THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (THE EARL OF ONSLOW)
My Lords, I rise to move the Motion which stands in my name, and which deals with the Humber Bridge Bill. This Motion will enable, at least I hope it will, proceedings to be taken which seem to me a fair solution of a difficult problem. This Bill was carried over from last Session. If it were carried over again and then came up from the Commons it would go down as waiting for a Select Committee because the carryover would eliminate the Second Reading stage. Your Lordships are accustomed to carrying over in the ordinary way, but in this case it would be unjust to the parties because there has been a considerable difference in the finance of the Bill since it was first introduced. Originally money was to be provided by the Government, but now the Government are unable to make that provision and so the proposals to find the money must be of a different nature, and it seems desirable that your Lordships should have the opportunity of discussing the Bill again on Second Reading.
The effect of this Motion is that the Bill will be carried over until next Session and that all proceedings prior to the Second Reading will be regarded as pro forma. That will save considerable expense to the parties. As the third paragraph of the Motion states, the Standing Orders with which Private Bills have to comply will not be applied in this case. This deals with the notice, deposit of the Bill, plans and so forth. That has all been done, so it is unnecessary to do it again. But it has been felt that in the altered circumstances the parties should be allowed, if they wish, to lodge further Petitions, and so the last paragraph suggests that they should have that permis- 791 sion. This Bill may never reach this House because it would have to be read a third time next Session in another place. But if it passed in another place and reaches your Lordships' House it will come up for Second Reading. Then, if it goes before a Committee, further Petitions in the altered circumstances may be deposited.
It is rare for Private Bills to be carried over twice. I have only been able to find one precedent and that is the Cardiff Extension Provisional Order Bill in 1921. That was carried over from August, 1921, and again in December. The Bill never received the Royal Assent because Parliament was subsequently dissolved. But I think it is clear there is a precedent for carrying over Private Bills twice. It is not often such a thing occurs because people want to get Bills through as quickly as they can. Your Lordships' House is very particular in considering carrying over and will only consent when there is a good and obvious reason for doing so. I think there is a good reason in the present instance and therefore I hope your Lordships will agree to the Motion.
Moved to resolve, That in case the Bill, brought from the House of Commons in the last Session and upon which the proceedings have been suspended in this House until the present Session, shall be brought from the House of Commons in the next Session of Parliament, the Agent for the Bill shall deposit in the Private Bill Office after the Bill shall have passed the House of Commons and prior to the First Reading thereof in this House, a declaration stating that the Bill is the same, in every respect, as the Bill at the last stage of the proceedings thereon in this House in the last Session; and, where any sum of money has been deposited, that such deposit has not been withdrawn, together with a certificate of that fact from the proper officer:
That the proceedings on the Bill shall be pro forma only in regard to every stage through which the same shall have already passed prior to the Second Reading and that no new fees be charged in regard to such stages, nor shall a further fee be charged if the Bill be read 2a in the next Session:
That the Standing Orders by which the proceedings on Bills are regulated Shall not apply to such Bill in regard to any 792 of the stages through which the same shall have already passed:
That all Petitions already presented against the Bill shall stand referred to the Committee on the same Bill in the next Session of Parliament, with liberty to parties interested to lodge further Petitions by depositing the same in the Private Bill Office before three o'clock in the afternoon on or before the seventh day after the day on which the Bill shall have been brought from the House of Commons.—(The Earl of Onslow.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to, and ordered accordingly.
§ A Message ordered to be sent to the Commons to acquaint them therewith.