§ Lords' Amendments considered.
In page 1, line 12, to leave out from the word 'interest' to the end of the clause.
In page 2, line 25, after the word 'council,' to insert the words 'or councils'; in line 26, after the word 'for,' to insert the words 'its or.'
In page 3, line 8, after the word 'and,' to insert the words 'duly accredited representatives,' and after the word 'agencies,' to insert the word 'which.'
In page 3, line 9, to leave out the word 'carrying,' and to insert the word 'carry.'
§ Agreed to.
In page 3, line 16, after Clause 4, to insert Clause (a): '(a) Nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to prohibit a local authority from admitting the public to its meetings, and, subject to the accommodation available, the public shall have the right of admission to meetings of local authorities at all times when the Press is admitted to such meetings under this Act.'
§ Read a second time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."1758
§ MR. HARMOOD-BANNER
wished to move to leave out all the words after "meetings" to the end of the clause. He thought the House would be somewhat astonished at the fact that this clause had been inserted. While the House had taken no objection to the admission of the Press, they did not make any provision for the admission under the same circumstances of the public. It was difficult to know why the clause had been added to the Bill. There was no difficulty about admitting the public at present where it was necessary to do so, but it certainly would not be right that they should be able to claim admission to meetings of education committees and other committees who deliberated in rooms which were unsuited to the accommodation of numbers of people other than the members of those committees. He thought it was perfectly obvious that, as the Press would be there to give the public every information, and while the public would have every facility, it did not necessarily follow that, where the local authority admitted the Press, they ought also to be bound to admit the public. He begged to disagree with the Lords' Amendment.
Amendment proposed to the Lords' Amendment—
In line 2, to leave out all the words alter the word 'meetings.'"—(Mr. Harmood-Banner.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Lords' Amendment."
§ MR. ARTHUR HENDERSON (Durham, Barnard Castle)
said on behalf of the promoters of the Bill that they were prepared to accept the Amendment, as they thought the words added in another place carried the Bill very much beyond what the promoters intended.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Lords' Amendment, as amended, agreed to.1759
In page 3, lines 25 to 32, to leave out Paragraph (c), and to insert the words '(c) Any other local body, board, joint board, or committee which has or may hereafter have the power to impose a rate (as defined in Section 2 of this Act) and which does not require to report its proceedings to any other local authority.'
§ Read a second time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
§ MR. COURTHOPE (Sussex, Rye)
said the Amendment he desired to move concerned a question of language. In the second line of the proposed paragraph, the words occurred, "which has, or may hereafter, have the power to impose a rate." He thought that was a very clumsy way of expressing the evident meaning of the Legislature, and it was not desirable to put words of that kind in the Statute-book, and the Amendment, which he had handed in was to cut out the words, "which has, or may hereafter have," and to insert the word "having." The other point to which he desired to call attention was as to the words, "which does not require to report its proceedings to any other local authority." That was a very unusual way of expressing the meaning, and was more or less unintelligible in the drafting of an English Bill. It might be pointed out that the Bill applied to Scotland, and that this was Scottish phraseology, but, so far as he could make out, that was not the case, and unless some reason could be given for the insertion of these words he would like to move to leave them out.
said if the hon. Member had called his attention to it, that course would have been permissible, but he was afraid it was too late now.
§ MR. COURTHOPE
said he would like to call Mr. Deputy-Speaker's attention to the fact that he rose the moment the Clerk at the Table had read the wording of the clause. He handed in his Amendment eight hours ago.
§ Lords' Amendment agreed to.