HL Deb 25 June 1981 vol 421 cc1156-7

3.18 p.m.

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Hailsham of Saint Marylebone)

My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. This is a pure consolidation Bill, bringing together the provisions of the New Towns Acts of 1959, 1965, 1966, 1975, 1977 and 1980, and of the New Towns (Amendment) Act 1976, together with provisions of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980. If the House gives the Bill a Second Reading it will go in the ordinary way to the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills.

It will not have escaped your Lordships' notice that the next three items on the Order Paper are also Second Readings of consolidation Bills. It may save time if, with the leave of your Lordships, I briefly set out the purposes of the other three Bills. The Acquisition of Land Bill consolidates the Acquisition of Land (Authorisation Procedure) Act 1946 with related enactments; the Compulsory Purchase (Vesting Declarations) Bill consolidates provisions from a variety of enactments dealing with vesting declarations and is drafted on the assumption that it will pass in the same Session as the Acquisition of Land Bill; and the Broadcasting Bill consolidates the Independent Broadcasting Authority Acts of 1973, 1974 and 1978 together with the Broadcasting Act 1980.

I will put the Questions separately, but I trust noble Lords have found it convenient for me to explain the series conjunctively.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Lord Chancellor.)

Lord Elwyn-Jones

My Lords, I am sure that the House will think that this is an appropriate course to follow. The only thing I wish to say is how splendid is the process of consolidation. That it is needed was indicated by what the noble and learned Lord said about the multiplicity of Acts of Parliament that are involved in the consolidation relating to the New Towns Bill. I think that the Law Commission is to be complimented on the massive amount of work that it is devoting to this matter, as is our own committee on its involvement.

The Lord Chancellor

My Lords, I am very grateful to the noble and learned Lord for those words, which entirely accord with the views of the Government.

On Question, Bill read 2a, and referred to the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills.