§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (LORD STRATHCONA AND MOUNT ROYAL)
My Lords, it is unnecessary for me to explain to you the nature and objects of this Bill or why it must become law by the end of this month. It contains, moreover, no changes of great importance or of a controversial nature, and accordingly I shall not trouble the House with a lengthy statement. Clause 3 lays down the rates payable, during the twelve months beginning 1st May next, to the keepers of victualling houses for accommodation provided to troops billeted on them. The rates are set out in the First Schedule to the Bill, and are identical with those being paid in the present year. Those rates relate to peace conditions, when troops can only be billeted on the keepers of victualling houses. In emergency, however, wider powers are provided by Section 108A of the Act, the liability to provide billets being extended to the owners of public buildings and to 961 any householder possessing suitable accommodation. It is with these emergency powers that Clause 4 of the Bill deals, introducing certain amendments of a non-controversial nature.
The amendments to the Army Act made by Clause 5 and he First Part of the Second Schedule to the Bill are partly editorial and all of minor importance, and the same applies to the alterations made by Clause 9 and the Second and Third Parts of the Second Schedule to the Bill. Clauses 7 and 8 are intended to give the Army Council and the Air Council power to prolong the service of soldiers and airmen, with their consent and in circumstances which are entirely to their advantage; while Clause 10 permits the incorporation in future prints of the Army and Air Force Acts of the adaptations and modifications of those Acts effected by recent legislation separating Burma and Aden from India. I beg to move that the Bill be how read a second time.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.