HL Deb 16 October 1972 vol 335 cc1568-70

4.2 p.m.

THE MINISTER OF STATE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SECURITY (LORD ABERDARE) rose to move, That the Amendments for the Report stage of the Local Government Bill be marshalled and considered in the following order, viz.:—

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I should like to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper. In doing so, may I make two brief remarks? First, the correct Marshalled List is the one numbered at the bottom "189–II" and dated on the back "13th October, 1972". It should have been headed "Revised Marshalled List" because there was a previous one. There is another point that I would make to those noble Lords who may be daunted by the size of this document. There is available now in the Printed Paper Office, in the Princes' Chamber and in the Peers Lobby a sheet of paper which endeavours to describe the main subjects for debate after we get through the territorial matters that form Parts I and II. Your Lordships will see that there are eleven such main subjects; so that perhaps it is not quite as daunting in that light as the document itself appears to be. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Amendments for the Report stage of the Local Government Bill be marshalled and considered in the order set out on the Order Paper.—(Lord A berdare.)


My Lords, I am grateful for what the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, has said, particularly about the Paper that he has made available giving what I regard as the major matters which will be discussed in the forthcoming days. I am bound to say that a Marshalled List of some 410 Amendments is certainly a formidable one for the Report stage of a Bill—a Bill which is in itself a very formidable, lengthy and complex one—but we will do our best with it. But we should perhaps consider whether we ought not to lengthen the Report stage to include Thursday and to take the Third Reading on Friday. However, that is a matter which should be discussed through the usual channels to-morrow night, after we have seen how we have got on. I do not want particularly to press at this stage but we really must consider it. My Lords, there is another point. The Marshalled List to which the noble Lord has referred is not complete. An Amendment that went down last Wednesday has not yet found its way into the Marshalled List; but I am putting this right with the Clerks. I accept what the noble Lord has said, but certainly I think we must meet to discuss this matter to-morrow night.


My Lords, may I come in on this point for a moment? I share some of the noble Lord's anxieties here but I hope that, to a large extent, they have been allayed by what was said by my noble friend Lord Aberdare. I think it would be reasonable to see what progress we make in the next two days. Perhaps we can go reasonably fast; and I hope that on this Report stage we shall refrain from re-hashing all the arguments of the Committee stage; I do not believe that that is the function of a Report stage. That said, I would say, speaking on behalf of my own "usual channel" (and I am glad that my "own usual channel" is restored to full health) that I am certain that the suggestion that was put by the noble Lord, Lord Champion, is right: that we should see how we get on and then take stock of the position, say, towards the end of business to-morrow evening. I hope that we can make reasonably rapid progress by not re-hashing every single argument with which we are all fairly familiar by now.

On Question, Motion agreed to.