§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.685
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Earl De La Warr.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly:
§ [The EARL OF DONOUGHMORE in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1 agreed to.
§ Clause 2:
§ Alteration of number of councillors of metropolitan boroughs.
§ 2.—(1) The powers of the Secretary of State under Section twenty-six of the London Government Act, 1899 (which relates to the alteration of wards of metropolitan boroughs) shall be extended so as to include power, whenever he is satisfied that a primâ facie case is made out for a proposal for the alteration of the number of councillors of a metropolitan borough, to cause such inquiries to be made and such notices to be given as he may think expedient, and, if satisfied that the proposal is desirable, to make an order altering the number of councillors of the borough and the apportionment of the councillors among the wards and the said section as amended by any subsequent enactment shall have effect accordingly.
§ VISCOUNT PEEL moved, in subsection (1), after "satisfied," to insert "by a petition in that behalf presented by the council of a metropolitan borough." The noble Viscount said: This Amendment deals with the question as to the method of altering the number of councillors in the Metropolitan Borough Councils. I will only move it formally because I understand the Government intend to make a statement on the subject. Whether I wish to proceed further will depend on what is said by the representative of the Government.
Page 2, line 5, after ("satisfied") insert ("by a petition in that behalf presented by the council of a metropolitan borough ").—(Viscount Peel.)
§ EARL DE LA WARR
The Home Secretary has considered the suggestion of the noble Viscount and has authorised me to say that he can think of no occasion when the Government would increase the number of councillors if the borough councils were opposed to such a course. In this respect the Bill merely follows the lines of existing legislation, and no difficulty, so far as the Government is aware, has ever arisen.
§ VISCOUNT PEEL
I am obliged to the noble Earl for the statement. May I put it in my own words? I presume that no alteration will be made in the number of borough councillors in London unless the borough council itself has been first officially consulted and has assented to the course.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause 2 agreed to.
§ Remaining clauses agreed to.
§ Bill reported without Amendment.