HL Deb 14 March 1933 vol 86 cc1087-8

Proceedings of the Statutory Committee

3. The Statutory Committee may make regulations as to the procedure to be followed by them in exercising the jurisdiction conferred on them by this Act, hut no such regulation shall have effect until confirmed by the Privy Council and the Privy Council may confirm any such regulation either with or without modifications:

Provided that where the Privy Council propose to confirm the regulations with modifications the Privy Council shall inform the Committee of the proposed modifications and give to them a reasonable opportunity of making any observations with respect thereto, and shall, before finally confirming the regulations, take into consideration any observations so made.

VISCOUNT BERTIE OF THAME moved, in paragraph 3, to omit the first "them" and to insert "it." The noble Viscount said: In reading this Bill I noticed with great pleasure that "Committee" was treated in the singular. My delight, however, was not very long lived, for when I came to the First Schedule I found it had slipped back into the plural. I do not think that is very neat and for that reason I beg to move the Amendment standing in my name.

Amendment moved— Page 31, line 24, leave out ("them") and insert ("it")—(Viscount Bertie of Thame)


We are always very grateful to the noble Viscount for correcting any grammatical mistakes that may arise. Consultation has been made of various works on the subject and, although there is no right or wrong in treating a noun of multitude as either singular or plural, still it has been agreed that in future the better course would be to treat these nouns as being of the singular number. I may say that there are one or two other cases which have been noticed since the noble Viscount's Amendment was put down which even his eagle eye missed. However, we accept his Amendment.


I see a certain difficulty in this procedure because in the earlier part of this Schedule it is provided that the quorum of the Statutory Committee shall be three. How can a singular body have a quorum of three? It seems to me that it would be better in this Schedule to have the plural form as you are dealing with a body which is definitely stated to be composed of units. You cannot talk of a body which is singular and say it shall have a quorum of three.


I take it that the noble Lord has read the Bill and he will have noticed on page 6 that Clause 7 (2) reads: If the statutory Committee think fit in any case so to do, it may, either of its own Motion•• Again, on page 11 of the Bill, he will see in Clause 11 (1): the Committee shall not give any such direction unless proof is given to its satisfaction. If the noble Lord holds the views which he has just expressed I venture to suggest that it was his duty to have moved to put these two cases into the plural.


May I say I have watched the noble Viscount's efforts with some anxiety, but this is the first opportunity I have had of raising the point.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


I have two other Amendments on the Paper which are consequential. I beg to move

Amendments moved— Page 31, line 25, leave out ("them") and insert ("it"). Page 31, line 31, leave out ("them") and insert ("it").—(Viscount Bertie of Thame)

On Question, Amendments agreed to.

First Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining Schedules agreed to.