HL Deb 12 November 1975 vol 365 cc1916-7

[Nos.1 and 1A.]

Clause 2, page 3, leave out lines 27 to 29.

The Commons disagreed to this Amendment for the following Reason:

Because it is important to retain maximum flexibility in establishing joint boards.


My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth not insist on their Amendment No.1 to which the Commons have disagreed for the Reason numbered No. 1A. First, this is a limited power. It is a subsidiary power which can only be used to make such incidental, consequential, transitional or supplementary provision as appears to the Secretary of State to be necessary or expedient. Secondly, this is a necessary power. The need to include modification of other legislation arises from the fact that the Bill does not include new powers for local authorities to manage and dispose of land.

There is a further point which noble Lords opposite may not have appreciated when the Amendment was originally made; that is, that the power may be needed also to protect the position of the constituent authorities. The loss of that power would clearly be undesirable, and I hope that the House will not insist on this Amendment.

Moved, That this House doth not insist on the Amendment No. 1 to which the Commons have disagreed for the Reason numbered 1A.—(Lord Melchett.)

Baroness YOUNG

My Lords, we come to the end of this very long and complicated proceeding. We have heard from the noble Lord, Lord Melchett, the Reason that the Commons have given. I suppose that we must be grateful that at least we are able to read this in the Commons proceedings of yesterday, because on going through the information that was handed to me originally in a cyclostyled document at the end of the morning, I was told that that was all we had, and that if we wanted to see the other relevant parts of Hansard, they were typewritten with handwritten Amendments only for viewing in the House of Commons Library. This is of course the state to which we are now reduced on what the Government themselves have called one of their most important pieces of legislation. The whole arrangements to which we have been subjected over this last few weeks have been a disgrace, and I am bound to say that this is the final insult.

We have done our best, under once again exceedingly difficult circumstances, to try to struggle through. The only thing that I can say to the noble Lord, Lord Melchett, is that of all the rather unconvincing reasons for not accepting our Amendments, I think that his is slightly better than some of the rest. I am not prepared not to accept it tonight because it is rather a technical matter and, as I say, we shall not argue this. There are other Amendments on which one can make great play later on, but we shall wait until we get to those points.