Equalisation Payments to Be Made to Certain Water Authorities

Part of Orders of the Day — Water Charges Equalisation Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th March 1977.

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Photo of Mr Denis Howell Mr Denis Howell , Birmingham Small Heath 12:00 am, 16th March 1977

I shall immediately take up the point made by the hon. Member for Conway (Mr. Roberts). I wish to mention the procrastination that occurred in Committee, leading to the regrettable fact that we cannot implement the Bill in time for 1st April this year. It does not lie in the hon. Gentleman's mouth to complain about the Bill not being applicable this year or any other year.

Rarely have I heard a speech of greater humbug than that delivered by the hon. Gentleman. At the conclusion of eight sittings on Clause 1, the hon. Gentleman voted against that clause because he said that it could still be defective. If that was an attempt at intellectual gymnastics, it was totally unconvincing. The hon. Gentleman voted for Clause 1—which is the body of the Bill—on Second Reading and, for some reason, then voted against the clause in Committee.