HL Deb 16 July 1964 vol 260 cc405-6

4.23 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 Molson.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

[The LORD MERTHYR in the Chair.]

Clause 1 [Orders to be subject to annulment]:

On Question, Whether Clause 1 shall stand part of the Bill?


On the Second Reading of this Bill I indicated that I wished to oppose it. I have not done so and I have not put down any Amendments because I am persuaded, by the discussions I have had with the noble Lord, Lord Molson, that he is right and I am wrong. I objected to this Bill because I thought it would delay the establishment of New Towns. I am satisfied that it will not do so and that the setting up of development corporations can go ahead while a Prayer is being made in another place or in this House, and that there will be no delay. I objected on a second ground—namely, that a Prayer was a poor method of Parliamentary control of the place where a New Town was to be established or of the nature of the area' to be covered. I still think it is a poor method, but I believe it is the only method, and I therefore think that my noble friend Lord Molson is right. I am very pleased that the Bill is to have a happy Committee stage.


I realise that this is a technical measure, but is it possible for enlightenment to be given on this point, since we are all much interested in the large areas which are progressively being embodied in these New Towns? Clause 1(2)(b) specifically refers to areas of not less than 500 acres. In what way and by what instrument or procedure will an amount of land of less than 500 acres be embodied in a New Town?


At the outset, let me say that I have found the noble Lord, Lord Taylor, a doughty opponent, both in another place and in your Lordships' House, and when he is convinced and gives me support, then he does it in an extremely gracious and charming manner. I think that this is the first time I can ever remember any politician making so cordial an acknowledgment across the Floor of the House that he has been convinced and now thinks that he was wrong. My noble friend Lord Barnby has asked me to explain what would be the effect of this Bill in the case of an extension of a designated area of a New Town which was less than 500 acres. The procedure is provided for in the First Schedule to the New Towns Act, 1947, and this Bill amends it in the case of extensions of more than 500 acres and at the same time of more than 10 per cent. If it is a smaller extension than that, the provisions of the Act of 1947 are unchanged. An order is made, but it is not a statutory instrument and not prayable in either House.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Remaining clause agreed to.

House resumed: Bill reported without Amendment: Report received.