§ 2.52 p.m.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (LORD GARDINER)
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. The Bill is a consolidation of our Statute Law dealing with trustee savings banks as at present contained in the Trustee Savings Banks Act 1954, the Trustee Savings Banks (Pensions) Act 1955, the Trustee Savings Banks Act 1958, the Trustee Investments Act 1961, the Trustee Savings Banks Act 1964, the Administration of Estates (Small Payments) Act 1956, the Trustee Savings Banks Act 1968, the National Loans Act 1968 and the Trustee Savings Banks (Pensions) Order 1955.
I should add that this is what has come to be known as a "Shell-Fish" Bill. The House will remember that originally we had only what were called pure consolidations, which could effect no change of any kind in the law. It was then found that it was frequently difficult to make a satisfactory consolidation without some minor changes. For instance, practices which had existed at the date an old Act was passed might no longer exist now at all. Accordingly, in 1949 the Consolidation of Enactments (Procedure) Act was passed which enabled Acts to be consolidated with corrections and minor improvements. Such Bills went to the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills, and in the interests of consolidation Par 376 liament agreed that it would accept whatever the Joint Committee recommended, denying itself the right to say that it thought a particular correction or improvement ought not to have been allowed.
As time passed, even this was found somewhat restrictive, in that there were cases in which, in order to make a satisfactory consolidation, it was necessary to amend the existing Statute Law in a sense rather wider than could be called a correction or minor improvement. Accordingly, two years ago your Lordships and the other place approved a third kind of Statute Law consolidation; that is to say, with amendments approved by one or both of the Law Commissions, but on terms that it would then be open to either House to differ from the recommendations of the Joint Committee.
My Lords, this Bill, the Trustee Savings Banks Bill, is a Bill like the first one which was introduced under this new head, which was to consolidate our Statute Law on the not very romantic subject of shell-fish. This is not a more romantic subject, but it is accompanied by a Report by both Law Commissions which has been published and which explains why, in order to make a satisfactory consolidation, they want to make 21 amendments. They say that 18 of these are no more than corrections or minor improvements, which could accordingly have been done under the 1949 Act; but three of them, they think, may go further. And the Report, of course, fully explains why in each case that particular amendment is necessary in order to effect a satisfactory consolidation. As with the Shell-Fish Bill, this consolidation will be on the terms that neither House will be bound to accept the recommendations of the Joint Committee.
I have no doubt that for anybody who has to be concerned with the law on trustee savings banks it will be a considerable convenience to have all their Statute Law in one place instead of, as it now is, all over the place. I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and referred to the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills.