HL Deb 28 January 1947 vol 145 cc177-8

3.11 p.m.

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

[The EARL OF DROGHEDA in the Chair.]

Clause 1:

Amendment of 7 & 8 Geo. 6 c. 41

1. In the rules set out in the Third Schedule to the House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Act, 1944 (hereafter in this Act referred to as "the principal Act"), the following provisions shall cease to have effect, that is to say—

  1. (a) rule 4 (which limits the electorate of a constituency to not more than a quarter above or below the electoral quota and to which rule 5 as to conformity with local government boundaries is subject); and
  2. (b) in rule 3, paragraph (1) (which requires a two-member constituency to be divided or return a single member, if its electorate is not within the limits laid down by that paragraph for such a constituency) and subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (3) (which is supplemental to the said paragraph (1)).

THE LORD CHANCELLOR (VISCOUNT JOWITT) moved, in subsection (1) (b), to leave out "sub-paragraph (ii)" and insert "subparagraph (i)." The noble and learned Viscount said: If your Lordships will be good enough to turn to the Schedule of this Bill on page 3, at line 36 you will see the word "then," followed by some of those little dots which gave us some trouble on the last occasion. Having gone into the matter I find that the dots will not be there in the final form. The paragraph goes on: "it is determined…" and so on. That Schedule is all right, and that is how we want it to be. But its providence is this. The little dots are subsection (i), and the words that there follow are subsection (ii). It therefore follows that what we want to keep in is subsection (ii), which we have in the Schedule, and we want to eliminate subsection (i), which is now represented by these dots.

However, if you turn to the operative part of the Bill itself you will find on page 1, line 7: "… the following provisions shall cease to have effect," and amongst them is: "sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph (3) (which is supplemental to the said paragraph (1))." That is the very thing we want to keep in. We have it in, and this wording is merely a clerical error. What we meant to say was that we want to omit sub-paragraph (1) to paragraph (3). In order to make the body of the Bill square with the Schedule, which is all right, we should omit the words "sub-paragraph (ii)" and insert "sub-paragraph (i)."

Amendment moved— Clause 1, page 1 line 16, leave out ("sub-paragraph (ii)") and insert ("sub-paragraph (i)").—(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining clause and Schedule agreed to.