HL Deb 14 August 1919 vol 36 cc935-7

Clause 21, page 23, line 15, at end insert ("in respect of any matter coming to his knowledge in the exercise of his duties under this Act which

to say that no one should suppose that the Lord Chancellor is anxious to add to his patronage, legal or otherwise. I can assure the noble Lord that I would most readily welcome the transference of it to any other Judge. But I must plainly say that to suggest, as the noble Lord did, that in snaking a legal appointment on legal grounds a. Lord Chancellor would allow himself to be influenced by the opinion or the view of a colleague as suggested merely shows that the noble Lord is not familiar with the methods by which these things are done.

On the main point I would say that if the Amendment could be amended in the sense suggested by the noble Earl it would be an easy way out of the trouble in which we find ourselves, and I would earnestly express to your Lordships the strong hope of the Government that a thin House, not consisting, I think, of more than thirty-five Peers, should not come to a conclusion which fundamentally alters an important Bill and challenges controversy with a very recent decision of the House of Commons.

Motion put—That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.

On Question?—

Their Lordships divided:—Contents, 21; Not-Contents, 23.

Birkenhead, L. (L. Chancellor.) Burnham, V. Colebrooke, L.
Curzon of Kedleston, E. (L. President.) Churchill, V. Hylton, L. [Teller.]
Milner, V. Lee of Fareham, L.
Peel, V. Ranksborough, L.
Bradford, E. Sinha, L.
Chesterfield, E. Annesley, L. (V. Valentia.) Somerleyton, L. [Teller.]
Lytton, E. Chalmers, L. Wigan, L. (E. Crawford.)
Sandhurst, V. (L. Chamberlain.) Clwyd, L. Wyfold, L.
Crewe, M. Hood, V. Erskine, L.
Salisbury, M. Farrer, L.
Bangor, L. Bp. Glenconner, L.
Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.) Glentanar, L.
Balfour, L. Islington, L.
Mayo, E. Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.) O'Hagan, L.
Selborne, E. Denman, L. Sandys, L.
Stanhope, E. [Teller.] Dynevor, L. Southwark, L.
Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.) Willoughby de Broke, L. [Teller.]
Chaplin, V.

Resolved in the negative, and Motion disagreed to accordingly.

it would be contrary to the interest of any private individual or trader to make public").

The Commons disagree to this Amendment for the following reason:

Because in addition to the individual ant trading interests concerned, which must be protected from breach of confidence, it would be impossible and without precedent in the administrative machinery of Government for Committees to be making public their advice to a Minister, independently of that Minister himself. It would vitiate the direct responsibility of the Minister to Parliament, would place in the hands of Advisory Committees a power of hampering and blocking the executive action of the Minister and of the Government, without in any way placing upon the Advisory Committees the obligation to formulate and carry through a policy of their own. It would prevent the free use by the Minister if the expert advice provided by those Committees, and would thereby so restrict their utility as to defeat the object which prompted their creation. It would affect the impartiality of advice given to the Minister by members of the Committee who were officials of or otherwise closely connected with public authorities and companies.


This deals with an Amendment inserted at the last moment on Third Reading, on the Motion of the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, and the Commons disagree to the Amendment for the reasons which are set out. I argued this question at considerable length on many stages of the Bill.


I am not going to insist.


I beg to move that this House doth not insist on the said Amendment.

Moved, That this House doth not insist on the said Amendment.—(The Earl of Lytton.)


I am most reluctant to lose this Amendment, as I think it would be very valuable; but I quite realise that one cannot have everything one wants. There was a strong feeling against this Amendment in another place, unlike other Amendments we have been dealing with.

On Question, Motion agreed to.