HL Deb 19 December 1945 vol 138 cc899-901

Order of the Day for consideration of the Report from the Select Committee read.


My Lords, I will not detain your Lordships for more than a few minutes. Your Lordships will recall that at the beginning of this Session the House appointed a Committee to consider the revision of the Standing Orders relating to Private and Provisional Order Bills. The preliminary work entailed in this revision was begun in 1943 by an Unofficial Committee of the House of Commons, assisted by officers of this House. The Unofficial Committee made their Report to the Chairman of Ways and Means in October, 1944, and their recommendations were approved by the House of Commons in February of this year. The revision, which the Committee appointed by your Lordships has had to consider, has been based largely on the work of this unofficial Committee. It may interest the House if I read a passage which occurs in the Report made to the Chairman of Ways and Means: The Standing Orders have never received so comprehensive and so complete a scrutiny from the point of view of practice, interpretation, and draftsmanship, since they became a code of considerable length in the middle of the last century. These words are equally applicable to the revision which has been carried out of the similar Standing Orders of this House.

Before I ask your Lordships to agree to this Report, I think the House should understand that no new principles have been embodied in the revised Standing Orders, and that only minor variations in procedure have been made. These variations are referred to in the Report of the Committee. An additional advantage is that the Report brings the practice of this House very closely into concurrence with the practice followed in the House of Commons. Your Lordships may feel satisfied that the necessary revision of the Standing Orders has been completed and I think this House should be grateful to the eminent members of the House, to the officers of the House, and to several outside interests who undertook, by serving on the Committee, the task of supervising this revision. I think your Lordships may rest assured that it has been well done. I may add that on the last occasion on which the Committee met, though I was in the Chair, invites et indignus, I was flanked by two ex-Lord Chancellors. I beg to move that the Report be now considered.

Moved, That the Report be now considered.—(Viscount Mersey.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Report be agreed to.

Moved, That the Report be agreed to.—(Viscount Mersey.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.