HL Deb 21 April 1971 vol 317 cc637-9

2.38 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, That it be an Instruction to the Committee of the Whole House to whom the Industrial Relations Bill has been committed that they consider the Bill in the following order, viz.:—

—(Lord Drumalbyn.)


My Lords, in the event of subsequent Amendments affecting the earlier parts of the Bill—this is not the law of the Medes and Persians—may I ask whether we shall be able to return to those earlier parts?


My Lords, I do not quite understand the purport of the noble Lord's question. The Motion merely sets out the order in which the Schedules will be taken in relation to the Bill. It is thought to be sensible that the Schedules should be taken together with the clauses to which they apply.


My Lords, can the noble Lord assure me (I am not too sure on the procedure of this House) that this Motion is not a forerunner of a guillotine on the Industrial Relations Bill in the future?


My Lords, I cannot go farther than the Motion before the House. I have no knowledge of any guillotine ever being erected in this House.


My Lords, can the noble Lord enlighten me? I am much younger than my noble friend Lord Blyton. Have the Government power whereby they can introduce a form of closure, which is more or less akin to that of a guillotine procedure, on any particular clause or Amendment?


My Lords, I am not an expert in these matters and this is not in my field. Perhaps the noble Lord should address his question privately to the Table.


My Lords, as the noble Lord has been responsible for dealing with this Motion, I should have thought that the noble Earl the Leader of the House would have been able to pass on to him information as to the real position in regard to the workings of this Chamber, as against the workings of the other place.


My Lords, I think the question was addressed to my noble friend, but the point is this. As the noble Lord will doubtless be aware if he consults the annals of the House, Closure Motions have been moved with exceptional rareness. It has nothing to do with the Motion now before your Lordships' House.


My Lords, I have so far failed to understand the formula which has been used in arriving at this particular order of business. Does it represent basically, if not entirely, those elements of the Bill which have not yet been discussed at all in the elected Chamber?


No, my Lords; it has nothing to do with that. All it does is to link particular Schedules with the clauses to which they relate in the Bill. For example, if I might take the first instance, Schedule 1 deals with approved "closed shop" agreements and is related to Clause 16 which deals with the same subject.


My Lords, since the Motion is before the House, perhaps I should say that there are precedents for what is proposed. We did exactly the same thing when dealing with the London Government Bill. It is most likely to produce an orderly debate in which those of us who feel strongly in opposition to the Bill can most effectively deploy our arguments. To that extent I would regard it as to the general convenience of everyone.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

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