HL Deb 20 May 1970 vol 310 cc1153-4

7.10 p.m.

LORD WILBERFORCE had given Notice of his intention to move the Second Reading of the Bill. The noble and learned Lord said: It is not my intention to move the Second Reading of this Bill at the present time. If, out of courtesy to noble Lords, and in a sentence or two so as not to be out of order, I may explain just why this course has become necessary, it is that I had hoped that the Bill would be a useful and practical measure which would be acceptable to all interests concerned. But unfortunately only this morning it came to my notice that in two respects (which I can identify for those noble Lords who are kind enough to be here as those arising under Clause 1(3) and Clause 6(4) of the Bill) it has not been possible to secure agreement among certain shipping interests. Therefore, rather than to proceed with a Bill which might not be satisfactory, it seems preferable not to do so at the present time but to leave it to another Parliament to bring it forward in the hope, and expectation, that another Parliament will be able to bring it to a successful conclusion, it being, as it undoubtedly is, a Bill of great utility if it is put in the proper form. My Lords, I do not move the Second Reading of this Bill.


My Lords, if I am in order, and as the Government have supported this Bill throughout, I think it is proper for me to say that, in the light of the facts mentioned by the noble and learned Lord, it is probably a considerable disappointment to many Members of this House that this Bill is not being proceeded with—for good reasons, I may say. Perhaps I should say that while obviously I could not commit a future Government to introduce legislation of this sort, after a discussion with the shipping officials of the Board of Trade I am reasonably confident that they will press upon a future Government the necessity of legislating in the interests of the development of containerisation and other modern methods of shipping. I believe that there is reasonable hope that legislation will be proposed by a future Government and that the Bill will not lie on the Table sine die.