HL Deb 17 December 1996 vol 576 cc1395-6
The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (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, does the prohibition on debating what is one of the most important Bills of the Session still continue or has the Procedure Committee at long last taken another look at it and decided to amend the provision?

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish

My Lords, I am not sure whether this is the most important Bill of the Session. I think that some of my other Bills are more important Bills of the Session, but I shall leave that point to one side. In fact, the Procedure Committee has looked at this matter. I am sure that my noble friend Lord Boyd-Carpenter knows that in the Companion on page 148 the guidance endorsed by the Procedure Committee is that: It is now a convention that proceedings upon [Consolidated Fund Bills] are taken formally". On Question, Bill read a second time; Committee negatived. Then, Standing Order No. 44 having been dispensed with (pursuant to Resolution of 12th December), Bill read a third time, and passed.