HL Deb 13 December 1939 vol 115 cc227-8

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be read a second time. As your Lordships are aware, this is an annual Bill, which it is necessary to pass into law by the 31st of this month in order to ensure the continued existence on the Statute Book of various temporary Acts which cannot be allowed to expire, but which, for various reasons, it is undesirable to make permanent. The provisions continued by this Bill are the same as those continued by last year's Act, except for the inclusion of Section I of the Road Traffic Act, 1934, the Act which imposed a general speed limit of thirty miles per hour in built-up areas, and which is due to expire on the 31st of this month.

Your Lordships are aware that in the Bill as originally circulated in another place, which for convenience was circulated to your Lordships in the form in which it was presented to the House of Commons, there was another exception—namely, that the Special Areas (Amendment) Act was omitted from the Schedule; but, as explained yesterday by my noble friend the Leader of the House, His Majesty's Government decided to restore this Act to the Schedule and so meet representations that the machinery might be kept in being. Your Lordships will remember that on the corresponding occasion last year when I was moving the Second Reading of this Bill, I explained that the Special Areas (Amendment) Act, 1937, was being continued until March 31, 1940; the present proposal is to extend it by a further nine months—namely, to December 31 of next year. In doing so, however, the Government wish to make it clear that in view of the fact that the prime aim of the country is to get on with the war successfully, so as to bring it as speedily as possible to a conclusion, no new commitments will be entered into under the Act. Substantial expenditure will, none the less, be incurred in the period of nine months covered by the extension in respect of past commitments and measures undertaken.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2ª.—(Lord Templemore.)

On Question, Bill read 2ª, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.