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Ministerial And Other Salaries Bill

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 5 November 1997

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6.42 pm

I beg to move,

That, in pursuance of the Parliament Act 1911, this House directs that the provisions of section 1(1) of that Act shall not apply to the Ministerial and Other Salaries Bill.

The motion is simple and straightforward. It directs that the provisions of section 1(1) of the Parliament Act 1911 should not apply to the Ministerial and Other Salaries Bill. The aim is to avoid any confusion that might otherwise arise because the House of Lords did not consider this money Bill within a month of receiving it.

Under section 1(1) of the Parliament Act 1911, if the Lords do not pass a money Bill within one month after receiving it from the Commons,
"the Bill shall, unless the House of Commons direct to the contrary, be presented to Her Majesty and become an Act of Parliament on the Royal Assent being signified, notwithstanding that the House of Lords have not consented to the Bill."

The Bill was received by the House of Lords on 24 July, but the Lords rose on 31 July without considering it. The allotted month therefore expired during the parliamentary recess. The Lords considered the Bill and passed it on 16 October. This motion will provide that, as the House of Lords has consented to the Bill, it is presented for Royal Assent in the normal way.

6.44 pm

The Conservative party supports the measure and the House has already approved it. It has reappeared today because of a technicality in the House of Lords' handling of the matter, so it would be perverse in the extreme not to support today a measure which we supported in July.

I note that the Bill will not do away with the need to obtain parliamentary approval for special orders where a structural change is necessary. I also note that if it is necessary, at some time in the future, to change the formula that underlies the linking mechanism—after all, the motion is before us because there has been a change—Parliament will have to approve a new order setting out a replacement formula. Those are useful safeguards and we support the motion.

Question put and agreed to.