HL Deb 27 July 1931 vol 81 cc1162-4

THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (THE EARL OF ONSLOW) moved a number of Amendments to the Standing Orders relative to Private Bills. The noble Earl said: My Lords, if your Lordships will kindly look at the Paper I am afraid you will see a very long Notice down in my name. This is a Notice in regard to Standing Orders relative to Private Bills, and it is suggested that your Lordships' Standing Orders should be amended as is proposed on the Order Paper. I would, with your Lordships' permission, occupy one or two moments to explain what has occurred and what has necessitated this Motion. It will probably be within your Lordships' recollection that on November 13 last my predecessor the noble Earl, Lord Donoughmore, moved the amendment of Standing Orders relating to Private Bills, and your Lordships were pleased to agree with his proposals; but there was one important point that stood over at that time dealing with the method of giving notice in regard to Private Bills.

The noble Earl was not at that time in agreement with the authorities of the other House, and he therefore asked your Lordships to appoint a small Select Committee to enquire into the matter and to make recommendations for the consideration of the House. This was done, and the Select Committee met and came to certain conclusions. Those conclusions are embodied in the Amendments which are proposed to Standing Orders 3, 4 and 10, but not the whole of the Amendments apply to Standing Order 4. Those I will deal with in a moment. The Committee recommended that Standing Orders 3 and 4 should be made identical with the analogous Orders in the House of Commons, and that Standing Order 10 should also be amended, but that our Standing Order should go rather farther than the one which had been adopted by the other House—that is to say, instead of the short title of the Bill the whole title of the Bill should be quoted. The Select Committee thought the short title rather too brief to give the necessary indication of the whole purport of the Bill.

I come now to the other Amendments which are rather voluminous, but they deal with very minor matters indeed. These were precisely referred to the Select Committee which was appointed to deal with Private Bills in so far as they affected notices by advertisement. So I have not, after the consideration of Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 10, summoned the Committee again. They were good enough to say that if any other point should arise they would give me their valuable assistance, but the matter was so very small that I did not think I was justified in troubling them to meet again. The main point is that we have got those dealing with Bills relative to Letters Patent. Such Bills have not been introduced for many years, and it is extremely doubtful whether they ever will be, but it is necessary to leave the door open in case such Bills should be introduced. Therefore it is suggested that we should have the same procedure as is adopted for personal Bills other that Estate Bills. It is very unlikely to occur again. Therefor in No. 175 proceedings in respect of such Bills are made subject to such directions as may from time to time be given by the Chairman of Committees. We have suggested that Letters Patent Bills should be co-ordinated with this procedure.

The last point which arises is that which arose out of the London Electric, Metropolitan District, and Central London Railway Companies (Works) Bill and the station which it was proposed to erect on Camberwell Green. Your Lordships will see on page 3 of the Order Paper that we propose to amend Standing Order 4, and paragraphs (d) and (e) show the changes which it is proposed to make in the Standing Orders to remedy the state of affairs which arose with regard to the Camberwell Green proposal. This makes it necessary for due Notice to be given in regard to any proposed interference with the surface of any public park or open space in London or any other urban area. The words which appear on the Order Paper are "the surface of any public park or open space," but I think it would be better—and with your Lordships' permission I will move it in that form—that it should read "the surface of any public park or public open space. "I think that probably the word does cover both, but it would be desirable to make it quite clear that what is referred to is any public" open space. I understand it will cover all public open spaces, not only in London but in the provinces, and I venture to hope that the proposal will give effect to the wish expressed so widely in your Lordships' House on the Third Reading debate on the Bill to which I have referred. I suggest that it would he desirable if possible to get the Standing Orders passed before the adjournment of the House so that Parliamentary Agents and others interested in Bills, when they are preparing Bills during the Recess, may be aware of what changes are intended to be made.

Moved, That the Standing Orders relative to Private Bills be amended as follows—

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