§ Order of the day for the Second Reading read.306
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a." —(The Earl of Onslow.)
§ THE EARL OF WEMYSS
My Lords, I venture to ask my noble friend to postpone the Second Reading of this Bill, which contains a very dangerous and very important principle. This is a Bill introduced by the London County Council to prohibit or restrict the erection of buildings or structures on certain lands in the Administrative County of London, and for other purposes. I think your Lordships will see that there is a large principle involved, for these things extend throughout the country. So far as I can make out there is no compensation or purchase proposed. I venture to think it would be a dangerous principle to accept this without further consideration, and I suggest that the Bill be postponed for a week.
THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (The Earl of ONSLOW)
My Lords, this Bill is really one with which your Lordships must be very familiar. It was before the House last session, and was thrown out by the Committee of your Lordships' House to whom it was referred. It has been down for Second Reading on several occasions during the present session, and has been postponed from time to time. My noble friend has had ample opportunity of considering it.
THE EARL OF ONSLOW
I am afraid that is because my noble friend has not looked at the Order Paper. It is essential at this period of the session that we should get on with Bills, and I therefore regret that I cannot fall in with my noble friend's suggestion. I would, however, point out to him that the Second Reading stage of a Bill of this character is not one which it is usual to challenge. There will be other stages of which the noble Earl can take advantage if he desires to offer any opposition.
§ THE EARL OF WEMYSS
My noble friend says there will be other opportunities, but my recollection is that the principle of a Bill is agreed to on the Second Reading, and that when a Bill is read a Second Time its principle is passed. I shall certainly avail myself of 307 the further opportunities referred to, but I advise your Lordships in the meantime to look into this far-reaching principle under which a public body takes possession of unbuilt-upon land without compensation and without purchase. I shall call attention to the matter later.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a (according to order), and committed. The Committee to be proposed by the Committee of Selection.