§ [No. 67]
§ Page 55, line 48, at end insert—
|"1968 c. 36.||The Maintenance Orders Act 1968.||In the Schedule, the entry relating to section 4 of the Maintenance Orders Act 1958."|
§ 5.33 p.m.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 67. I have, in fact, already spoken to this when I was dealing with Amendment No. 43.
May I just say that I am extremely grateful to the noble Viscount who, I know, after his daily appearances at the Third Airport Inquiry, has to do so much other work at night; and of course it was fairly late before either of us knew that, instead of this Bill being taken to-morrow, it was going to be taken to-day. I am very grateful, if I may say so, for his friendly co-operation. I think this is a Bill which will save a number of people, mostly passive inadequates and muddlers, from going to prison, and in the end it will provide a more efficient system of collecting debts. It will also secure a very worthwhile reconstruction of the High Court of Justice. I remember saying that I did not anticipate that there would be anybody left in the Chamber by the time we finished, and I very much appreciate the interest which so many noble Lords have taken in troubling to remain to this late hour. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
VISCOUNT COLVILLE OF CULROSS
My Lords, this is of course a very important Amendment because, unless another place manages to hurry up considerably with the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Bill, this may well be the last Amendment, or the last approval of a Commons Amendment, which the noble and learned Lord will move in this Parliament. The noble and learned Lord slightly pre-empted the speech I was going to make on it. It is not for him to thank me; it is really the other way round. We have now had a series of—I almost said dialogues, 1040 though it is a little unfair to use that term. But there have been suggestions in some quarters that we ought perhaps, to have the legal legislation debated in a Committee Room upstairs, with the noble and learned Lord and myself, and somebody to write down what was said, and the House could get on with something else. This is a little unkind, because other noble Lords and noble Baronesses also have made the most notable contributions to some of the legislation.
Over the last five years we have had a number of Bills which have been piloted through this House by the noble and learned Lord, and in most cases I have been marking him. I should like this evening to thank him for all the help he has given me, both in the House in accepting some Amendments, and also behind the scenes, in helping me to understand the Bills. So long as he does not use my remarks in any electioneering speech, I hope that I may congratulate the noble and learned Lord on the Bills with which he has been concerned, and on the progress that has been made. They are almost all uncontroversial, and they have advanced the cause of justice, and I think the noble and learned Lord can be proud of his service.
§ LORD CHORLEY
My Lords, I wonder whether I might add just a word to what the noble Viscount has just said—and I speak as one who has spent much of his life in the cause of law reform, and has been a colleague of the noble and learned Lord for many years in the same subject. I think that from this point of view this Parliament has been one of the most, if not the most, remarkable in Parliamentary history; and we have been able to achieve this under the leadership of the noble and learned Lord who now sits on the Woolsack. I think that we should not only congratulate him but the country also on what has happened.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, I am very grateful for what the noble Viscount and the noble Lord have said. Looking back, I am satisfied that in the last five years we have got through a very great deal of law reform, and I am personally very indebted to all noble Lords who have helped us to do so.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.