HL Deb 13 March 1992 vol 536 cc1558-60

3.10 p.m.

Lord Hesketh

My Lords, I have some late business news. It now seems likely that in addition to the Bills which I previously announced to your Lordships would be received from another place, we shall also receive the Museums and Galleries Bill as a result of a further usual channels agreement. It is therefore intended to take that Bill through all its stages on Monday, after the Friendly Societies Bill and the Army Bill, which we also expect to receive.

It may be for the convenience of your Lordships if I remind noble Lords that, in these circumstances, these Bills are likely not to be reprinted before being considered by your Lordships. Any amendments which your Lordships may wish to move in Committee should therefore relate to the Commons Bill, which is already available, and may accordingly be tabled forthwith.

I apologise for making this announcement so unexpectedly to your Lordships, but noble Lords will understand that the situation is somewhat fluid. I can assure your Lordships that the decision to take the Museums and Galleries Bill is a reflection of the uncontroversial and even, arguably, desirable nature of the measure.

Lord Graham of Edmonton

My Lords, we on these Benches have been fully consulted about the need for the statement and its nature. Noble Lords may not be aware that attempts to bring the Bill before the House over the past two days have been made repeatedly. There has been no animus whatever as to the nature of the Bill but objections have been raised to the procedures and the exclusions and inclusions to the Bill.

This House has merely been the facilitator of discussions in depth that began in another place. I am fairly certain that on Monday the Minister, when proposing to give the Bill a Second Reading, will explain fully the nature of the Bill and the reason for the hesitation.

Without commitment, and understanding completely the special circumstances of the past two or three days, we on this side of the House look forward on Monday to facilitating the passage of the Bill in these very unusual circumstances.

Lord Boyd-Carpenter

My Lords, in the context of Monday's business—I understand that the Finance Bill will be taken—will my noble friend list the order in which the various measures will be taken?

Lord Hesketh

My Lords, in answer to my noble friend, I believe I am correct in saying that we shall start with finance and then move on in the order which I laid out in the first paragraph of the statement that I have just made.

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