§ 2.35 p.m.
THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (LORD MERTHYR)
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be read a second time.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Merthyr.)
VISCOUNT ST. DAVIDS
My Lords, I did not expect to speak on this particular Bill to-day. I noticed it on the Order Paper only this morning; I had 898 expected it to turn up at a later date. However, since it is here, it will have to be dealt with. I had intended, when this Bill came up, to move an Instruction to the Committee upstairs on the matter of certain waterways. However, since this Bill is now in fact so close up on the larger Bill, there does not seem to be a good reason for moving an Instruction. Instead, it would seem to be much better to deal with the matters purely on a Second Reading speech.
My Lords, I wonder whether the noble Viscount would forgive me for interrupting him. The position is that if the noble Viscount wants to make a Second Reading speech on this Bill, it would be customary, to say the least, for me then to move the Adjournment of this debate in order that we can all have proper notice, and the Bill can be put down at a time and on a date when it is convenient for everybody to discuss it. Unfortunately, the position is that we have the Second Reading at this time of day if there is not likely to be any Second Reading debate, as I quite thought would be the case to-day, because the noble Viscount was not able to give me notice that he was going to say anything at all this afternoon. To be quite frank with the House, I am a little worried that I may be accused of taking up time which should be devoted to Public Business to-day, rather than to Private Business. It is entirely for your Lordships to say, but may I just say again, before I sit down, that if the noble Viscount wishes to discuss this Bill, as of course he is perfectly entitled to do at the proper time, then I shall be constrained to move, and to ask your Lordships to carry, a Motion, that this debate be adjourned until a more suitable occasion? I do not know what the noble Viscount wishes to do.
VISCOUNT ST. DAVIDS
My Lords, I thank the noble Lord very much; I am sorry to have troubled the House with this matter. I certainly want to make at least a Second Reading speech. As a matter of fact, on noticing this Bill on the Order Paper I did give notice earlier in the day both to the Ministry of Transport and to my own Whips' Office. I am sorry if it did not reach the noble Lord.
My Lords, if the noble Viscount would allow me to move a Motion before he concludes his speech to-day, I would therefore beg to move now that this debate be adjourned.
§ Moved, That the debate be now adjourned—(Lord Merthyr.)
§ On question, Motion agreed to, and debate adjourned accordingly.