HL Deb 16 March 1911 vol 7 cc510-1

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Allendale.)


My Lords, on this Bill I should like to have an assurance from my noble friend the representative of the Local Government Board, as regards the opposition of the county of Somerset to this Bill, that we are to obtain the benefit of any decision with regard to financial adjustments which is come to by the Joint Committee recently appointed on this subject.


My Lords, I can give my noble friend an assurance on this point. As the House knows, a Joint Committee of both Houses has been appointed to inquire into the application of the provisions contained in the Local Government Acts relating to financial adjustments, and whatever is proposed by the Joint Committee with regard to the Birmingham Bill will also be proposed with regard to the Bath Bill. I hope that will satisfy the noble Lord.


My Lords, I think it is right that this Bill should be read a second time. We do not know yet whether it is to be opposed in this House on other merits. The Birmingham Bill, I understand, is to be opposed. With regard to the particular point which the noble Lord opposite raises, he will find that there is a clause with a preamble before it setting forth the fact that a Joint Committee has been appointed and going on to enact that— The Local Government Board may make such Order as appears to them to be necessary or expedient to carry into effect the provisions of this section. I want to ask the noble Lord who represents the Local Government Board to make perfectly sure that in a legal sense they can make such an Order as will apply the provisions agreed to by the Joint Committee to the Bath or the Reading Bill, as the case may be. It is a technical point, and I only ask that it shall be considered, because we cannot know for some time what course the Joint Committee are likely to take or when they will give us a Report. It is conceivable, of course, that they may not agree upon a Report and no Report would be made. I am not quite sure that this particular clause would be sufficient for the purpose, and I suggest that the present stages, certainly the Second Reading and the Committee stages, of these Bills should go on, and then we should see by the time the Birmingham Bill reached its Third Reading what the decision of the Joint Committee would be.

On Question, Bill read 2a and committed: The Committee to be proposed by the Committee of Selection.