HL Deb 07 May 1981 vol 420 cc216-7

3.24 p.m.

The Minister of State, Department of Employment (The Earl of Gowrie)

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 British Telecommunications Bill has been committed that they consider the Bill in the following order:—

—(The Earl of Gowrie.)

Lord Morris had given notice of his intention to move, as an amendment to the above Motion, to leave out

and insert

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I hope your Lordships have not felt that I acted lightly in putting down the amendment which stands in my name on the Order Paper. The main reason why I put down this Motion was to assist your Lordships' consideration in Committee and at Report stage. If the Committee stage is taken in the order which Her Majesty's Government suggest, it is going to make life very difficult for your Lordships, for it will in effect mean that the powers of the corporation will have to be considered before the duties of the corporation, and indeed before the monopolies provisions and the powers of the Secretary of State contained in Clause 12 to 15.

However, although I was convinced that the Motion would only produce orderly debate in Committee but would also bring the House yet again into very good repute, for it would be seen in the country to be considering this Bill in a logical order, I am ashamed to admit that I did not consider properly one very important issue, and that is very simply that this Bill is not my Bill. It is the Government's Bill, and I believe that for anyone to suggest or to prescribe, let alone administer, the medicine for somebody else's baby is, however good the intention, at best impertinent and at worst bad manners. In the light of this, I feel it is very important that I withdraw this Motion.

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Aberdare)

My Lords, I understand that the amendment is not moved. The Question therefore is that this Motion be agreed to.

On Question, Motion agreed to.