HL Deb 08 December 1953 vol 184 cc1078-9

6.18 p.m.


My Lords, I wonder whether, without transgressing any rules, I may make a suggestion to the House as to business. Obviously this Bill requires some further discussion this evening, and I should propose that we conclude the Committee stage of this Bill. There is on the Order Paper, also, the Committee stage of the Food and Drugs Bill, on which a number of Amendments have been tabled. Obviously your Lordships would not wish to embark upon that at half-past seven, or later, to-night. There is, further, on the Order Paper the Second Reading of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, in respect of which, in case a Committee stage should be required, we must get the Second Reading completed to-night, which I think we can conclude purely formally. I have had some consultation with the noble and learned Earl, the Leader of the Opposition, and if it be convenient to the House I suggest that we should take the Committee stage of the Food and Drugs Bill on Wednesday, December 16. That would involve putting down a formal Motion to enable it to be taken first. There is a Private Member's Motion on the Order Paper for that day, but that can follow in due course.

I hope that we may be able to get through the Committee stage of the Food and Drugs Bill in an hour and a half or two hours at the outside, if noble Lords are not unduly loquacious—it would be an encouragement that they might wish to get on to the further Motion on the Order Paper. Then, as I understand it, the Motion which has been put down on the Charitable Trusts (Validation) Bill for Thursday, December 17, will be withdrawn; and I further understand that the noble Lord, Lord Henderson, has already tabled a Motion for a general debate upon Foreign Affairs, which would begin on Thursday the 17th and probably continue on into Friday the 18th. I want to suit the convenience of the House as much as I can, while at the same time making progress with these Bills. If this procedure is convenient to the House, I will undertake to put down a Motion to enable the Committee stage of the Food and Drugs Bill to be taker on December 16. We will conclude the Committee stage of the present Bill to-night, and then I would ask your Lordships to complete only the Second Reading of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill.


My Lords, I think that arrangement is quite satisfactory. With regard to the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, the noble and learned Viscount, Lord Simon, who is otherwise engaged to-day, has asked me to make a small point, but I think I can do it quite shortly. Otherwise I think that is the best arrangement we can make, in view of the difficulties.


I am obliged to the noble and learned Earl. I will undertake to carry out that arrangement.