HC Deb 14 April 1989 vol 150 c1159 9.39 am
Mr. Andrew Hunter (Basingstoke)

I beg to move, amendment No. 1, in title, leave out 'repeal' and insert 'amend'.

I understand that I may also speak to amendment No. 2, in title, leave out 'to amend'.

Perhaps I should explain that the only controversy about a vote on the Bill has been whether its modest objectives constitute the repealing of the Clean Air Acts or their amendment.

The debate has swayed backwards and forwards. When the Bill was drafted I was advised that it was a repealing measure. Subsequently, informed opinion decided that the modest contents of the Bill amounted to an amending of the Clean Air Acts. No matter of substance arises from the amendments and I commend them to the House.

Ms. Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent, North)

As my hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) has said, it is extraordinary that we should have reached this stage of a Bill with so little debate. It is a small Bill but it is an important amendment to existing legislation. There has been no discussion of the Bill until this stage, and it is only now that it has come to light that the amendments are necessary. That is because the Bill, as it has been compiled by the parliamentary draftsman, or whoever, overlooks the fact that it deals with the amendment rather than with the repeal of legislation.

I look forward to the Third Reading debate because the Bill is important in the context of air pollution. Until now, we have had only a few words of discussion about the Bill in the House. It is extraordinary that the Bill has got so far without the House examining it in more detail. Hansard deals with the Bill in seven lines: