HL Deb 31 July 1962 vol 243 cc186-7

Clause 11, page 9, line 15, at end insert— ("(5) The first order to be made under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section shall not be made until a draft thereof has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.")


My Lords, your Lordships will remember that Clause 11 (1) (b) of the Bill enables the Minister or the Secretary of State for Scotland to impose by order minimum speed limits on specified roads. Those speed limits will be experimental, and limited initially to four months in each case, and the roads affected must be specified in the orders. If the Minister wishes to extend the order beyond four months the extending order is subject to Negative Resolution, and it will be an offence for anyone to drive at a speed lower than the speed specified in the order, subject, your Lordships will again remember, to such exceptions as may be specified. Your Lordships will also remember, as I do, that the noble Viscount, Lord Simon, and my noble and learned friends Lord Conesford and Lord Goddard, strongly criticised this proposal, on the ground that a quite novel kind of offence was being created in rather general terms and therefore it was only fair to Parliament and the public that the exceptions which the Minister would be able to write into the order should in some degree be specified in the Bill. I think that was the gist of the matter.

My noble and learned friend Lord Conesford put down some Amendments, one of which was designed to provide that no order should come into force until one such order had been approved by Resolution of each House; so that Parliament could be satisfied as to the exceptions that were to be specified in such an order if one were made. As I say, I accepted the principle of that Amendment, and this undertaking is discharged by the Amendment which I am now proposing. It will enable Parliament to satisfy itself that adequate exceptions are provided in the first minimum speed order and that the courts will set the standard, as it were, for any subsequent orders there may be. I trust that your Lordships will find that satisfactory, and I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.—(Lord Chesham.)


My Lords, I thank the Government for this Amendment, which completely fulfils the pledge as the result of which I withdrew my other Amendment. In fact, I had drafted two Amendments. The first was much the better, but the Government said that, if I withdrew it, they would accept the second one in principle. I thereupon withdrew my better Amendment that would have made the Bill even better than it is now. Then they said they would improve the drafting of my second Amendment. That they have now carried out in the Amendment before the House. I thank them for it.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

5.19 p.m.