HL Deb 01 June 1954 vol 187 cc1045-6

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, in moving the Second Reading of this Bill I feel that I ought to point out to your Lordships that it has reached the House in exactly the same form as it did last year. I then explained that the Government did not propose to introduce any Amendments, since a Select Committee of another place was sitting to consider the eventual amendment, in a rather radical way, of this legislation. The Committee appointed by another place had not completed its work when the Session ended last November, and another Committee has been appointed to continue the task. I believe that your Lordships will agree that it would not be in the public interest if the position were confused by any Amendments which might now be proposed, pending fuller consideration of the whole Bill. Although we cannot, I suppose, take cognisance of the work of a Committee in another place, successive Committees have published their reports, and from that fact we can glean that they have carried out a very extensive task, one which is still in process. In fact, I think they have sat over sixty days and their Report runs to 650 pages, which gives some idea of the scale of the task. I quote that only to show that there has been no unnecessary delay on the part of Her Majesty's Government in dealing with this matter, and because I felt that, in recommending that the Bill be read a second time, I owed the House an explanation of the form in which it is being presented. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord De L'Isle and Dudley.)


My Lords, may I express what I believe to be the opinion of the greater part of the officers of Her Majesty's Services, that it is an extremely good thing that the Government have not seen fit to introduce any Amendments to this Bill this year. I believe that it will be generally agreed that the Bill should pass in its present form.

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.