§ Order for consideration, as amended (in the Standing Committee), read.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That the Bill be re-committed to a Committee of the whole House in respect of the Amendment to Clause 16, page 19, line 7, standing on the Notice Paper in the name of Mr. John Maclay.—[Mr. Maclay.]
§ 3.40 p.m.
§ Mr. A. Woodburn (Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire)
Is the Motion now before the House discussable, Mr. Speaker?
§ Mr. Woodburn
Before the House decides to recommit the Bill, I should like the Secretary of State to explain to hon. Members, and perhaps to Scotland, too, why the Bill was brought in in such an imperfect form, and why local authorities, such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, were not consulted about the implications of the Bill so that difficulties which have arisen in the course of discussions might have been eliminated in the original draft, instead of having to occupy the time of the House in putting these matters right.
I understand from both the Glasgow and Edinburgh Corporations that much of the usual procedure was not followed, that this was a very hastily prepared draft, that many of the points which they would have liked to put before the Secretary of State were not given consideration in time—
§ Mr. Speaker
I think that the right hon. Gentleman is developing an argument which is much wider than the Question before the House, namely, whether the Bill be recommitted to a Committee of the whole House in respect of one particular Amendment. I think that the right hon. Gentleman would have an opportunity for his remarks on Third Reading, or on some other occasion. On this occasion we have to deal with the simple procedural point of whether the Bill should be recommitted and only in respect of one Amendment.
§ Mr. John Rankin (Glasgow, Govan) rose—1186
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I must propose the Question. I will hear the hon. Member later. The Question has been moved and I must propose it.
§ Mr. Rankin
I submit, Sir, that there are one or two points to be put from this side of the House on the proposal to recommit the Bill. It should be known that the Bill was brought in on a Thursday at the end of last year. We had the Second Reading then and a week later we were on to the Committee stage of the Bill. As a result, local authorities and others who were interested in the Bill had very little time to put forward their considered thoughts on and amendments to the Bill and now, as the result of that hasty procedure, we are faced with 79 Amendments from the Government in an attempt to try to rectify the errors that arose from their attempt to rush the Bill through the House.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member is now speaking about Amendments upon consideration of the Bill—the Report stage—which we have not yet reached. The Question before the House is whether the Bill be committed in respect of a particular Amendment. The hon. Member's speech, to be in order, must be relevant to that Question. He cannot jump over such a recommittal Motion and talk about Amendments on Report.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Bill immediately considered in Committee.
§ [Sir CHARLES MACANDREW in the Chair]