HL Deb 19 July 1988 vol 499 cc1202-3

1 Clause 9, page 7, line 40, leave out subsections (8) and (9).

The Lord Chancellor

My Lords, in speaking to Amendment No. 1, I shall also speak to Amendments Nos. 23 and 25. These amendments deal with the question of providing a passport to non-contributory legal aid for those in receipt of prescribed social security benefits, primarily income support. Under the Bill such an automatic passport was allowed for only in respect of advice and assistance under Part III. By moving the power to Clause 34 (which is what the amendments do) it will enable regulations to provide for passporting arrangements for all types of legal aid, if that seems appropriate in all the circumstances.

I am sure that your Lordships will agree that this is a sensible improvement that the other place has made to the Bill and I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 1.

Moved, That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 1.—(The Lord Chancellor.)

Lord Elwyn-Jones

My Lords, we on this side of the House are disposed to agree with the proposition, but I am not sure that we are very enamoured of the Lord Chancellor's reference to "passport". That does not conjure up speed, quickness or efficiency. However, I take it that that is merely a turn of phrase and is not intended to be more significant than that.

The Lord Chancellor

My Lords, as always, I am seeking one word to explain an idea, and I am sure that the noble and learned Lord has the idea. I hope that as the legal aid scheme is developed, it will more and more give an impression of efficiency and speed.

On Question, Motion agreed to.