HL Deb 16 March 1933 vol 86 cc1226-7

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, this Bill has been circulated to your Lordships. It is purely a Consolidation Bill, and it will be referred to the Committee upstairs. Therefore, I do not propose to move its Second Reading any more than these formal words.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Earl of Lucan.)


My Lords, I must apologise for intervening so often, especially on questions of grammar, but the noble Viscount, Lord Snowden, last year, when I put several grammatical Amendments on the Paper, asked me to withdraw them. I did so on the understanding that the Department would thoroughly go into them and adopt them. The noble Viscount, Lord Snowden, promised that should be done. I have read with great pleasure this Bill putting the word "Court" into the singular, although I do not agree that "County Council" should be put in the plural as it consistently is in this Bill, especially after what my noble friend Lord Lucan said a few days ago that all corporate bodies were to be treated as being in the singular in future Bills. When we come to the Schedule, "Court" goes skidding all over the place. In the Third Schedule, page 88, line 36, it is in the plural, as it also is on page 89, lines 8, 11, 39, and 43. Then we come to page 90, lines 19 and 31, where it goes back to the singular. Next we go to page 91, and on lines 15, 41, and 43, it slips back into the plural. Then in the Fifth Schedule, page 97, lines 11, 12, and 14, it happily goes back into its right place in the singular. I hope the noble Earl will see that this Bill is amended properly in Standing Committee.


My Lords, I must apologise to my noble friend. The Department I represent were convinced that they had thoroughly satisfied the noble Viscount in their treatment of nouns of multitude in this case. I was asked to assure him that they quite understood that he withdrew his Amendments last year on condition that in the Consolidation Bill the matter should be put right, and the office which I represent thought that they had made the matter right by putting "Court" in the singular and local authorities in the plural. I am sure that they will be most disappointed to find that they have not yet satisfied my noble friend, but I hope that they will be able to do so when the Bill is considered in the Consolidation Committee upstairs.

On Question, Bill read 2a, and referred to the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills.