HL Deb 19 December 1995 vol 567 cc1517-8
Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish

My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read a second time.—(Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish.)

Lord Boyd-Carpenter

My Lords, I should like to express my sympathy for my noble friend in being involved in such a nonsense as summarily moving the Bill, knowing perfectly well that the Procedure Committee in its wisdom— or rather lack of it— decided that we should be inhibited from debating the measure.

Lord Strabolgi

My Lords, in view of what the noble Lord the Lord Privy Seal said earlier, I had not intended to say anything. However. following the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Boyd-Carpenter, about the Procedure Committee, of which I am a member, I must ask him whether he has seen a copy of the Bill. I have a copy with me. It consists of two clauses.

Lord Hailsham of Saint Marylebone


Lord Strabolgi

Well, my Lords; only two clauses are really applicable. The first applies to certain sums— indeed, very large sums— for the year ended 31st March 1996. Clause 2 refers to a slightly larger sum for the year ended 31st March 1997, while the third clause merely cites the fact that it is the Consolidated Fund (No. 2) Bill. I do not know how the noble Lord would attempt to have a Second Reading debate, and subsequent stages, on a Bill of this kind. If he can do so, then he is a more ingenious politician than even I thought him to be.

Lord Boyd-Carpenter

My Lords, would the noble Lord agree to try an experiment to see whether he is right or I am right? Is it not a fact that what this Bill does is to authorise enormous payments of public funds without this House having any opportunity whatever of debating whether this is right or wrong?

Viscount Davidson

My Lords, may I point out this is Second Reading and my noble friend is out of order?

On Question, Bill read a second time; Committee negatived.

Then, Standing Order No. 44 having been dispensed with (pursuant to resolution), Bill read a third time, and passed.