§ 3.33 p.m.
§ The Lord Chancellor
My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time.
This Bill consolidates the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 as subsequently amended. The 1960 Act was heavily amended by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and, although these amendments were textual amendments, they did not fit easily into the original structure of the 1960 Act. In the result, it has become difficult for the reader to find his way around the amended text of the 1960 Act. This consolidation is therefore greatly to be welcomed and I should like to express my appreciation, and I trust that of your Lordships also, for the work of the Law Commission and of the parliamentary draftsman in producing this Bill.
The Bill contains a number of corrections and minor improvements to the existing law which are needed in order to facilitate the consolidation. These are contained in a memorandum which I laid before Parliament on 16th December last pursuant to the Consolidation of Enactments (Procedure) Act 1949. This memorandum, which will be considered by the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills, is similar in purpose to the reports of the Law Commissions which often recommend minor amendments to the existing law in order to achieve a satisfactory consolidation. However, since some of the matters covered are "transferred" matters for the purposes of the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973, the minor improvements have to be dealt with by memorandum under the 1949 Act rather than by inclusion in a Law Commission report.
If your Lordships are content to give the Bill a Second Reading, it will be referred in the usual way to the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills. I commend the Bill to the House.
Moved, That the Bill be now read a second time.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ Lord Mishcon
My Lords, because of my respect and, indeed, affection for the noble and learned Lord, Lord Simon of Glaisdale, and in view of his remarks, I shall say nothing.
On Question, Bill read a second time, and committed to the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills.