§ 4.6 p.m.
§ Lord HUGHES
My Lords, I beg to move that the Commons Amendments be now considered. Apart from three minor drafting Amendments all the Commons Amendments are consequential on the coming into operation of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1972, the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and the District Courts (Scotland) Act 1975.
§ Moved, That the Commons Amendments be now considered.—(Lord Hughes.)
§ Lord SIMON of GLAISDALE
My Lords, may I say a word before the voices are collected on the Motion? This is a consolidation measure which was considered by the Joint Select Committee. It is quite often necessary to amend a consolidation measure after it has left the Joint Committee. Sometimes the 509 Committee itself suggests that the draftsmen might like to consider a point at leisure; sometimes new legislation, as in this case, renders amendment necessary. We had an example earlier in the Session with the massive consolidation of the social security legislation which had to be amended because, parallel with it, there was legislation actually going through the House. But the subsequent Amendments which were necessary were cleared through my agency as Chairman of the Committee and I venture to suggest that that can be useful because the Committee may have some policy or may have expressed some views. I am not genuinely seeking work and I can well understand the view that no English lawyer has anything of any value to offer on a measure dealing with Scottish criminal procedure; but my noble and learned friend Lord Guest is a member of that Committee. He certainly played an active part in the discussions on the Bill in Committee, and I ask that consideration might be given, where subsequent Amendment is necessary to a consolidation Bill, for it to be cleared in some way through the Joint Committee.
§ Lord HUGHES
My Lords, I am grateful to the noble and learned Lord for his comments. Far be it from me as a total layman to object to the intervention of a noble and learned Lord in these matters, from whichever side of the Border he comes; for I am certain that he will know much more about it than I could hope to do. I hope, however, that the noble and learned Lord does not find it necessary to object to the handling of these Amendments today. I will certainly ensure that his comments are drawn to the attention of my right honourable friend.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ [References are to Bill (85) as first printed for the Commons.]