Clause 31. — (Repeal or Amendment of Local Acts.)

Orders of the Day — COAST PROTECTION BILL [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25 October 1949.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks , Chichester 12:00, 25 October 1949

I beg to move, in page 36, line 24, to leave out from "section," to "shall," in line 25.

This Amendment would make Clause 31 (3) read: Any order under this section shall be subject to special Parliamentary procedure. The effect of the Amendment is to delete the words: made after the expiration of two years from the passing of this Act. There is really no rhyme or reason at all why there should be this two years' delay. We consider it vitally essential, for reasons very well known, because we have argued, generally with success, on many similar enactments and in many similar cases, that orders of importance made for purposes such as this should come before Parliament. The gist of such orders is going to be to alter, amend, vary or affect other Parliamentary enactments, and, therefore, it is vitally important that when such Parliamentary enactments are being varied by Ministerial decree, Parliament should have an opportunity of supervising what is being done. We see no reason whatever why there should be the two years' lag in which the Minister would have a free rein with regard to previous legislation. While I do not for a moment suggest that he would abuse the privilege being put upon him constitutionally, I do feel that, from the point of view of propriety, as well as from the practical point of view, these matters should be laid before Parliament ab initio, and not merely at the expiration of two years.

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East

I think that this Amendment has been put down under some misunderstanding because while it is true that the special Parliamentary procedure will apply automatically after the expiry of two years, it will also apply in the interim if the bodies concerned object. Perhaps the wording is not very clear, but under the proviso contained in subsection (2), read in conjunction with Part II of the Schedule, it will be seen that, in fact, that is the provision made. I think we have fully covered the point which the hon. Gentleman wishes to raise. I can assure him that not only will there be the use of special Parliamentary procedure after the expiry of the two years, but also within the period of the two years if objection is raised by one of the statutory bodies concerned.

Photo of Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks Hon. Lancelot Joynson-Hicks , Chichester

On the strength of the hon. Gentleman's assurance, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.