Clause 1. — (Historic Buildings Council for England.)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd July 1953.

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Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham 12:00 am, 22nd July 1953

I beg to move, in page 2, line 3, at the end, to insert: but, in relation to a chairman of the Council who is a member of the House of Commons, this subsection shall have effect with the substitution, for the words 'remuneration and allowances,' of the words 'allowances in respect of travelling and subsistence expenses and in respect of other expenses (if any) necessarily incurred by him for the purpose of enabling him to perform his duties as chairman. The right hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Dalton) and my hon. Friend the Member for Devizes (Mr. Hollis) drew attention to the fact that in the Bill as first drafted we made provision that the chairman of a Historic Buildings Council could be paid. We inserted a further provision that if the chairman were a Member of this House he could be paid although it is an office of profit under the Crown. They asked whether this was quite correct, and, on looking at it again, we think that we had better take out of the Bill the provision that if the chairman is a Member of Parliament he can be paid his salary. We have left in the payment of out-of-pocket expenses, which I think is normal, and the wording follows the precedent of the Medical Act, 1950. I hope that this change meets with the wishes of the House.

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

I raised the matter in Committee in a purely interrogatory manner. It would, of course, be a new practice that there should be Members of the House, not Members of the Government, drawing a salary from public funds in respect of public duties. It would be a new departure. I do not necessarily pronounce against such a new departure being made, but I think it ought to be carefully considered. I doubt whether it is appropriate to introduce it casually and incidentally, as it were, in a Bill of this sort. Therefore, I think that the right hon. Gentleman is wise in proposing his Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

I beg to move, in page 2, line 18, at the end, to insert: (7) Without prejudice to the last preceding subsection, if at any time it appears to the said Council that there is need for action to be taken by the Minister under this Part of this Act, they shall forthwith make to the Minister such representations as they may think appropriate in the circumstances. Several hon. Members, and I think my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Sir E. Keeling) in particular, felt that although the Government had assured them that they expected the Historic Buildings Councils to draw attention to any, emergency cases where houses needed help in a hurry if they were to be saved, nevertheless it would be a good thing to have something of this kind in the Bill. We undertook to put in some words which would draw the attention of the Historic Buildings Councils to their duty to make representations at any time they felt they would be of use to the Minister. I hope that my hon. Friend will think that these words meet the point.

Amendment agreed to.