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Water Undertakings Bill Lords

Volume 393: debated on Tuesday 2 November 1943

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Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [ 28th October], "That the Bill be now read a Second time."

Might I ask whether the Government really propose to proceed with this Bill at this late hour? It is a very highly controversial Bill, and to take it piecemeal in this way is certainly not doing credit to the Bill, nor is it paying a compliment to the House. I suggest that the Minister might see his way to withdraw it.

I beg to move, "That the Debate be now adjourned."

The House will know that the Government have been watching with interest the course of Business in the next day or two. I, particularly, have been noting with interest the growing list of Amendments for the Committee stage of the Bill. Events have put me in a dilemma. Like most Members of the House, I detest waste. On the one hand, I have a Bill here which is the result of a great deal of hard labour on the part of the joint Select Committee. On the other hand, I am always reluctant to ask the House to go through labours unless they can see the fruits of their labours. It is perfectly clear, in view of the statement which was made at Question Time by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister, that we ought not to proceed with the Second Reading at this late hour. In view of the necessity to wind up the Session early, the Government have decided not to proceed with the Bill this Session. I hope to have conversations with those who have indicated points of view other than those contained in the Amendments.

We are very grateful to the Minister for meeting what I am sure are the wishes of the House.

Question, "That the Debate be now adjourned," put, and agreed to.