HL Deb 05 August 1904 vol 139 cc1208-9

Order of the day for the Third Reading read.


moved the Third Reading of the Army Council Bill. He said: As a result of the consideration we have been able to give to two points raised in Committee, I am glad to be able to meet the noble Lords opposite on one of those points. As regards the first point raised by Lord Monkswell, namely, the insertion of the words "as such" after "Secretary of State for War," I am convinced that the insertion of the words would make the Act quite unworkable.

I have been carefully through some of the principal Acts concerned—the Army Act, Militia Act, and the Reserve Forces Act—and I find that in none of these is the Secretary of State mentioned as "the Secretary of State for War," but as "a Secretary of State," and therefore if we were to insert the words "as such" it would exclude all the most important Acts concerned with the Army from the purview of this Bill. But I think your Lordships will see, on looking at the words of the clause "all statutory powers and duties which at the date of the passing of this Act are exercised by the Secretary of State for War," that there is really not any likelihood of any abuse arising. As regards the point raised by the noble Marquess Lord Ripon, I was able to discuss this matter with him this evening and at his suggestion I am quite ready to insert after the words "Army Council," "including the Secretary of State for War and the UnderSecretary of State for War." If you will allow me, I shall be glad to move that as a privilege Amendment.

On Question, "That the Bill be read a third time," resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read 3a (according to order); an Amendment made; Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.

House adjourned at half-past Eleven o'clock, to Monday next, a quarter past Four.