§ 7.32 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
My Lords, this Bill is to perpetuate for one further year certain Acts or parts of Acts which are due to expire on December 31 this year, together with others which lapse on March 31 next year. A similar Bill was passed in the middle of December last year, and the difference between last year and this year consists of the addition of a portion of the Civil Contingencies Fund Act, 1952, a portion of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1951, and a portion of the Licensing Act, 1953, while on the other hand there has been omitted this year a portion of the Prevention of Violence (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1939, and the whole of the Licensing Planning (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1945. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Hawke.)
§ EARL JOWITT
My Lords, I should just like to say a few words, because I have promised to do so. Amongst the Bills which are being continued is the Prevention of Violence (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1939. When this matter came up last year there was some discussion in this House about it. I have it before me. It is reported in Hansard, Vol. 179, col. 979. The noble and learned Viscount, Lord Simon, then raised a point, which was, in effect, that a pledge had been given that the next time this Bill was introduced that Act would go altogether, except that existing Orders would be saved. I do not want to say anything more about it now, but I promised the noble and learned Viscount that as I was going to be here 1107 I would indicate the point. I daresay the noble Lord has already been made aware of it, and I desire, on behalf of the noble and learned Viscount, to point out that when we get to the Committee stage he will move an Amendment, the nature of which is before me, that this Prevention of Violence Act should go, but that we should have a clause preserving the Orders which have already been made, but no new Orders. Perhaps the noble Lord will bear that in mind, and I hope he will be able to take that course. In that case it will be unnecessary for the noble and learned Viscount to move the Amendment which he otherwise will do, because he feels that this promise was made to him last year.
§ LORD BURDEN
My Lords, before the noble Lord replies, may I say one word? This Bill also continues Section 1 of the Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act, 1919, and also the main Act of 1914. There was laid a statutory instrument, No. 1671, with thirty clauses. A discussion took place on this Bill in another place, and reference was made in that discussion to this post-statutory instrument. At this hour it would not be appropriate for me to develop any argument in connection with that statutory instrument, even if it were in order, but I would suggest to the noble Lord that perhaps it is worth looking at to see 1108 whether this proposed statutory instrument, as it was suggested in another place, might soon take the form of a Bill which would be discussed and dealt with in the ordinary way by both Houses and be subject to Amendment. In view of the important issues involved in this statutory instrument I throw out the suggestion that it might be a good thing if it were examined by a Joint Committee of both Houses, when the proposals in the suggested order could be looked at in an impartial spirit, until it became possible to put them on the Statute Book in the ordinary way.
My Lords, I thank the noble and learned Earl for giving me notice of the point about the Prevention of Violence Act. I was not unaware that some such point might be made, in spite of the fact that we thought we had managed to meet the points made last year. However, the Committee stage will be the right stage on which to argue the question. The remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Burden, will certainly be brought to the notice of my right honourable friend the Home Secretary, to see whether a fresh Act is a suitable repository for this particular thing.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a; and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.
§ House adjourned at twenty-two minutes before eight o'clock.