Orders of the Day — GUARD DOGS BILL (changed from Dogs Bill)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th May 1975.

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As amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.

11.14 a.m.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel David Mather Lieut-Colonel David Mather , Esher

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I seek your advice before we commence our proceedings on the Bill?

I draw the attention of yourself and the House to the fact that the Bill is so heavily amended that I think the House will have considerable difficulty in clearly understanding its objectives. I am not in disagreement with its objectives, but the Bill is in a confused state I suggest that the Bill should be withdrawn now and redrafted so that we can get a clearer idea of its objectives. I make that suggestion bearing in mind that the Bill may never come into force according to Clause 6.

I submit that this is wasting the time of the House. There is other important legislation which we have to get on with this morning, which I think the Government might wish to see on the statute book. I refer particularly to the Cinematograph and Indecent Displays Bill and to the Rating Reform Bill.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

I am afraid I must rule that that is not a point of order. That is nothing to do with me. I cannot order a Bill to be withdrawn. The argument must proceed. If the hon. Member for Esher (Mr. Mather) has strong feelings about the Bill he must vote against it at the appropriate time.

Photo of Mr James Wellbeloved Mr James Wellbeloved , Bexley Erith and Crayford

As the Guard Dogs Bill is substantially different from the Dogs Bill, which received a Second Reading, and as there are a great number of amendments on the Notice Paper, tabled by the promoter of the Bill, which substantially amend and alter the principles of the Bill as agreed in Standing Committee, may I prevail upon you, Mr. Speaker, to exercise your great indulgence during the course of our debate?

Having read through the Bill most diligently and having considered the amend- ments on the Notice Paper, I have experienced the greatest difficulty in relating one to the other and in finding my way through the complicated proceedings that now face us. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, and those who follow you in the Chair, to exercise the greatest indulgence to hon. Members who will be struggling this morning with a most difficult piece of legislation due to the complexity of the amendments that have been tabled both in Committee and at this stage.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

I think I can promise that the chair will exercise the maximum indulgence consistent with its duty to the House.