HL Deb 18 July 1996 vol 574 cc1001-2
The Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Cranborne)

My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper. The Motion is to make it easier to arrange a number of items of business which have usual channels' agreement. At this stage in the Session, I am advised that it has not been unusual for the House to agree to such a Motion which allows for greater flexibility in the arrangement of the Order Paper and the consideration of legislation.

Moved, That Standing Order 38 (Arrangement of the Order Paper) and Standing Order 44 (No two stages of a Bill to be taken on one day) be suspended until the House rises for the Summer Recess.—(Viscount Cranborne.)

Lord Richard

My Lords, I do not wish to detain the House long on this Motion; nor do I wish to move a formal amendment to it. But the Leader of the House will know that going through the House at the moment is a Bill called the Statutory Instruments (Production and Sale) Bill. He will also know that in relation to that Bill, the Opposition, or at least this part of them, are not prepared to see the proper time limits on that Bill truncated in the way set out in the Motion.

Therefore, as I say, while I do not wish to amend the Motion formally, I wish to have the expressed consent and acceptance of the Leader of the House to the fact that discussions on the Statutory Instruments (Production and Sale) Bill are continuing within the usual channels. If they are successful, no more will be heard from me. But if they are not successful, it will be necessary for the Leader of House to come back to the House in relation to that particular Bill and ask for a Motion in like terms to the one which he is moving now; in other words, I do not wish my position on that Bill to be prejudiced by the fact that I am not formally amending the Motion this afternoon. I hope that I make myself clear to the House.

Lord Harris of Greenwich

My Lords, as the noble Viscount will be aware, my colleagues have made our position very clear in relation to the same Bill. We would be firmly opposed to the Bill being dealt with over-expeditiously, for the reasons set out by the noble Lord, Lord Richard. I very much hope that discussions on this matter will continue because we should be most firmly opposed to any question of trying to bounce the Bill through the House without giving it adequate consideration.

Viscount Cranborne

My Lords, I am grateful to both noble Lords for giving me the opportunity to confirm that the timing of consideration of the Bill to which they have both referred is still the subject of discussion through the usual channels. I hope that it may be possible to persuade both noble Lords and their colleagues that there need be no objection to completing the passage of that Bill next week.

However, the notice of forthcoming business which was circulated today indicates that only the Committee stage of the Bill is scheduled for Tuesday of next week. That is in order not to prejudge the outcome of further discussion through the usual channels which are proceeding. Therefore, I believe that I can give both noble Lords the assurance which they require.

On Question, Motion agreed to.