Order for Second Reading read.
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.This is a simple consolidation Bill. As the Long Title states. it consolidates the various Acts which relate to the salaries of
No salary is raised or. for that matter, lowered by the Bill. The Bill represents existing law."Ministers and Opposition Leaders and Chief Whips and to other matters connected therewith."
I have been asked to say once again that the Opposition welcome the Bill.
The Consolidation Committee has not clarified the Bill. When consolidating legislation, it should make matters clearer. We are paying the Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard £5,000, and we should use a modern title to give some idea of the function—
Order. The hon. Gentleman is not allowed to discuss the merits of any of the clauses. He must simply deal with the question whether consolidation should take place.
I see no reason why consolidation should not proceed. However, the Committee should have directed its attention to the question of introducing clarity and in particular of getting rid of some of the old titles which apply to the Whips. Consolidation is necessary and the Bill should proceed, but in future, when consolidation is being effected, one factor which should be borne in mind is the question of updating Acts so that people understand them. I understand that that is one of the functions of consolidation. Such titles as
do not serve the interests of consolidation because they do not attain the function of clarification. The Parliamentary Secretary said that this was a straightforward question of consolidation and that no salaries were increased or lowered by the Bill. I am sorry that some of them are not lowered by it because some people mentioned in the Bill lecture workers on the dangers of high wage claims—"Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard"
Order. The hon. Gentleman has strayed again. He does not often stray, but when he does he must come back within the boundary. We must confine ourselves to the question of consolidation.
I am grateful, Mr. Deputy Speaker.When the Consolidation Committee considers these matters, it might be useful if it were to report not only, and perhaps preferably, to this House, but to the Government to see whether the House should consider consolidation measures which make provision for salaries which help to prop up the other place—
Order. It may help the hon. Gentleman if I tell him what "Erskine May" says on this question:
Any reference to the contents is out of order."On the Second Reading of a consolidation Bill the only question that can be discussed is whether the law should be consolidated by the Bill in question or should be left expressed in a number of different statutes."
I am grateful, Mr. Deputy Speaker.I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for giving us a brief explanation of the Bill. Consolidation measures should not simply slide through unquestioned and unexamined, because it is important that this House should remain the chief examina- tion centre for legislation. Therefore, I support and thank the Minister.
Question put and agreed.
Bill accordingly read a Second time.
Bill committed to a Committee of the whole House.—[ Mr. Coleman.]
Bill immediately considered in Committee; reported without amendment.
Motion made, and Question, That the Bill be now read the Third time, put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 56 (Third Reading), and agreed to.
Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed, without amendment.