§ Order of the Day for the consideration of the First Report from the Select Committee read.
§ The Committee reported as follows:
§ 1.—STANDING ORDERS ON PUBLIC BUSINESS
§ The Committee recommend the reprinting of the Standing Orders relating to Public Business, incorporating all the amendments made since they were last printed in 1954.
§ 2.—COMPANION TO THE STANDING ORDERS
§ The Committee authorise the Clerk of the Parliaments to prepare and publish a new edition of the Companion to the Standing Orders of the House of Lords relating to Public Business.
§ 3.—AMENDMENTS ON THIRD READING OF PUBLIC BILLS
§ The Committee consider it undesirable that an amendment, which has been fully debated and decided upon on a previous stage of the Bill, should be moved again on Third Reading.58
§ 4.—FORM OF MOTION FOR NEGATIVING COMMITTEE STAGE
§ The Committee recommend that, where it is proposed not to have a Committee stage on a Bill (for instance on Bills certified under the Parliament Act, 1911, as Money Bills), the practice of negativing the Motion for the House to resolve itself into a Committee on the Bill should be discontinued; and that in future the Motion should be put in the form "That this Bill be not Committed".
§ 5.—FORMAL SITTINGS TO RECEIVE BILLS FROM THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
The Committee consider it desirable to avoid as far as possible formal sittings of the House the sole purpose of which is to order the printing of Bills brought from the Commons. They therefore recommend the adoption of the following Standing Order:—
Printing of Bills brought from the Commons.
If a Public Bill is passed by the Commons and is carried up to the Office of the Clerk of the Parliaments on a day on which this House is not sitting, and if it is for the convenience of this House that copies of the Bill should be circulated before the Bill is read a first time, the Bill shall be deemed to have been brought from the Commons and the Clerk of the Parliaments shall arrange for the printing and circulation of copies of the Bill.
§ 6.—MOTION "THAT THE QUESTION BE NOW PUT"
The Committee make the following recommendation with regard to Motions the object of which is to bring a Debate to an immediate end:—
That in the opinion of the Committee the Motion That the Question be now put' is a most exceptional procedure and the House will not accept it save in circumstances where it is felt to be the only means of ensuring the proper conduct of the business of the House; further, if the Motion 'That the Question be now put' is proposed, the practice of the House is that the Question be put without Debate".
It is proposed that the recommendation should be recorded in the Companion to the Standing Orders.
§ Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.
My Lords, I beg to move that this Report be now agreed to. With regard to paragraph 4 of the Report, I am afraid that I must ask your Lordships to make an amendment to correct a mistake which appears in the third and fourth lines of paragraph 4. My Lords, if I may put it in the form of an Amendment, I would ask the House to say that we should leave out 59 the words, "for the House to resolve itself into a Committee on the Bill", and insert the words, "that the Bill be committed". This is a technical but not unimportant correction that I am asking leave to make. A Bill is committed, not just before the Committee stage but immediately after the Second Reading. Therefore, it is almost essential that we should make this correction in the procedure before we make the alteration proposed in the paragraph.
With regard to the other paragraphs, I do not know whether there is any matter which your Lordships want me specially to deal with, but, in order to save time, I think I will content myself at the moment with moving this Motion. I shall, of course, be prepared to answer any questions which your Lordships may wish to put to me. I therefore move this Motion, subject to the alteration which I have made in paragraph 4. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Report be agreed to.—(Lord Merthyr.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.