§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE EARL OF PLYMOUTH
My Lords, it is not usual to make the proceedings on the Second Reading of this Bill of any considerable length in your Lordship's House. It is customary, I think, to raise matters of detail on the Committee stage, when noble Lords answering for the various Departments are present to deal with any questions as to particular Bills which concern their Departments. I have only one or two remarks to make. Last year's Bill carried out the recommendation of the first periodical Select Committee which was set up to review the whole of this subject. It made certain laws permanent, and it continued other laws temporarily as usual. These other laws are continued again in the present Bill, with one exception. Section 3 of the National Health Insurance (Cost of Medical Benefit) Act, 1924, is no longer continued in force, since it is rendered unnecessary by certain provisions in the Economy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act.
Three items in the Schedule of the present Bill are bound up with legislation which is at present before Parliament. The Coroners (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1917, and the Juries Act, 1918, will be repealed by the Coroners (Amendment) Bill; and the Ministry of Food (Continuance) Act, 1920, as to Part I only, will not be required should the Sale of Food (Weights and Measures) Bill pass this year. If the two Bills in question become law before the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill it will be necessary to delete the items mentioned. It is, therefore, the intention of the Government to put off the Committee stage of this Bill to such a time as it is possible to foretell with greater certainty whether these two Bills in question are likely to become law before December 31. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2ª.—(The Earl of Plymouth.)
§ VISCOUNT HALDANE
My Lords, I have no comment to make on a Bill which seems to me, in its substance, right. Between now and the Committee stage we shall have opportunities of seeing whether any of these things are open to question. The Committee which revised the whole of the Schedules was a valuable Committee. It struck out things, if my memory serves me rightly, like the Militia Act, which had appeared from generation to generation and there may be more Acts which should be taken out of this annual Bill and put into substantive enactments. However, that can be considered before the Committee stage.
§ On Question, Bill read 2ª, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.