HL Deb 16 December 1952 vol 179 cc1007-38

3.22 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:


Clause 1 [Permanent enactment of provisions contained in certain Defence Regulations]:

On Question, Whether Clause 1 shall stand part of the Bill?


I think it would be convenient if at an early stage I said a few words of introduction to the Committee stage of this Bill, because it occupies a rather curious position in our procedure. The Committee will remember that when I moved an Address that certain emergency regulations should be continued, by your Lordships' consent the debate ranged over a wide area—in substance, the area covered by this Bill. But so far as the Bill itself is concerned, I moved the Second Reading in purely formal terms, and there was no discussion upon it, for the reason that there was no common principle running through a number of wholly disparate provisions. I thought, therefore, that it would be convenient to the Committee (and it is a course which, if they think fit, I propose to take) that in regard to each clause of the Bill I should say a word or two of introduction in order that the Committee may see what they have not yet seen, because there has been no discussion on Second Reading—namely, what it is that they are asked to legislate about. I hope that will be a convenient course to the Committee.

The first clause provides that the provisions set out in the First Schedule to the Act shall have permanent effect. I propose, if it is convenient, to defer comment on the clause until I come to the Schedule, because I shall then have a few words to say in regard to each provision of the Schedule. I thought it would be convenient to defer that until a number of noble Lords who have down Amendments after Clause 1 have had an opportunity of moving them. That course will enable them to move their Amendments and not to wait until the whole of the Bill has been discussed. Therefore, so far as Clause 1 is concerned I propose, if it is convenient to the Committee, to say no more at present.


I will say no more than that the suggestion of the noble and learned Lord is one which commends itself to this side of the House.

Clause 1 agreed to.

LORD LAWSON moved, after Clause 1 to insert the following new clause:

Permanent enactment of Regulation 58AE of Defence (General) Regulations, 1939.

". Regulation fifty-eight AE (Training, etc., of persons employed in coal mines) of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, so far as it was in force on the 10th of December, 1950, shall have permanent effect." The noble Lord said: I beg to move the new clause standing in my name on the Marshalled List. At first sight the withdrawal of Regulation 58AE takes away the right to training of boys who enter mines. I must say that I was rather shocked when I first saw that regulation. The intention of my clause is to make permanent the regulation for training boys who enter the mines. It may seem to the Committee rather an unusual subject to find in the Defence Regulations. The truth is that the first regulations for the training of boys who enter the mines to become miners were laid down during the war, and consequently they found their place in the Defence Regulations. Those who have followed the subject will remember (I do not think anybody will forget) the setting up by the late Ernest Bevin of what was known as the "Bevin boys" scheme, which provided for boys the alternative of going into the mines instead of into the Services, and generally extended the right of training to all boys who entered the mines. I do not wish to take up time over this matter, except to say that it was only when we in the mines had this change put upon us that the public realized, almost with a shock, that we had never trained boys who entered the mines to become miners. Of course, that did not shock persons like myself. It was the kind of thing I had got used to. I entered the mines at twelve years of age, and within a week I was driving a pony. Far from guiding the pony and training it to do its work, I hardly knew my way about myself. But at one time that was the common state of affairs. Now we have become used to the idea that boys should have something like three months' training before they take on any occupation in a mine.

I realise, of course, that there is a legal side to this question, and the reason I am moving the insertion of this clause is, in the main, to give the Lord Chancellor an opportunity of explaining and setting on record what the legal position would be, because the bare fact seems to be that as the Bill is at present drafted the regulation giving the right to training is being withdrawn, and nothing is being put in its place. That may not be the case. This is the sort of subject upon which one could spend a good deal of lime, for it lifts a veil from the Middle Ages or the Dark Ages period in the history of the miners. I once touched the dead body of a school friend of mine, a boy of about the same age as myself, and that was within a few weeks of my entering the mine. In my time, I have seen some very tragic happenings. The training of boys naturally lessens the danger to themselves, and it also lays the foundation upon which they can develop a mastery of their craft. When I was in the mine, I always felt that what this regulation for training has done should have been done in the beginning of the nineteenth century—in the sense that it makes a boy an apprentice to what is, in truth, a great craft. Before the training of one who enters upon the life of a miner is finished, he has to be highly skilled in one of the most highly skilled trades that exists.

There is a type of mind which leads its possessor to say: "Oh, you just dig coal." As a matter of fact, to be a good miner, you have to know the natures of coal and of stone, and to humour each of those minerals according to its nature. If you do not, then you soon find yourself in trouble. This training, for the first lime in the history of coal mining, not only provided for the training of boys but made them apprentices to that great craft called "coal mining." I am sure that the Lord Chancellor will have some adequate explanation to give to the Committee upon this matter, but in order that we may make sure that the regulations for training become permanent, I have put this Amendment down on the Marshalled List. I formally beg to move.

Amendment moved, After Clause 1, insert the said new clause.—(Lord Lawson.)

3.35 p.m.


Nobody questions the authority with which the noble Lord, Lord Lawson, speaks on anything to do with mines and miners, and one can well understand a legitimate apprehension being felt lest the safeguard of a regulation is taken away and nothing is put in its place. But I think I can assure the Committee, and the noble Lord in particular, that that fear is quite unfounded. The proper place to put regulations dealing with coal mines is in provisions made under the Coal Mines Act and not in Defence Regulations; and that is, in short, what we have done. During the war, on January 1, 1944, an order was made under a Defence Regulation providing for the training, supervision and medical examination of persons employed in or about mines. That regulation, so far as two-thirds of it—namely, training and supervision—were concerned, was superseded by an expanded code of requirements in the Coal Mines Training (General) Regulations of September 28, 1945, which were made under powers conferred upon the Minister by the Coal Mines Act of 1911. Those provisions have now been in force for seven years and have given satisfaction. If in any respect they have not given satisfaction, an amended regulation can be made. So the regulation which the noble Lord wants to put back into part of our permanent law has already been superseded as to two-thirds of it by the regulation made in the proper way, after proper consultation with the industry. I repeat that if the noble Lord, with all his experience, thinks there is any flaw in that regulation, it can be amended in the proper way after proper consultation.

One part of the Defence Regulation was left still standing—namely, that part which dealt with medical examination. It was merely in order that that part might continue to stand that the regulation was not long since revoked. As to that, by the Coal Mines (Medical Examination) Regulations of 1952, new regulations have been made which supersede and take the place of that part of the old regulation made under the Defence Regulation. There is a new regulation which comes into force on the tenth of this month. It has been drawn up after consultation with all the persons concerned, and, so far as I know, it gives and will give complete satisfaction. If in any respect it does not give satisfaction, then the proper approach can be made, and a new regulation supplementing any part of it can be made in due course. I hope that what I have said has satisfied the noble Lord and the Committee that there is no need whatever for the inclusion in our permanent law of this regulation made under the Defence Regulations. In fact, it would be a retrograde step, for it would enable these regulations to be made by a stroke of a pen by the Minister, instead of after due consultation with all the parties interested. In view of what I have said, I regret that I cannot accept the Amendment which the noble Lord has proposed.


I thank the noble and learned Lord for his plain and simple explanation, and also for his statement as to what the law is at the present time. I am sure that there are many who will greatly appreciate the statement which he has made, and the fact that it is now on record that there are other powers to make regulations, so that the power is practically permanent. In the circumstances, I ask leave of the Committee to withdraw this Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD MILNER OF LEEDS moved, after Clause 1 to insert the following new clause:

Permanent enactment of Regulation 60 of Defence (General)Regulations, 1939.

". Regulation sixty (Safety and welfare of factory workers) of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, so far as it was in force on the 10th of December, 1950, shall have permanent effect." The noble Lord said: Your Lordships will remember that in the White Paper headed Continuance of Emergency Legislation, on the first page the Government propose to revoke before December 10 certain regulations among the Defence (General) Regulations. The purpose of this Amendment, and of those which my noble friends will move, is either to have those regulations which the Government propose to revoke made permanent or to obtain a satisfactory explanation as to why that course should not be adopted. My particular Amendment is to make Regulation 60, which relates to the safety and welfare of factory workers, have permanent effect. That regulation seems to mea very important one. It is headed, "Safety and welfare of factory workers," and provides as follows: For the purpose of securing the safety, health, or welfare of persons employed in the performance of services, or engaged in operations, which appear to him to be essential for any of the purposes as specified in subsection (1) of section one of the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act, 1945[2], in circumstances which, in his opinion, are or are likely to be dangerous to life or limb or injurious to health, the Minister of Labour and National Service…may by order make such provision as he considers desirable with respect to persons employed in any premises, or engaged in any operations, to which any of the provisions of the Factories Act,1937, apply; and, without prejudice to the generality of the power aforesaid, any such order may in particular contain such requirements with respect to the safety of workers, or the provision of medical attendance, nourishment, clothing, facilities for taking meals, rest, or recreation, or facilities for transport, and may impose such prohibitions, restrictions, or obligations in respect of the use of machinery, appliances, materials, or processes, as appear to the Minister to be expedient for the purposes aforesaid.

Your Lordships will appreciate that that is a very wide regulation, indeed, and it gives power to the Minister to make regulations with regard to many most essential services or safety precautions for the workers engaged in industry. It may be that most of those powers are authorised by the various Factory Acts. These regulations, however, enable a more speedy procedure to be adopted than that under the Factory Acts. Under the Acts advertising and other steps are required, whereas under the Defence Regulation; the Minister may make orders on his own volition. Therefore, as I say, it may be that all these powers are contained in the various Factory Acts, and it may be that the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor will be able to give an assurance on this point. There is one power which is rather modern, the power to compel the provision of facilities for meals—that is, the provision of canteens. I should like to be assured that this power, in particular will continue to exist if this order is done away with. I do not know how far the Government have consulted either the Trades Union Congress or the appropriate trade union before proposing to revoke this order. Perhaps the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor can also give some assurance on that point, in which event I hope that I may be able, with the approval of my noble friends, to take a certain course with regard to this Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— After Clause 1 insert the said new clause.—(Lord Milner of Leeds.)


With such changes as the nature of the subject matter demands, my answer to the noble Lord, Lord Milner, is substantially the same as that which I gave to the noble Lord, Lord Lawson. The purpose of Defence Regulation 60 was to enable the proper authority—in this case the Home Secretary, and at one time the Minister of Labour—to make quickly, and without going through the procedure prescribed in the Factory Acts, the necessary provisions for safety and welfare in factories. An adequate statutory procedure had already been laid clown in Section 60 and Section 46 of the Factory Act of 1937. I think those sections confer precisely similar powers to those contained in the regulation. It is significant that no orders have been made under this Defence Regulation since the end of the war. It has been found sufficient to make use of the regular statutory procedure under the Factory Acts. It was decided to keep Regulation 60 alive for some time in order that an opportunity might be given to replace under the regular procedure orders which had been made under the emergency procedure.

Again I will say this: if there is any regulation of which the noble Lord can think which it is desirable should be introduced and which has not new been introduced under the regular procedure to replace the emergency procedure, I shall be glad if he will inform me of it and I will acquaint the proper Department. We think there is nothing which has not already been satisfactorily provided for by orders under the Factory Acts procedure; but if there is anything, we will see to it. So far as canteens are concerned (I speak from memory and I shall check it), I think there is ample power under the regular legislation to give either a general direction in regard to classes of factories or a special direction in regard to a particular factory for the establishment of canteens. But I will certainly have that point checked. There was one other point, I think—in regard to consultation. Again I speak subject to correction, but the ordinary procedure of the Factory Acts requires consultation and I have no doubt that consultations have been held. I hope that I have satisfied the noble Lord.


I am greatly obliged to the noble and learned Lord, and having regard to what he has said and the assurances he has given, I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

3.45 p.m.

LORD WISE moved, after Clause 1, to insert the following new clause:

Permanent Enactment of Regulation 62AA of Defence (General)Regulations, 1939.

". Regulation sixty-two AA (Penalty for allowing dogs to stray on allotments) of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, so far as it was in force on the 10th of December, 1950, shall have permanent effect."

The noble Lord said: I beg to move the Amendment standing in my name. As your Lordships will remember, this regulation has received some consideration in this House during the last few weeks. As it was first raised by the noble Viscount, Lord Hudson, I feel that he, rather than I, should be moving this Amendment. In the food production debate on November 11, the matter was raised by Lord Hudson, who was rather perturbed because this regulation was being revoked. It was brought in during the time the noble Viscount was Minister of Agriculture and he seemed to feel strongly that this was not the right moment to revoke it. I have before me a copy of the OFFICIAL REPORT of that debate, in which the noble Viscount gave several reasons why the Defence Regulation should still stand, the main reason being that at the present time, when the country is in need of a very high production of food, nothing which may jeopardise or in any way hinder food production on allotments should be allowed; and in this I agree with the noble Viscount.

The regulation is a little difficult. It deals only with the question of dogs found straying on allotments. It says: It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence against this regulation to prove that he had taken all reasonable steps to ensure that the dog did not stray. I think the noble Viscount was most concerned with the fact that dogs are not kept under control around our cities and towns and are allowed to stray on allotments to the detriment of food production.

There is another point about this regulation. A notice has to be posted on allotments warning the public that the regulation is in force on these allotments. I understand that under the Allotments Act, 1922, it was possible to take action against people who caused damage on allotments, but there is nothing in that Act about the straying of dogs. If I may read the appropriate section of the Allotment Act, 1922, it says: Any person who by any act done without lawful authority or by negligence causes damage to any allotment, garden, or any crop or fence or building thereon shall be liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding five pounds. But this provision shall not apply unless notice of this provision is conspicuously displayed on or near the allotment garden. That does not seem to me quite to cover the same matter arising under the Defence Regulation. It is clear that for trespass and damage a person can proceed to take action, but the Defence Regulation deals with rather a different matter. I feel that it might be desirable to consider whether, in present circumstances—and I want to stress the words, "in present circumstances"—the Defence Regulation should not be left on the Statute Book and action taken if dogs are allowed unnecessarily to stray on allotments around the towns and cities. As I commenced by saying, I think we are all agreed that no action should be taken which would jeopardise the food productive efforts, not only of allotment holders, but of all concerned in food production at the present moment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— After Clause 1, insert the said new clause.—(Lord Wise.)


As the noble Lord, Lord Wise, has said, Regulation 62AA makes it an offence on the part of any owner if his dog is found straying on an allotment. It was originally introduced in order to protect, particularly, war-time allotments, which were often unfenced. There are two main reasons why we decided that the regulation ought to be revoked. The first is that there are not nearly so many temporary allotments now as there were during the war; and also, the difficulties of fencing those that remain are not so great as they were then. Secondly, the regulation suffered from the defect that it created a criminal offence if a dog was allowed to stray on an allotment, even if no damage was done. Her Majesty's Government felt that such a departure from the normal law of trespass required a great deal of justification. We do not think, in the present circumstances, it can be justified. For the noble Lord's information, I may say that this regulation has not been used very much. There have been no convictions under it for the last two years, and only six successful convictions under it in the whole time that it has been in operation. But the fact that we are dispensing with this regulation does not at all mean that we consider allotments of less importance now than they used to be. There is no need for me to stress the importance of their contribution to food production. One also appreciates that they are important from the social and recreational point of view. But, as the noble Lord, Lord Wise, has mentioned, allotment holders still have legal protection against damage to their property under the section of the Allotments Act, 1922, to which he referred. Even if that Act does not (as I think it does) cover the point, they still have their remedy at Common Law. I am sorry, therefore, that I am unable to accept the noble Lord's Amendment.


The remedy at Common Law, of course, is the right to bring an action for damages. That is a quite unreal and unpractical thing in the case of small damage, because in all probability the costs which the person bringing the action would have to pay would exceed the damages he would get, and he would be out of pocket by bringing the action. What are here involved are criminal proceedings. I forget when this regulation was first introduced—I think it was in the early days of Mr. Churchill's Government. I seem to remember having a considerable body of evidence about the damage which was done to allotments by dogs. As my noble friend has said, in the interests of food production it is vitally important that that sort of damage should be stopped. I suggest that Lord Carrington's differentiation between temporary and permanent allotments is not to the point at all. Dogs do not think to themselves: "This is a temporary allotment, and therefore I may stray on it." They are just as likely to stray on a permanent allotment as they are on a temporary allotment. With the greatest respect to the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, there is no point in that whatsoever—at least, I humbly submit to the Committee that there is no point in it.

If it is desired to stop dogs from straying on allotments, I venture to think that this power is most useful. Here is a fact that you can prosecute the owner of a dog if his dog strays on an allotment, though it is a defence, if I remember rightly, for the owner of the dog to say: "I did take reasonable steps," or "I did not anticipate that my dog would stray." But it really is not to the point to say that dogs used to stray." That is why we introduced the legislation in the clays of the Coalition Government. Everybody wanted this regulation then, because there was a great danger of damage being done to allotments by dogs. You pass this regulation, you make it—subject to the point I have suggested—a criminal offence for a man to let his dog go on allotments, and in the result, whereas dogs used to stray on allotments, they do not do so now. The noble Lord is now proposing to abolish that state of affairs, and we shall get back to the situation which induced us to pass the regulation. It was not passed in the days of the Coalition Government for fun or without adequate evidence; it was passed because in these days we were satisfied that dogs were doing real damage to allotments. That has now stopped. In spite of the Act of 1922, they did damage to allotments. I suggest that the Act of 1922 is no sort of answer. Does the noble Lord say that you can prosecute a man under the Act of 1922 if his dog strays on an allotment?


If it does damage.


Under the Act of 1922?




The noble Lord has no doubt taken advice upon it, but I am surprised to hear that. If that is so, you alter the whole position. How does the defence stand? Is it a defence under the Act of 1922 to prove that you did not know your dog was likely to go there? At the present moment, under the Defence Regulations about which my noble friend is talking, the position is that of the dog does damage there is prima-facie liability. If you are the owner of the dog you can get out of that liability by saying that you had no grounds for thinking that your dog would do damage. The regulation stopped damage by dogs. What is the position under the Act of 1922? If the accused person says, "I did not know my dog was going there," is that a defence? I am surprised to hear that this comes under the Act of 1922 at all. The noble Lord will perhaps tell us. We all want to be satisfied that unnecessary damage will not be done to allotment gardens, be they temporary or permanent, in view of the serious food shortage with which this country may be confronted. We want to be satisfied that effective steps are available to deal with this menace, and to deal with it as effectively as we did in the days of the Coalition Government by this regulation, which the Labour Government decided to continue. If the noble Lord can satisfy us that he really has machinery to deal with the matter, we shall be only too pleased that the regulation should go. But merely to say that dogs do not trespass now like they used to in their unregenerate days proves nothing at all: it merely shows what an effective regulation we passed, and how wise the Labour Government were to keep it on. I would ask the noble Lord to look at this point again.


Surely, the noble and learned Earl is quite wide of the mark. This regulation makes it a criminal offence for a dog to stray on an allotment, whether it does damage or not. I should have thought that every man in these days would resist such a proposal, unless it was felt to be absolutely necessary. If the noble and learned Earl strays on an allotment, that is not a criminal offence, although it may be a trespass and he may be liable if he does damage. He is treating the dog, and the owner of the dog, worse than he would treat any ordinary citizen. There is no need in the world for this power. It was just because there was no need that the Government in which the noble and learned Earl was an ornament resisted an Amendment to the Allotment Act, 1950, which would have made it an offence to allow a dog to stray on allotments. In all these years, this regulation has been used only in six cases, and nobody can suggest that it acted as a deterrent to the dog, because, as I pointed out before, the dog could not read. I hope sincerely that noble Lords on both sides of the House will reject this Amendment, for it really adds nothing to the production of food and is a grave encroachment upon the liberty of the subject.


May I ask one question before we decide on this point? Can the noble Lord say how many allotments there are in the country, and how many are affected in this case?


That was my point about the temporary allotment with which the noble and learned Earl made play. There were a great many more allotments during the war than existed before. In most cases the temporary allotments were unfenced. It is very much easier for a dog to stray on to an unfenced allotment than it was for a dog to stray on a fenced allotment before the war. In 1943 there were 585,000 allotments in this country, and at the present time there are about 200,000. Most of the decrease has been in unfenced allotments.


In view of the information which has been given by noble Lords opposite, I crave the leave of the House to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

4.3 p.m.

LORD WISE moved, after Clause 1 to insert the following new clause:

Permanent enactment of Regulation 66 of Defence (General)Regulations. 1939

". Regulation sixty-six (Delegation of functions of Minister of Agriculture) of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, so far as it was in force on the 10th of December, 1950, shall have permanent effect."

The noble Lord said: The new clause which I now beg to move is somewhat different from the last. With the leave of the House I shall have to deal with this in two parts. First of all, may I call the attention of noble Lords to the regulation concerned? It is Regulation 66, which says: The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries may by order provide for delegating, to such extent and subject to such restrictions as may be specified in the order, to any person or body of persons appointed or approved by him all or any of his functions under any of the following Regulations, that is to say, Regulations sixty-two, sixty-two A …

I should like first of all to deal with Regulation 62, which is concerned with the control of cultivation and termination of agricultural tenancies. At the outset, I should like to refer to the White Paper which deals with these two regulations. If noble Lords have the White Paper before them, they will see on the first page that Regulation 66 is revoked and then, on the second page—which gives a long list of other regulations—they will find that Regulation 62 (Control of Cultivation and Termination of Agricultural Tenancies) still stands and will be kept in force, although it is proposed to revoke some regulations, in part. Regulation 62 is mentioned there, as also is 62A. Now in regard to Regulation 62, the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor, during the Second Reading debate on November 20, said this (OFFICIAL, REPORT, Vol. 179, Col. 454): I wish to give an example of one or two cases of partial revocation, and one which I would mention is paragraphs 1 to 3 of Regulation 62. That is a regulation which authorises the issue of directions about the cultivation, management and use of land for agricultural purposes. Regulation 62 deals with other matters besides that particular point which was mentioned by the Lord Chancellor. Paragraphs 1 to 3 certainly deal with the cultivation of land, the question of giving up of tenancies and the use of force, if necessary, in order to obtain possession of land which has been subject to a notice to quit. But there are other provisions in that particular regulation, what I want to ask the noble Lord opposite is: What has happened in regard to those provisions? There are paragraphs (3A), (4), and so on. I am not quite certain whether they are revoked under this revocation of Regulation 66. I should also like to know whether the power of the Minister of Agriculture to give directions as regards the cultivation, management and use of land is covered in the Agriculture Act, 1947. If Regulation 66 is revoked, and Regulation 62 falls also, I am anxious to know whether the powers which are given to the Minister of Agriculture under paragraph 1 of Regulation 62 will still be available under the Agriculture Act, 1947, or some other Act. The same applies to paragraph 4 and following paragraphs.

Regulation 62A, which is bracketed with Regulation 66, deals with the question of allotments from a different angle A portion of this particular regulation is still retained in the Bill which is before us—I believe under Clause 5. Under Regulation 62A any local authority which is in occupation of land may either adapt the land for use as allotment gardens or let the land as allotment gardens to individuals or to societies, and can also cultivate the land. Under the new Bill which is before us, that adaptation of land for use as allotment gardens is omitted, as also is the question of the cultivation of any land by the local authority. I want the Government to explain why the power which the local authority had to adapt land for allotments has been withdrawn, and also why the power which the local authority had to cultivate land for the purposes of raising a crop and selling that crop in the interests of the community has also been withdrawn under the Bill now before us. I hope that I have made the position plain from this side of the House in regard to all three of the Defence Regulations which are dealt with in this particular Amendment. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— After Clause 1, insert the said new clause.—(Lord Wise.)


My Lords, this is a rather complicated matter, but I think I can make it plain to the noble Lord, Lord Wise. Defence (General) Regulation 66 empowered the Minister of Agriculture to delegate these functions under certain specific Defence Regulations. The reason why we have revoked No. 66 is that, with two exceptions, all the other regulations which gave the Minister functions which he could delegate under Regulation 66 have now been revoked. The two exceptions to this are Regulation 62A, and paragraphs (3A) and (4) of Regulation 62. All the rest of Regulation 62 has been revoked at one time or another by Order in Council, and the only two paragraphs of Regulation 62 which remain are paragraphs (3A) and (4). The noble Lord will have noticed that Regulation 62A, which deals with the power of local authorities to cultivate land and to let land for allotments, is reproduced, with minor modifications, in Clause 5 of this Bill. In this slightly revised form the question of delegating any power of the Ministers does not arise. The noble Lord asked why the power of local authorities to adapt land for the purpose of letting allotments has been left out. The reason is that most of the land which local authorities hold is for open spaces or public parks. While this clause gives local authorities power to go on letting allotments which they already have adapted, it was felt that it would be wrong now to use public spaces and public parks for allotments and that there was no reason why this power of adaptation should be kept.


The noble Lord mentioned the question of cultivation by local authorities referred to in Clause 5 of the new Bill. I cannot find that at the moment. That particular clause seems to deal only with the question of letting.


I beg the noble Lord's pardon. That was my mistake. It is in fact concerned with letting. Paragraphs (3A) and (4) of Regulation 62 deal with contracts of occupation of land requisitioned by the Minister and compensation for improvement effected since requisition. In the first case, paragraph (3A) contains its own delegation, and in the second no delegation is necessary. So far as these regulations are concerned, the Minister's power to delegate has been revoked because he has nothing, in fact, to delegate.


This situation arose in another place. I quoted the case of a sewage farm in the constituency which I used to represent. We put this sewage farm to a different use, the sewage being dealt with by the London County Council. The farm was at that time about 180 acres in area. We proposed to use it for various purposes, including a sports ground, but the preparation for this different use of the sewage farm took us from four to five years, because of the nature of the soil after it had been used for so many years as a sewage farm. Would the new condition under this Bill prevent a local authority from using the land as we were advised by the Ministry at that time to use it and as, in fact, we did use it?


All this does is to revoke Regulation 62, which enables local authorities to let certain land as allotments. We have revoked the regulation because the powers which it gave will now become part of permanent legislation. Noble Lords will find it on page 5 of this Bill.


In view of the explanation which the noble Lord has given. I am satisfied that what I had in mind has not been lost—I was in difficulty about the question of cultivation. That being so, I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

4.16 p.m.

LORD SILKIN moved, after Clause 1, to insert the following new clause:

Continuation of Regulation 68CA of Defence (General) Regulations, 1939

". Regulation sixty-eight CA (Restriction on conversion of housing accommodation to use for non-residential purposes) of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, so far as it was in force on the 10th of December, 1950, shall have effect by virtue of this section; but Her Majesty may, by Order in Council, at any time revoke this Regulation either in whole or in part."

The noble Lord said: The subject matter of this Amendment is Regulation 68 CA, which deals with the question of dwelling-houses which have been used for that purpose at any time since 1938, and which prohibits a change of use except with the permission of the local authority, subject to an appeal to the Minister. We discussed this point somewhat superficially on November 20 on the occasion of the debate on the Prayer; and at that time I was unaware that it was proposed by the Minister to issue a direction in its place. Through the courtesy of the Department I have been shown a copy of the direction, and I should like to deal with it. The regulation, unlike many others, has been considerably used. When local authorities have been consulted about revoking the regulation, I think I am right in saying that all of them—local housing and local planning authorities—have opposed its revocation, even though they were aware of the alternative which was being proposed. I should like to ask the noble and learned Lord who is to reply why the Minister thinks it necessary to impose this direction, this alternative, upon the local authorities, against their wishes. Is it a case of the "gentleman in Whitehall knows best"? I thought that he no longer knew best under the present Government. But this is certainly a case where a direction is being imposed upon the authorities.

If it were merely a case of the direction being in exactly the same form as the regulation, one would have less to say about it. But the fact is that it is not quite in the same form; and I want to refer to two differences that exist. At any rate, the public are enabled, with a certain amount of diligence, to discover Regulation 68 CA, read it, and know how it affects them, whereas the general public are not able readily to discover the direction or to get a copy of it. The direction is normally the local authority's concern and is not, generally speaking, available to the public. Therefore a regulation is, of the two, more advantageous to the general public than a direction is.

But there are two points, apart from the matter of procedure (with which I have no quarrel), to which I should like to draw the attention of the noble and learned Lord. They refer to the direction. In the case of Regulation 68CA, it is stated to apply to any housing accommodation which has been used for residential purposes at any time since the thirty-first day of December, nineteen hundred and thirty-eight. In the case of the direction, there is a reference to premises which involves a change of use from use as a dwelling. I think the noble and learned Lord will readily see that the terms of the regulation are considerably wider than the terms of the direction. The regulation applies to any premises which have been used as a dwelling-house at any time since 1938, and prohibits a change of use, whereas the direction merely prohibits a change of use of premises which are at the time of the application a dwelling-house. The other point is that the direction provides, in paragraph 2, that where an application for planning permission is being made for a change of user, a local planning authority which is not a housing authority shall consult with the housing authority before determining the application. That is, the application is made to the planning authority and, if it is not a housing authority, it seeks the views of the housing authority, which is, of course, concerned about a possible reduction in the amount of housing accommodation—and I think that is right.

The direction does not deal with the case of London. In the case of London, the London County Council are a housing, authority as well as being a planning authority, and the metropolitan boroughs are housing authorities but not planning authorities. So long as the regulation was in force, the application for a change of use had to be made to metropolitan boroughs, and it was they who were able to say "Yes" or "No." But to-day, as the direction stands, because the London County Council are a housing authority, they will be under no obligation to consult the metropolitan boroughs. Therefore the very valuable information which the metropolitan boroughs had of the housing conditions in their areas will be lost, unless the London County Council voluntarily choose to consult them. I hope I have made the point clear to the noble and learned Lord.


Yes, very.


I think it is a matter which ought to go into the direction.


Into the direction?


Yes, It ought to be in the direction, so as to make it abundantly clear that the London County Council are under an obligation to consult metropolitan boroughs. Those are my two points on the direction itself. I should be grateful if the noble and learned Lord could explain to me why the Minister of Housing and Local Government has thought fit to insist upon this change against the wishes, as I understand it, of the local authorities whom he has consulted, and what advantage he hopes to gain by converting a regulation which has worked perfectly well into a direction which, as I say, is one which is not normally available to tile general public.

Amendment moved, After Clause 1, insert the said new clause.—(Lord Silkin.)

4.24 p.m.


I am much obliged to the noble Lord, Lord Silkin, for giving me the opportunity of explaining. The position is simply this: we desire to avoid duplication. Obviously, the question whether certain premises shall be used for housing or for other purposes is a matter which affects both planning authorities arid housing authorities. If you make the housing authorities first and last masters in their own houses, so that they have the final word whether premises shall be used for housing or whether they shall be converted to another use, you might just as well get rid of the planning authority. If, on the other hand, you have a planning authority and you say to that planning authority: "You shall consider, amongst other things, whether this property which is now used for housing should be converted to other purposes, and you shall consult the housing authority before you take any steps towards such conversion; and if there is a dispute between the housing authority and the planning authority whether such conversion shall be allowed, then the Minister shall settle that dispute, "you avoid duplication. You have the whole thing, if I may use a colloquialism, "under one hat," and you have the Minister as the final arbiter whether or not the conversion shall take place.


I wonder whether I may ask the noble and learned Lord this question: How are you avoiding duplication? It still remains a matter which has to be considered by both bodies, the planning authority and the housing authority.


I speak subject to correction, because I know that the noble Lord is an expert in this field in which I am a novice, but certainly the purpose of not allowing this regulation to continue but of resting upon the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, which came into force in 1948—the purpose of allowing that Act to operate—is that the proper authority should have the last word on the question, subject always to an appeal to the Minister, as to what is the proper form of development. That cannot be so if the housing authority has the last word. That is the reason for it and, as we think—I speak subject to correction—it will avoid a great deal of duplication. The interests of the housing authorities in regard to the conversion of housing accommodation to other purposes will be preserved. It will be preserved by a direction which will be given under paragraph 3 of Article 9 of the General Development Order, 1950, and. of course, Section 15 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947. I am told that copies of the direction will be sent to local authorities under cover of a circular in a very few days.

The noble Lord has asked me two specific questions—one in regard to the London County Council where, as he rightly points out, the housing authorities are the metropolitan borough councils. But the County Council itself has also some power as a housing authority. The noble Lord made a very good point there and I will certainly call it to the attention of the Minister and, if necessary, something will be put in the direction to cover his point. It may be that something of which I am not aware makes it superfluous, but, prima facie, it seems to be a good point, and it shall be seen to.

The other point which the noble Lord made was as to a divergence between the terms of the direction and the terms of the regulation, the regulation referring to user for housing for residential purposes at any time, and the other referring to user since a certain date. That point also is one that will be looked into. If there is substance in it, an alteration can, if necessary, be made. As the noble Lord knows, it can be made by a stroke of the pen. That I have satisfied the noble Lord I cannot be sure, but, at any rate, consideration having been given to the point, it has been decided, with a view to making the matter more tidy than under the sort of dual control which now exists, that Defence Regulation 68CA need not be continued and there is no reason to embody it in our permanent law. For that reason, I am unable to accept the Amendment.


If there had to be a direction in place of a regulation, then I am satisfied with the noble and learned Lord's reply and with his assurance that further consideration will be given to the two points that I have made on the direction. In those circumstances, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment, and I will not move the remaining Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

4.30 p.m.

Clause 2 [Continuation of Defence (Trading with the Enemy)Regulations, 1940]:

On Question, Whether Clause 2 shall stand part of the Bill?


Clause 2 provides for the continuation of certain regulations called the Defence (Trading with the Enemy) Regulations, 1940. This is an admirable example of the kind of case to which I referred in the Motion for an Address, where experience has shown that it is necessary to embody in our permanent law what has originally been provided for by regulations which, in their nature, are temporary. It may surprise the Committee to be told that this is part of our permanent law, but I would remind the Committee that the Trading with the Enemy Acts, 1914 to 1918, though necessarily, in their origin, of an apparently temporary character, yet remained on the Statute Book until 1939, when they were superseded by the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1939. It is necessary to keep on the Statute Book a Trading with the Enemy Act in case there should be another war. Of course, if there were another war the Act might speedily be superseded by another Act, but it is necessary to keep it as part of our permanent legislation. These regulations might have been the subject of a separate Act but in the time of war it was thought convenient to do by regulation what in time of peace would have been done by a Trading with the Enemy Act. Accordingly, these regulations really form part of the corpus of the Trading with the Enemy legislation which it is necessary to perpetuate; and so we ask that this clause should stand part of the Bill.

Clause 2 agreed to.

Clause 3 [Extension of control of certain explosives]:

On Question, Whether Clause 3 shall stand part of the Bill?


Clause 3 of the Bill provides for an amendment and extension of the Explosives Act, 1875, that had been amended by an Act of 1923 to which I need not refer. During the war it was necessary to make substantial extensions of the law in that regard, both from the point of view of security against the enemy and in order to safeguard the careless people who were apt to play about with explosives. This clause incorporates some part, but not all, of the regulation that was made, and if the Committee look at subsection (5) of Clause 3 of the Bill, they will see a provision that on the coming into operation of the order first made under this section, Regulation two BA of the Defence (General) Regulations. 1939"— that is what I may call the Explosives Regulation— shall be revoked. Unless the Committee wish me to do so I do not think I need go through the clause in detail. It does just what I say it does: it provides for some extension of the Explosives Act, 1875, in particular by bringing gunpowder itself, and safety fuses, within the scope of the Act. It provides further safeguards by making obligatory the keeping of certain records, not only by those who sell but also by those who acquire explosives, and in other ancillary ways. It is a via media between the old Act of 1875 and the very stringent regulations which war-rime needs dictate.


I should like to raise just one question, which I suppose is equally applicable to other clauses of this Bill. It would perhaps have been better, would it not, to amend each of these Acts—for instance, in this case to have done what is set out to be done under Clause 3 by way of amendment to the Explosives Act. It would certainly be more convenient to anyone who wanted to know the up-to-date law on explosives, rather than to imagine that he would find it in the Emergency Laws (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill. I realise that that course would have meant the amendment of quite a number of different Acts.


If I may say so, I think the noble Lord has made a cogent point. But he has supplied the answer—namely, that we should have had an Explosives (Amendment) Act, 1952, and a dozen other Amendment Acts. It was thought convenient to put all these things which were the subject of emergency regulations into one omnibus Act. I agree that there is a difficulty about finding out what the law is, but I think a student of the law would have no difficulty, when he turned to an Index of Statutes, in finding the appropriate reference.

Clause 3 agreed to.

Clause 4 [British seamen's cards]:

On Question, Whether Clause 4 shall stand part of the Bill?


This is a provision which was found to be extremely useful during the war, and which will be of continued usefulness. It provides for what are called seamen's certificates. They were found to be useful both in foreign ports and at home—useful in foreign ports because many countries required sea men disembarking in their ports to have some certificate of identity; useful at home for the purpose of re-employment under the employment exchanges. It is proposed that the certificates shall be in a form which the Minister of Transport will prescribe. It may interest the Committee to know that while in the past foreign States have required that the certificates should, amongst other things, carry the fingerprints of the sea- men using them, that is no longer the case. I do not think there is any State which now requires that to be done. What is regarded as rather invidious by some people will no longer be required. I do not say that new certificates will be issued while the old ones are in force, but when it comes to the issue of new certificates it will not be necessary for fingerprints to be shown on them. The expense to be incurred by the Minister of Transport will be defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament, but I understand that these certificates are regarded by the shipping authorities concerned as so useful that they themselves are likely to undertake the discharge of those expenses. I have taken this very shortly, but I think the Committee know something about this matter, which was under discussion on a previous occasion, and I think it has the consent of everybody.

Clause 4 agreed to.

Clause 5 [Power of local authorities to continue to let certain land for use as allotments gardens]:

On Question, Whether Clause 5 shall stand part of the Bill?


This is a clause to which the noble Lord, Lord Wise, has already referred. It provides for the revocation of Regulation 62A of the Defence (General) Regulations of 1939. That was a regulation which authorised local authorities to let to tenants, for use as allotment gardens and so on, any land which the authorities had acquired for other purposes than allotments and which was then vacant. It is thought desirable that the local authorities should now use the land which they acquired for a certain purpose—it may be for an open park, or what you will—for that purpose, and not for allotments. But where land is still let for allotments, that land will continue to belet in that way. It prevents them from acquiring fresh land, except under the Allotments Act, for the purpose of allotments, and gives other necessary safeguards. A large number of what may be called temporary allotments have ceased to be used as such, and the general feeling is that it is just as well that this power should not be further exercised. This is provided for by Clause 5, with the necessary ancillary provisions. It seems to me, and I submit that it is, a proper clause to be passed into our permanent law.

Clause 5 agreed to.

Clause 6 [Exemption from Part IV of Road Traffic Act, 1930, of vehicles carrying farm-workers]:

4.41 p.m.

On Question, Whether Clause 6 shall stand part of the Bill?


This also is a provision which has been thought to be useful. Adopted originally as a temporary expedient, it has now been found to be worthy of permanent incorporation in our law. Its use is to facilitate the transport of agricultural workers during the harvest season, and it avoids requiring the vehicles which carry them to have the licences that would otherwise need to be issued. It is a provision which has commanded general assent, and it has already been found useful. One has found in connection with a good many of these regulations that where a regulation is useful then it is expedient to incorporate it in the general law. It is a sort of system of trial which has proved rather beneficial and which is peculiar to legislation set up in this way. I do not think I need say any more about that.

Clause 6 agreed to.


The noble Viscount who leads the House in the absence of the noble Marquess has asked me to say that owing to delay in the opening of the debate on Mau Mau in another place, we are asking that the Royal Commission should be put off until a quarter past six. That means that it is postponed for three-quarters of an hour. I hope that that may suit your Lordships' convenience.

Clause 7 [Continuation and amendment of 6 and 7 Geo. 6, c. 25]:

On Question, Whether Clause 7 shall stand part of the Bill?


My Lords, this is a very complicated matter to many of your Lordships, and perhaps I stand rather nearer my own ground upon it. It is a provision which perpetuates, with certain alterations, a provision which gave power to the Chancery Division of the High Court to allow capital monies, as we call them, to be used for what might be regarded as income purposes. It is clear that during the war, and indeed since, the weights have been heavily against tenants for life, as compared with persons entitled in reversion, and there are many expenses now thrown on the tenant for life which he cannot possibly bear. This gives power to the Judges of the Chancery Division—who may be trusted to exercise their discretion in their usual exemplary way—to provide out of capital for certain expenses that might otherwise, as between the tenant for life and the reversioner, have to be borne by the tenant for life. This is a matter into which I have looked rather carefully, and commend it to your Lordships as a permanent provision of our law.

Clause 7 agreed to.

Clause 8 [Power of certain officers to take affidavits, &c.]:

On Question, Whether Clause 8 shall stand part of the Bill?


I am certainly wandering into diverse fields. This is a provision which, as your Lordships see, gives power to certain officers subject to the Naval Discipline Act to take affidavits and declarations, and to exercise similar powers to those which they now exercise by virtue of orders such as the Armed Forces (Administration of Oaths) Order, 1940, which was made by the Lord Chancellor of the day under Section I of the Evidence and Powers of Attorney Act, 1940. This power has been the subject of a temporary regulation. It has been found to be a regulation which it is expedient should be continued. It is not an earth-shaking provision but a very useful administrative one, and I commend it to the Committee.

Clause 8 agreed to.

Clause 9 [Saving provision with respect to Regulation 55F of Defence (General) Regulations, 1939]:

On Question, Whether Clause 9 shall stand part of the Bill.


Clause 9 deals with an extremely technical point. It provides that The revocation or expiry of Regulation fifty-five F of the Defence (General) Regulations 1939 (which contains safeguards for persons carrying on offensive trades closed under concentration arrangements) shall not affect the operation of that Regulation as respects a trade resumed before the revocation or expiry of that Regulation. It is a puzzling and a difficult clause. The purport of it is this. Under the law as it now stands, where an offensive business has been carried on and has been discontinued for eighteen months (this is under one of the Public Health Acts) it cannot be carried on again without the consent of the proper authority. During the war offensive businesses, in various cases, ceased to be carried on, and the period of eighteen months has long since run out. It is not to be said in those cases that the eighteen months' period of discontinuation is to militate against the owners of the businesses if they wish to renew their businesses. This is a merely formal provision for the purpose of enabling the people concerned to be in the same condition as if their offensive businesses had not been discontinued by reason of war measures. It is not a very easy matter to explain, but I hope that my attempt to do so has been satisfactory to your Lordships.


We arecertainly not going to offer any opposition, but I hope that the noble and learned Lord will bear in mind that in assenting, as we do, to these matters, we do it entirely without prejudice (I am sure the Lord Chancellor will agree to this) to the desirability of getting these provisions placed in the proper Acts in due course. At the present moment, this is a "mixed grill," if ever there was one. All sorts of things are mixed up. The last thing which has been mentioned ought to be in one Act, and other things which have been mentioned ought to be in others. I know that the Lord Chancellor is carrying on with enthusiasm the work of consolidation which I started. All these things will, I hope, in the process of time, come out of this Bill and find their way into the proper legislation. That will he very much more convenient, obviously, to the practitioner and to those who want to study the law.


I am very much obliged to the noble and learned Earl. We had some discussion upon this matter whilst he was away from the House, but he will be able to read what I said about it in Hansard. I entirely agree with him that each of these Sections should—and I hope in due course will—when its subject matter is part of the consolidation programme, find its proper place in the Consolidation Act.

Clause 9 agreed to.

Clause 10 [Provisions as to orders]:

On Question, Whether Clause 10 shall stand part of the Bill?


Clause 10 is formal and I need do no more than draw your Lordships' attention to it. It makes the usual provision as to orders. The first subsection sets out that any power conferred on the Secretary of State or the Minister of Transport to make an order is to be construed as including a power to revoke or vary the order by a subsequent order. The next subsection provides that any power conferred on the Secretary of State or the Minister of Transport to make an order shall be exercisable by statutory instrument. Then there is the usual provision about laying. I think there is nothing to which I need particularly refer in this clause.

Clause 10 agreed to.

Clause 11 [Application to Northern Ireland]:

On Question, Whether Clause 11 shall stand part of the Bill?


Clause 11 concerns the application of the Bill to Northern Ireland. That is a matter which has been duly considered by the proper authorities.

Clause 11 agreed to.

Clause 12 [Short title and repeal]:

On Question, Whether Clause 12 shall stand part of the Bill?


Clause 12 is simply formal.

Remaining clause agreed to.

4.50 p.m.

First Schedule [Provisions of Defence Regulations permanently enacted]:

On Question, Whether the First Schedule shall be added to the Bill?


I thought it was due to the House that I should expound every one of the clauses in the Bill, inasmuch as they have not been the subject of exposition or discussion on Second Reading. The noble and learned Earl, Lord Jowitt, who has since gone away, gave me a hint, I thought, that your Lordships would accede to these provisions. I do not know whether he intended to suggest that I could be relieved of the obligation of referring one by one to the provisions which occur in this Schedule. Perhaps I can do it very shortly. Paragraph 1 takes the place of Regulation72 (1, c) of the Defence (General) Regulations and is a provision found convenient to the agricultural community, enabling persons under twenty-one years of age to drive agricultural tractors on the road. This is a good example of what I was saying a short time ago, where experience has proved the value of a regulation. Now we ask your Lordships to incorporate this into the law. Paragraph 2 replaces Regulation 70A (4) which provides for the rather complicated amendment of Section 18 of the Road Traffic Act,1930, enabling an articulated vehicle to be drawn by another motor vehicle. I think that also has been found to be useful on the rare occasions when it is necessary to use it. People do not leave articulated vehicles on the road unless they have to, and sometimes it may be convenient to remove them, not by a motor car or heavy vehicle, but by a tractor.


May I ask the noble and learned Lord whether it is the intention of the Government to amend the Road Traffic Act in anything like the near future? Something, was said in another place about bringing the speed limit into the Road Traffic Act. At the present moment speed limits are laid down by regulations outside the Act.


I wish I could answer the noble Lord but I am afraid that I can only say, from my knowledge of the legislative programme, that it is, to use a rather hackneyed phrase, rather over-crowded.

Paragraph 3 enlarges the time for instituting proceedings under the Separation and Maintenance Acts. This is a valuable provision which has been found useful and should be perpetuated. Paragraph 4 deals with authority to withhold mortgage certificates. The effect of the paragraph is to perpetuate the provisions of Regulation 28A of the Agriculture and Fishery Regulations. Paragraph 5 repeats Regulation 76A. It is a cautionary clause which provides that goods which are deemed to be prohibited goods shall be forfeited. Subsection (2) deals with the provisions in regard to Customs and Excise in Northern Ireland, and I think will be found to be desirable. Paragraph 6 deals with amendments of the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, and reproduces Regulation 68AB and Regulation 79CA. En effect, it provides that compensation shall be paid to the person whom it is due—that is to say, where premises have been leased and where the lessee is no longer there and cannot be found, the compensation shall be paid to the lessor. Both Paragraph 6 and Paragraph 7 cover a great variety of matters in regard to compensation. Paragraph 8 is one the necessity of which I am bound to say I find it difficult to explain, although I think I understand it. It is really nothing more than a provision to close a gap found in the law enabling the Minister of Supply to make by-laws under the Military Lands Acts, 1892 to 1903, in respect of land used by him for purposes of his Ministry but which does not belong to him. This is very technical, but in the interrelation of the various powers vested in him, clearly a gap has, by mistake, been left which this clause is designed to fill. Paragraph 9 provides, in a very sensible way, for the destruction of valueless documents by a more simple method than that which has hitherto been used. That concludes the First Schedule. I hope that I have expounded its various provisions to your Lordships adequately, if not in great detail.

First Schedule agreed to.

Second Schedule [Repeals]:

On Question, Whether the Second Schedule shall be added to the Bill?


I do not rise to put any question to the noble and learned Lord on the Second Schedule, but I feel that the House would like me to say how indebted we are to the noble and learned Lord for the very courteous and patient way in which he has expounded a most difficult Bill and on the way which he has dealt with the whole subject, both to-day and on November 20. I can imagine that the most innocent layman would have understood, if only for the time being, every part of this Bill as the noble Lord expounded it. We are grateful to him, not only for his explanation, but for the courteous way in which he has dealt with those of us who had queries to raise, and even some criticism. I feel it only right that this should be said from this side of the House. If I may, I should also like to congratulate the noble and learned Lord on the clarity with which he has dealt with a variety of subjects one after the other in this Bill.


I must say "Thank you" for these very courteous observations. I have met with such a degree of good will and assistance on both sides of the House since I came, a somewhat innocent creature, to occupy this office, that I should be guilty of much shortcoming if I did not show all possible courtesy and assistance.

Second Schedule agreed to.

House resumed: Bill reported without amendment.

House adjourned during pleasure.

House resumed.