I beg to move,
That, during proceedings on the Civil Defence (Grant) Bill, the Committee do meet on Tuesdays at half-past Ten o'clock and at half-past Four o'clock and on Thursdays at Five Minutes to Ten o'clock and at half-past Two o'clock.
The sittings motion is relatively short and self-explanatory, and should allow ample time for us to discuss the fairly short and limited provisions in the Bill. This is my first Standing Committee as a Minister, and I apologise in advance for any slight slips that may occur under your distinguished chairmanship, Mr. Griffiths. I am glad that the Committee consists of long-standing and distinguished Members, too, who will no doubt be extremely well informed and articulate at all times.
The Bill is small, and I do not propose to detain the Committee further. I hope that the motion will be approved.
All that I wish to add is that we look forward to what I believe will be an interesting series of deliberations in Committee. As it is the hon. Gentleman's first Committee as a Minister, we promise to try to be gentle, but I am sure that he will not need us to be. I am sure that he will handle the matter with his customary skill and eloquence.
I, too, am a bit rusty, having not served on a Committee for about three or four years, and I hope that the Committee will bear with me, too. We do not intend to hold up the Committee for a great deal of time this morning and merely want to probe the Minister on several issues. I look forward to doing that shortly.
Question put and agreed to.
I remind the Committee that there is a money resolution in connection with the Bill, copies of which are available in the Room. Although it may not be necessary—indeed, I am sure that all of you hope that it will not be—adequate notice should be given of amendments. As a general rule, I do not intend to call starred amendments, including any that may be reached during an afternoon sitting of the Committee. I also remind Members that the Committee will not sit this afternoon. If proceedings are not concluded this morning, the Committee will meet again on Thursday morning.Clause 1 Civil defence: grants