HL Deb 22 May 1991 vol 529 cc242-3


Lord Waddington

My Lords, it may be for the convenience of the House if I inform your Lordships that it has been decided through the usual channels to take the Second Reading of the Atomic Weapons Establishment Bill off the Order Paper for tomorrow. It will be set down again for Friday 14th June.

It would be wrong of me not to acknowledge that this Bill's Second Reading is now being moved for the second time. I apologise to the House for that. Interest in the Bill has grown progressively since it arrived here from another place, and the usual channels have attempted, therefore, to find time for a substantial debate in the face of the other pressures on the programme before the House. I hope that I can undertake to the House now that the Bill will not be moved again.

Lord Williams of Elvel

My Lords, I should like to say how grateful we are to the noble Lord, the Leader of the House, for acceding to our request that this Second Reading should be postponed, as he rightly said, for the second time. I can assure the noble Lord that, from our point of view, we shall not attempt to move it again. I am very glad that we now have a day upon which I hope that many speakers who wish to speak cm the Bill, but who would be unable to do so tomorrow, will be able to do so.

Lord Mayhew

My Lords, is the noble Lord the Leader of the House aware that the phenomenon in relation to the Bill has been the growth of opposition to it which was not sufficiently noted at the time of the Gulf War when it slipped through the other place? However, having said that, we on these Benches also welcome the opportunity to debate the matter more thoroughly.

Lord Waddington

My Lords, we are not here this afternoon to debate the merits of the matter; I am here to give the House what I understood it wanted. I am most grateful for the thanks that have been afforded to the Government for having given way. I am sure that the noble Lord will wish to thank the Government in as magnificent a way as did the noble Lord opposite.

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