§ 2.47 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (VISCOUNT JOWITT)
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. This is a Bill to consolidate the Companies Act, 1947, with the Companies Act, 1929. It is a somewhat formidable measure, as your Lordships will see, but it is a consolidation measure and it does not in any way change the law. Your Lordships will recollect that during the passage of the Companies Act through the House last year there were requests from all sides 1016 of the House that a measure to consolidate the Companies Acts should be introduced as soon as possible, and I promised that consolidation should be effected as soon as it was possible to do so. It is important that this measure should be passed into law as soon as possible, as the Government wish to bring into operation all the remaining provisions of the 1947 Act at the same time as the accounts provisions, and an Order has been made appointing July 1 as the date on which the whole of the 1947 Act will be in operation. His Majesty's Government indicated that these provisions would, if possible, not be brought into force until the Acts had been consolidated. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ VISCOUNT SWINTON
My Lords, I would like to thank the noble and learned Viscount for having so amply fulfilled his undertaking that he would do his best to see that these large Acts were consolidated into a single measure before the new companies code came into force. He has fully discharged that undertaking. But even more thanks are due to the Parliamentary draftsmen who have achieved this monumental work. We all have production targets set us to-day, but there are few sections of the community, industrial or otherwise, who so successfully attain so large a production target as the unfortunate Parliamentary draftsmen.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and referred to the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills.