (Southwark and Bermondsey)
On a point of order. Before we conclude what may seem to some a bizarre ritual, I wish, as a lawyer and housing 972 spokesman, to say that what we have just done will make life much easier for many people. As the Law Commission said in its report, we have effectively consolidated the whole of housing law, the whole of landlord and tenant law and the whole of housing associations law into one measure. Only two other bits—the rent and leasehold legislation—remain elsewhere on the statute book.
In view of the difficulties faced by anybody who slogs from one piece of legislation to another trying to match them together—remembering that, in housing matters, non-lawyers as well as people trained to give legal advice must perform that task—the Solicitor-General was right to pay tribute to the Law Commission for endeavouring to ensure that we not only bring our law up to date and dispose of what should not be on the statute book, but make the law intelligible for those who must apply it.
If ever a subject was part of the day-to-day application of legislation, it is housing. Thanks to the work of the Law Commission, and with little thanks to ourselves, we have done a good deed in a bizarre and ritualistic way. I hope that people will be thankful for the last legislative act of this Session of this Parliament.
§ The Solicitor-General (Sir Patrick Mayhew)
Further to the point of order. I respond to the words so gracefully spoken by the hon. Gentleman by saying that I should be sad if it were an accurate reflection that there was an inverse proportion between the words spoken in this Chamber and the good that we do. I am grateful for what he said and I am sure that his words will be gratefully received by those to whom they were addressed.
§ 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, with amendments.