HL Deb 14 July 1949 vol 163 cc1321-2

4.24 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that the Draft Regulations as reported from the Special Orders Committee on the 6th instant be approved. As I have already said in the previous discussion, the Regulations appertaining to Scotland are substantially the same as the English Regulations, except for some very minor differences into which I will not go, unless your Lordships especially desire it. I would therefore say merely that the Scottish draft regulations have been discussed with the Scottish County Councils' Association, the Society of Royal Burghs and the Counties' and Cities' Association, and have been generally agreed with them. The only point which they queried was whether Regulation 8 of the General Regulations would enable the Minister to require a local authority to take delivery of a greater amount of stores than they could provide storage space for. They have been given an assurance that in practice every effort will be made to operate the provisions of these regulations in agreement with the local authority or local authorities concerned, and it is the intention that a local authority who under the regulations, receive stores and maintenance equipment not needed in connection with their own civil defence functions should be relieved of the cost of storage. In the previous discussion the noble Lord, Lord Clydesmuir, for the convenience of your Lordships, raised a point to which I have much pleasure in replying now. The noble Lord asked for an assurance that if any Minister, other than the Secretary of State for Scotland finds it necessary to use powers of coercion over a Scottish local authority there will be prior consultation with the Secretary of State. I can give the noble Lord a very definite assurance—with this small proviso (which I am sure the noble Lord will accept): "Unless the circumstances are so urgent as absolutely to preclude it." I think the noble Lord will agree that my proviso is essential. The noble Lord knows probably better than anybody in your Lordships' House that no Great Britain Minister would take such action against a Scottish authority without the fullest consideration.

Moved, That the draft regulations as reported from the Special Orders Committee on the 6th instant be approved.—(Lord Morrison.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.