HL Deb 08 August 1904 vol 139 cc1282-3

My Lords, with regard to the Notice standing in my name on the Paper, I think the House is entitled to a few words of explanation. The effect of the Notice is to authorise the carrying over of the Leeds Corporation (Consolidation) Bill until the commencement of next session of Parliament, and the circumstances under which I make the suggestion to the House, and which seem to me to justify the proposal, are these. The Bill is one of very great magnitude. It contains 372 clauses. There were about sixty new clauses inserted during its passage through the House of Commons, and the Amendments made were so numerous that I really have not undertaken to count them. I do not deny that the Bill was introduced in the House of Commons in the ordinary time. It was sent to the Police and Sanitary Committee, and was considered by them, but not until 28th June; it was reported from that Committee by 19th July; and it was brought to this House on 25th July, about six weeks after the last date for reading Bills of the kind a second time. Now, my Lords, it is absolutely impossible for myself and the officers of this House to examine a Bill of this magnitude in the time that is left to us. As I have said, it has 372 clauses. It is a consolidation of the whole of the municipal law of Leeds. It is divided into twenty - nine different parts, which deal with such important subjects as water, gas, tramways, eletrcicity, markets, public buildings, parks, burial grounds, building regulations, hackney carriages, advertisements, Courts, sanitary matters, infectious diseases, nuisances, lodging-houses, smoke prevention, rating, finance, and a number of other matters under the comprehensive heading "miscellaneous." We are informed by two Government Departments—the Home Office and the Local Government Board—that, as was expected. they have still supplementary reports to send in. These reports are not in our hands; they could not be presented to us until the Bill appeared in this House, and the Government Departments have not been able to undertake the work in the time at their disposal. In these circumstances, I think it is absolutely impossible for the Bill to pass into law this session, and, as the only way I can suggest for saving the amount of labour which the Police and Sanitary Committee of the other House have bestowed on this Bill, I move to carry it over until next session.

Moved, "That the promoters of the Bill have leave to suspend any further proceedings thereon, in order to proceed with the Bill, if they shall think fit, in the next session of Parliament, provided that notice of their intention to do so be lodged in the Private Bill Office not later than three o'clock on the day prior to the close of the present session, and that all fees due thereon up to that period be paid.

"That such Bill shall be deposited in the Private Bill Office not later than three o'clock on or before the third day on which the House shall sit after the next meeting of Parliament, with a declaration annexed thereto, signed by the agent, stating that the Bill is the same in every respect as the Bill at the last stage of the proceedings thereon in this House in the present session.

"That the proceedings on such Bill shall be pro forma only in regard to every stage through which the same shall have passed in the present session, and that no new fees be charged in regard to such stages.

"That the Standing Orders by which the proceedings on Bills are regulated shall not apply to such Bill in regard to any of the stages through which the same shall have passed during the present session."—(Lord Balfour of Burleigh.)

On Question, agreed to, and ordered accordingly. Ordered That a message be sent to the Commons to acquaint them with the said Resolution, and to desire heir concurrence.