§ 6.14 p.m.
§ Order of the Day read for the consideration of the Commons Amendments.
§ VISCOUNT HAILSHAM
My Lords, I beg to move that this House do now consider the Commons Amendments. This is a rather formidable task. There are 83 Amendments. I can suggest only one of two alternatives. One would be that I explain the important ones in a preliminary statement and then ask for the House to pass them en bloc; or alternatively to follow the line taken on the last occasion, which I think is the better course—that we deal with them in blocks of Amendments dealing approximately with the same subject. If that meets with the convenience of the House it is what I would propose to do. In the meantime, I move that the Commons Amendments be now considered.
§ Moved, That the Commons Amendments be now considered.—(Viscount Hailsham.)
§ LORD SILKIN
My Lords, I think it would be preferable to deal with the Amendments by the second method which the noble Viscount suggested. It is not easy to follow these Amendments without giving far more time than has been available in the last day or two. I believe that these Amendments reached me only on Monday. But if the noble and learned Viscount would confine himself in his explanation to only Amendments of substance, I think that would be sufficient for the needs of the House. Probably there are not more than a limited number of that kind, and most Amendments would be drafting. I do not know whether the noble and learned Viscount can give guidance as to the number of Amendments of substance that there are in this formidable list.
§ VISCOUNT HAILSHAM
My Lords, I do not know that I can. I will be as brief as possible, but the truth is that, although I looked at this list of Amendments, it is impossible for me to say quite conscientiously that there is no substance in a great number. But I should think that I have now, with some amount of professional assistance, got a fairly good summary of blocks of Amendments, which should enable us to 873 handle them, if I am not cross-examined too closely on the drafting.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.