HL Deb 29 March 1993 vol 544 cc598-9

3.6 p.m.

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Wakeham)

My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, That, in the event of the Consolidated Fund (No. 3) Bill being brought from the Commons, Standing Order 44 (No two stages of a Bill to be taken on one day) be dispensed with to enable the Bill to be taken through all its stages this day.—(Lord Wakeham.)

Lord Bruce of Donington

My Lords, your Lordships will recall that previously when the Motion has been moved there has been raised from all quarters of the House the possibility of using the day on which the Consolidated Fund Bill comes before your Lordships as a means of inaugurating a debate on the general economic or financial state of the nation's affairs.

Noble Lords will be aware that this afternoon the Select Committee on Procedure will be meeting in order to discuss the matter on a proposal produced by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Simon of Glaisdale, the noble Lord, Lord Boyd-Carpenter, and myself. Will the noble Lord give the House the benefit of any further constructive thoughts that he may have before the committee meets?

Lord Wakeham

My Lords, I have been around just long enough to know that last time I gave the benefit of my advice after the Select Committee had considered the matter. I do not believe that it would be wise for me to give any views prior to the committee meeting later this afternoon.

Lord Boyd-Carpenter

My Lords, will my noble friend give your Lordships some guidance? As the position now stands, debate on the Consolidated Fund (No. 3) Bill is prohibited. As the noble Lord, Lord Bruce of Donington, said, that is to be discussed by the Procedure Committee this afternoon, and I shall not touch upon it now. However, will my noble friend say whether or not the procedural Motion that he has moved is regarded as debatable?

Lord Wakeham

My Lords, I am sure that noble Lords are perfectly in order if they wish to debate the procedural Motion that I have moved.

Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe

My Lords, I wish to support the two noble Lords who have spoken. The first item on the Orders of the Day and Notices of Motions in another place is the Consolidated Fund (No. 3) Bill. It states that, Questions on Second and Third Reading of the Consolidated Fund (No. 3) Bill will be put forthwith". There will therefore be no debate whatever in another place. Members in another place will obviously do as they wish. However, we have had previous discussions on the subject in this Chamber and I should like some assurance that we are not negating any right that we may have had in the past.

Lord Campbell of Alloway

My Lords, as on previous occasions, I support all noble Lords who have spoken in this matter.

Lord Wakeham

My Lords, all four noble Lords who have contributed briefly to the debate are well apprised of the issues which will be discussed later this afternoon by the Select Committee.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

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