§ 3.5 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, this Bill concerns the allowance which was, provided for by the Act of 1937 to Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret. The fact of this Bill having to be brought before Parliament only serves to show that there are other people who make mistakes. This was patently a mistake; it is obvious that this House, and Parliament as a whole, are already completely committed to make this allowance. The Act of 1937 provided that an allowance of £6,000 a year should be paid to Princess Margaret on her attaining her majority, but, owing to an error in Section 13 of the Act, that obligation was not specifically charged on the Consolidated Fund. Therefore, all we have to do is to make good what was an obvious drafting error at that time. I know that if we had to consider this matter again we should unanimously pass a somewhat higher figure, but that is not the question here at all. We have simply to rectify a purely technical error that has been made. Although the sum was voted, it was not charged on the Consolidated Fund, and all we are doing is to make good that obvious error. As I say, we are already completely committed to this allowance, and I am sure this Bill will commend itself to all quarters of the House. I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Lord Chancellor.)1314
§ 3.7 p.m.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My Lords, this is a Bill on which, happily, I am quite sure there will be no controversy at all in any part of the House. Indeed, I understand from the noble and learned Lord Chancellor that, but for a drafting error, to which the best of men is liable, the point with which it deals would have been approved by Parliament fourteen years ago. Moreover, I should have thought that the purpose of the Bill was one which we would all wholeheartedly support. Our Royal Family to-day is, I suppose, more universally beloved, probably, than at any time in our history; and that is due, above all, to the unremitting devotion which they show to the service of their country. Not a day passes without evidence of this, and their devotion, of course, imposes a special obligation upon Parliament to make it possible for them to perform in a fitting manner the arduous duties which they are called upon to undertake. Such is the purpose of this Bill, and, speaking at any rate for those who sit on this side of the House, I am sure that we shall pass it without more ado, in that spirit of loyal affection which your Lordships always show to the Crown.
§ 3.8 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT SAMUEL
My Lords, I need do no more than to say that noble Lords on these Benches cordially concur in the passage of this Bill.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a; Committee negatived.
§ Then, Standing Order No. XXXIX having been dispensed with (pursuant to Resolution), Bill read 3a, and passed.