HL Deb 16 July 1964 vol 260 cc416-7

4.58 p.m.

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Auckland)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

[The LORD MERTHYR in the Chair.]

Clause 1 [Pecuniary interests of members]:

LORD AUCKLAND moved in subsection (1) to leave out "him" where that word occurs a second time and insert "a member". The noble Lord said: I beg to move the Amendment standing in my name on the Order Paper. This Amendment is put down in answer to a query in another place about the effect that the Bill has on councillors as a whole. As the Bill is worded, in Clause 1 this would appear to apply to one particular type of councillor. In other words, it might well apply to a man who is a relatively poor man and who could be very severely embarrassed by Clause 76 of the Local Government Act, 1933, as it now stands. The purpose of this Amendment is to make the clause more objective and to apply not merely, so to speak, to him or to her but to councillors as a whole.

In another place my honourable and learned friend the Attorney General explained that the clause presented a subjective test on the question of remoteness and insignificance as related to the individual councillor who may be accused; and went on to say that it would be wrong for the rich and well-to-do councillor to have a defence on significant interests for which a relatively poor councillor may not. Therefore this Amendment could be regarded as a levelling Amendment and would apply to any councillor, whatever his or her means. I hope that explains the purpose of the Amendment. I may say that it has been put down after consultation with the local authorities concerned and has their full support. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 1, line 14, leave out ("him") and insert ("a member").—(Lord Auckland).

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 2 [Pecuniary interests of officers and servants]:


This Amendment is designed to apply exactly the same terms and conditions to an officer of the council, such as a town clerk or employee of a council, and I think the rest is self-explanatory. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 2, line 37, leave out ("him") and insert ("an officer or servant").—(Lord Auckland).

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

House resumed: Bill reported with Amendments.