Private Business – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25 October 1949.

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Standing Order 10, page 108, line 61, leave out 'are intended to be.' and insert 'have been.'

Standing Order 28, page 120, line 11, leave out 'three,' and insert 'two and a half.'

Standing Order 28, page 120, line 16, leave out from beginning, to end of line 19, and insert—

'Provided that it shall not be necessary for the map to show the existing or proposed boundaries of a county other than a county the council whereof is promoting the Bill.'

Standing Order 37, page 125, line 12, leave out 'common or commonable.'

Standing Order 37, page 125, line 15, leave out 'common or commonable.'

Standing Order 39, page 126, line 9, after 'Supply,' insert 'the Ministry of Fuel and Power.'

Standing Order 39, page 126, line 12, leave out from beginning, to end of line 14."

At this stage of a Session it is almost always necessary to ask the House to make a few miscellaneous changes in Private Business Standing Orders. The full list of these will presently be submitted; meanwhile there are a few amendments which are urgent because they affect steps which the promoters of Private Bills must take before 20th November. One of those steps is the deposit of a plan under Standing Order 28 where a Bill proposes to alter the boundaries of local authorities. The present Order requires that the existing and proposed boundaries shall be shown on an ordnance map on a scale of not less than three inches to the mile. This causes difficulty because the Ordnance Survey do not at present publish a three-inch scale series, so that either special maps must be made or the six-inch scale must be used.

There is, however, a new ordnance series very slightly larger than 2½ inches to the mile. It is, therefore, proposed to substitute the minimum requirement of 2½ inches to the mile in Standing Order 28 for the existing minimum of three inches to the mile, and so to make the new ordnance series available. I am sure the House will agree that we do not want to multiply these map requirements unnecessarily. It is regarded as unnecessary for the map to show existing or proposed county boundaries except those of a county which is itself promoting a Bill. It is, therefore, proposed to insert a proviso to that effect at the end of paragraph (1) of Standing Order 28; it will replace the present proviso which is no longer required.

The second urgent amendment is one in which the Ministry of Agriculture is interested. The Ministry examines all Private Bills to see what land may perhaps be diverted from its present agricultural use. The Ministry at present gets a copy of all Private Bills under the general provisions of Standing Order 39 (1), but in practice it is not always easy for the Ministry to identify particular fields. So that it is proposed that the Ministry shall get a copy of any deposited plans where a Bill proposes the compulsory purchase or use of land. This amendment can be made quite simply, as set out on the Order Paper, by dropping the words "common or commonable" out of Standing Order 37 (2).

The Ministry and representatives of the Parliamentary Agents who promote these Bills are satisfied, as I am myself, of the desirability and the urgency of these small amendments. There is one other change, a minor verbal change, which is suggested in Standing Order 10 dealing with newspaper notices. I hope the House may approve these minor alterations in Standing Orders.

Question put, and agreed to.