HL Deb 27 July 1931 vol 81 cc1183-5

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Marley.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly:

[THE EARL OF ONSLOW in the Chair.]

Clause 1 [Special Government contributions to housing expenses of certain rural district councils]:


The first Amendment on the Paper is only drafting. I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 2, line 21, leave out ("and") and insert ("(4) In considering applications so made to them").—(Lord Marley.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


The next Amendment is also drafting. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 26, leave out ("for the purposes of") and insert ("under").—(Lord Marley.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


My third Amendment is also drafting. I beg to move.

Amendment moved—

Page 2, line 27, leave out ("for the purposes of") and insert ("under").—(Lord Marley.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

VISCOUNT BERTIE OF THAME moved, in subsection (4), to leave out "the Commons House of." The noble Viscount said: Although under Clause 5 of the Bill money required for the purposes of Clause 1 is very properly to be provided by Parliament, if your Lordships will look at subsection (4) of Clause 1 you will see it provides that: The Minister shall cause any conditions laid down by him for the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, and any directions given by him for the purposes of the last preceding subsection, to be laid forthwith before the Commons House of Parliament, and, if that House within the next twenty-one days on which the House has sat after any such conditions or directions are laid before it, resolves that they shall be annulled, they shall cease to have effect. …. Therefore, it would appear that the actions of a Minister in certain cases are not to be subject to Parliament but only to the Commons House of Parliament.

When I ventured to draw the noble Lords attention to this matter on Second Reading and requested him to follow the good example of his own colleague Lord Passfield, who rectified the Colonial Naval Defence Bill in a somewhat similar respect, he suggested that if I thought it of sufficient importance I should put down Amendments myself. By putting down the Amendments on the Paper I have taken up the noble Lord's challenge. Although it may not be a matter of first importance, I think I am quite justified in drawing your Lordships' attention to it, and in putting down Amendments for your Lordships' consideration, because I am of opinion that the conditions laid down and directions given by the Minister should equally be subject to a negative Resolution of this House and not of the Commons House only. It looks to me as if an attempt is being made to set up a bad precedent, and it is in order to try and prevent it that I now beg to move the Amendment which stands in my name.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 29, leave out ("the Commons House of").—(Viscount Bertie of Thame.)


I had no intention of challenging the noble Lord's suggestion in this matter. I only said he might, if he desired, put down an Amendment on Committee, as in fact he has done. I would point out to your Lordships that when the Bill was first introduced there was no suggestion of laying these regulations before either House, and that it was in the course of discussion in another place that agreement was reached with the Opposition. The actual subsection has been agreed in consultation with the Opposition in the House of Commons. I do, therefore, hope that in those circumstances the noble Viscount will not press this Amendment. In any case I think I ought to remind him that invariably a Resolution of one House only suffices to annul directions given by a Minister, and, us your Lordships have approved the principle of the Committee, perhaps the blouse is not specially interested in the mere details of the conditions and directions. Furthermore the additional laying before both Houses means an extra cost: I do not know quite how much, but something between £10 and 20 plus postage; and if the House is not in fact very interested in this I trust the noble Viscount will in the circumstances see his way to withdraw his Amendment.

VISCOUNT BERTIE OF THAME As the House does not seem to be interested I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining clauses agreed to.