THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (THE EARL OF ONSLOW)
My Lords, I beg to move the Motion which stands in my name. Your Lordships will remember that last year a Select Committee was appointed to go into this question of Special Orders. The Committee examined it at great length and came to certain conclusions. The first net result of them is that all Orders requiring an affirmative Resolution will be treated in the same way, and the second result will be that the Special Orders Committee will have the same power as the Chairman of Committees of your Lordships' House in referring an unopposed Order to a Committee. At present, under the Standing Orders, the Chairman of Committees can, if he thinks fit, refer an unopposed Bill to a Select Committee, but that power does not exist in regard to Special Orders. It seems that as they are very much on all fours it is desirable that the Special Orders Committee should 139 have the same power as the Chairman of Committees. They can do it in fact by making a recommendation to your Lordships' House, but that is a cumbersome method, and it does seem better that the same Standing Order or a similar one should govern all cases.
§ Moved, That the Standing Order relative to Special Orders be amended as follows:—
Standing Order 212, page 78, line 3, leave out from the beginning of the Standing Order to the end of line 11 and insert—
("In the Standing Orders the expression Special Order means any Order in Council, departmental order, rules, regulations, scheme or other similar instrument (hereinafter referred to as Orders) directed under any Act to be laid, or laid in draft, before the House where an affirmative Resolution is required before the Order or any part thereof becomes effective or is made or as a condition of the continuance in operation of the Order or any part thereof with the exception of (a) measures under the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act, 1919; (b) any rules made under the Government of India Act; (c) any regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act. 1920; and (d) any Orders made under the Sunday Entertainments Act, 1932.")
Page 79, after line 46, insert:—
("In every case, whether such Petition has or has not been presented, when the Special Order in the opinion of the Committee raises an important question of policy or principle or departs from precedent, the Committee shall further report to the House accordingly and may, if they see fit, recommend that there be a further inquiry by a Select Committee.").—(The Earl of Onslow.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to, and Standing Order amended accordingly.