Private Business – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd July 1959.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think it is my duty to inform the House that as a result of the printing dispute there are very few copies available of the City of London (Various Powers) Bill which I have set down for debate at seven o'clock next Monday evening.
I have arranged with the Agents for the Bill that Clause 9, which, I understand, is the most controversial part, should be included in their Memorandum about the Bill which will be available in the Vote Office. Any Member who cannot obtain a copy of the Bill can, of course, as usual inspect one in the Private Bill Office or in my Office. I hope that no Member will, therefore, be unduly inconvenienced by this unavoidable shortage of copies of the Bill.
On a point of order. Clause 9 is one of the main contentious items in this Bill, but my hon. Friends representing Islington constituencies intend also to refer to several other Clauses, particularly those which abrogate certain provisions in the Epping Forest Act, 1878, which provide for the City Corporation to invest money from the superannuation fund in equities, and it might be inconvenient if hon. Members who desire it could not have a full copy of the Bill.
The trouble is that they are not available. There is one which can be seen in my office or in the Private Bill Office, but the printing is out of gear for it, I am sorry to say.
If copies of the Bill are not going to be available in sufficient quantities for hon. Members who wish to take part in the debate and who may have to make up their minds which Division Lobby to go into, is it in order for the matter to come up for debate in the House on Monday night?
It is quite in order for the Bill to come up. Hon. Members must do the best they can with the material which is available. I am afraid there is no way out of it.
May I raise a point of order on the South Wales Transport Bill? If I understood the Chairman of Ways and Means correctly, three Bills have been set down for Monday night at seven o'clock. It is quite clear from the interest in the first two that it will probably be an early hour on Tuesday morning before the South Wales Transport Bill can be debated. There is considerable interest in that Bill and it seems to me to be quite unfair to take these three Bills on the same night.
That cannot be argued at the moment. It is not really a point of order.
I think that the Chairman of Ways and Means has probably done his best about them.
Further to the point of order raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, North (Mr. Reynolds). I fear that it will be quite impossible for hon. Members interested in the City of London (Various Powers) Bill to follow the matter as closely as they should unless there are available sufficient copies of the Bill, either printed or duplicated. We shall be placed in a most difficult position in trying to consider the Bill adequately.
We cannot argue the matter properly now, but it can be raised, if hon. Members desire to do so, when the Bill comes up for discussion on Monday next.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I ask whether it is possible, within the procedure of the House, to find out when the next Tyne Tunnel Bill is likely to come along?