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Clause 17—(Application To Scotland)

Volume 446: debated on Wednesday 28 January 1948

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Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

This Clause refers to Scotland, and I feel sure that if there were any Scottish Members here they would be astonished to know that when I put a question on it earlier the Financial Secretary informed me that so far as Scotland was concerned, it was a very simple matter. I would like to ask him how he came to fall into the mistake of confusing a Clause which he said was one of about only one line with what is actually one of about 50 lines in the Bill. It is rather hard for a great country like Scotland, the people of which are financcially minded, that in respect of a considerable Clause which guards many of their interests they do not have rather more attention from the Financial Secretary. Can he explain how the mistake arose on that occasion?

At the beginning of Clause 17 are the words "This Act shall apply to Scotland …" subject to the modifications which follow. The operative words are the ones to which in a semihumourous aside I referred when the hon. Member made his interjection. It is true that because the law in Scotland differs in some respects from that in England certain further words have to be added, but the operative words which apply to Scotland are little more than the one line sentence to which I now draw the hon. Member's attention.

I am sorry but I cannot accept that. I can only conclude that the right hon. Gentleman got mixed up, as he so often does, and did not know the difference between one and 50. It is typical of Government incompetence.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.