§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee, read.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(The Earl of Lytton.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ [The EARL OF DONOUGHMORE in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1:
LORD BALFOUR OF BURLEIGH
I desire to ask the noble Lord in charge of this Bill a question on Clause 1. At the bottom of page 1 it says—… the charges to be made by the undertakers shall be authorised which is more than sufficient, so far as can be estimated, to enable the undertaking to be carried on without loss.I should like to ask what is the meaning of the words "without loss." I suggest—I will not press it if the noble Lord has a doubt about it—that there should be added, after the word "loss," the words "and to maintain its financial stability." I suggest that for this reason, that so far 1004 as the authority stands, it does not seem to me to enable the Minister to increase dues sufficiently to enable a dock authority to carry forward a balance large enough to meet short-dated loans; nor would the words cover sufficient revenue to maintain an adequate margin for payments to reserve funds. I believe these questions were raised in another place, but the proceedings of the Committee were not reported, and therefore there is no record of what the opinion of the Minister of Transport is in regard to them. My attention was called to these questions only this afternoon, or I would have given the noble Lord notice beforehand. If it suits him, I am quite prepared to wait till the Report stage of the Bill for an answer I leave it entirely to him.
THE EARL OF LYTTON
I should be obliged if my noble friend would pursue that course. The point is new to me, and I am not sufficiently instructed to answer it. But between now and the Report, stage of the Bill I will make the necessary inquiries and let him know.
§ Clauses 1 to 3 agreed to.
§ Clause 4:
§ As to applications for an order.
§ 4. An application to the Minister of Transport for the purposes of this Act shall be accompanied by such information, certified in such manner as the Minister may require, with respect to the financial position of the undertaking in question; and before making an order the Minister shall require the undertakers to give public notice of the application for an order under this Act, and as to the manner in which, and the time within which, representations to the Minister may be made, and the Minister shall consider any representations which may be duly made.
§ THE EARL OF LYTTONmoved, at the beginning of the clause, after "An application," to insert "by the undertakers." The noble Earl said: This is a drafting Amendment, and the words I propose to insert are required in order to make the meaning of the clause clear.
Clause 4, page 4, line 26, after ("application") insert ("by the undertakers").—(The Earl of Lytton.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 4, as amended, agreed to.
§ Remaining clauses agreed to.