§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ LORD MOUNT TEMPLE
My Lords, this is a very harmless and necessary Bill which puts the power of local authorities to advertise on a more businesslike and just basis. I understand it has the support of the Government and I beg to move that it be now read a second time.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Mount Temple.)
THE EARL OF ONSLOW
My Lords, I should like to say a word about this 869 Bill. I had not seen it until a few moments ago, and I have not had time to compare it with the local Acts on which I think it is based. I think there is one point which perhaps will have to be taken into consideration. There has been a Bill before your Lordships' House dealing with a resort on the coast near Edinburgh. It was pointed out that this resort, although it was administered under a county council, was of an urban character. I should think probably something will have to be done to meet that point. There is also the point that the council of any borough or urban district may combine with any other local authority. On that I think it ought to be made clear that a rural district, although it cannot itself advertise, may combine with another local authority. Then I would like to ask the noble Viscount who will speak for the Government, if this Bill is to be incorporated in the Public Health Act. The two measures seem to be of the same nature. At the time of the passing of the Local Government Act, 1933, certain other measures dealt with at the same time were incorporated, and I would like to ask whether that is to be done on this occasion.
My Lords, the Government are in sympathy with the objects of this Bill. For some time representations have been made that the time has come for modernising the Health Resorts and Watering Places Act of 1921, which is the only Statute under which local authorities have any power to advertise amenities. The Government feel that some of the restrictions in that Act might be relaxed. The real sponsors of the Bill are the Association of Health and Pleasure Resorts, and the Association have been in consultation with the Ministry of Health with regard to the proposals in the present Bill, In regard to the point raised by the noble Earl, the Chairman of Committees, about Midlothian, I am advised that in order to ensure the proper application of the Bill to Scotland certain Amendments will be necessary. We propose that those Amendments should be considered when the Bill is in Committee. I did not know that there was any doubt about the wording of Clause 1, which enables the council of a borough or urban district to combine with any other local authority, 870 organisation, company or person, but if there is any doubt I will certainly have the matter looked into, and will make further comments at the next stage of the Bill.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.