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8.2 pm

Sir Peter Emery (East Devon): I apologise for not having been in the House for the whole of the debate, but I have been serving the House in the Select Committee on the revision of the management of the House. I listened with interest to the hon. Member for Sherwood (Mr. Tipping). Having been Chairman of the Procedure Committee for the past 14 years, I hope that he will not cast any of his aspersions on me, because the Procedure Committee is allowed to deal only with public business and has no control over the aspects of private business that the hon. Gentleman criticised.

I ought to declare an interest at the start. Although I do not believe that I have to, I always like to do so. I am the chairman, entirely unpaid, of the National Asthma Campaign, which has some obvious interest in the National Heart and Lung Institute referred to in the Imperial College Bill.

I want to say a few words about the procedure and the Imperial College Bill. I think that the procedure is right. A great deal of time, effort and money is put into the promotion of such Bills, but they are often cut off as time cannot be found for them in the legislative timetable, usually because Government business has left insufficient time for private business. It is therefore only right and proper that there should be an opportunity to carry those Bills forward into a new Session, as proposed.

Mr. Bennett: Does the right hon. Gentleman accept that the Chairman of Ways and Means has the absolute right to name time for private business? My experience is that he takes no notice of Government pressure, and names time. Any dilatoriness about the Bills is entirely down to the promoters, not to the Chairman of Ways and Means.

Sir Peter Emery: I cannot speak for all the Bills, only for the Imperial College Bill. I do not believe that that is a fair assessment, as I have watched with interest as the Bill has come to the other place and then to this place.

I have some connection with the Charing Cross and Westminster hospitals and I have seen the training carried out in them, often under the leadership of Professor Roger Greenhalgh, who has been the dean and professor of surgery at Charing Cross hospital and who has done so much to bring about the amalgamation of the Westminster and Charing Cross hospitals into the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, which I believe will

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in due course become the leading centre for training of medical personnel in the whole of London. A new building is being constructed for it.

It is only right and proper that the Charing Cross and Westminster medical school and the National Heart and Lung Institute should be brought together, as the Bill proposes, to create that centre of learning. It would be a tragedy if the Bill were further delayed. After the excellent speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mr. Brooke), I need say no more other than to point out the interesting fact that under clause 10 nobody may pick up the names of the Charing Cross and Westminster medical school, the Royal postgraduate medical school or the National Heart and Lung Institute until 25 years have lapsed, without the approval of Imperial college.

At this late hour, to allow hon. Members to go to dinner, I shall sit down--[Hon. Members: "Hear, hear."] If hon. Members say that, I might go on too long. With the support of the House, which I see will readily be given, I am sure that we can proceed properly and fully.

8.7 pm

Mr. Andrew MacKay (Bracknell): I rise after a little more than five years of oratorical abstinence in the Chamber, due to my time doing good by stealth in the Government Whips Office. Now, in my capacity as the acting deputy shadow Leader of the House, may I say that we entirely endorse the motion, not because we necessarily support any of the Bills that are being revived, but simply because we believe that it is right and proper that each of the Bills should be judged on its merit and properly scrutinised in this Session.

The hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) was right to say, in a fascinating speech, that we should review the possibility of allowing a Bill to be revived only once through one Session, and that there should be penalties if the promoters are unduly dilatory. With that proviso, the Opposition entirely support the motion.

8.9 pm

The Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service (Mr. Peter Kilfoyle): I rise to express the Government's hopes that the House will agree to the motion. However, we believe that the hon. Member for Bracknell (Mr. MacKay) suits the role of a Trappist rather more than that of a preaching black friar.

The hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes), and my hon. Friends the Members for Southampton, Test (Mr. Whitehead) and for Sherwood (Mr. Tipping) raised proper constituency or party political interests on the back of this motion. My hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) was as erudite as usual on this subject, regarding both the history and the practice of procedural matters. I undertake to pass on his comments to the appropriate Ministers. I make the same pledge to the right hon. Member for Penrith and The Border (Mr. Maclean), who raised an anomaly that I am sure will be of great interest to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House. The hon. Member for Faversham and Mid-Kent (Mr. Rowe)--who is not in his place--made a rather curious intervention about blight, which left me in mind of what is occurring in another place regarding the leadership of the Conservative party.

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The purpose of the motion is to allow the revival of the private Bills that were before the House at the end of the last Parliament, as the right hon. Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mr. Brooke) said, and which fell automatically at the Dissolution of Parliament. The motion will enable them to be proceeded with in this Session at the stages they had reached at the end of last Session. As the right hon. Gentleman pointed out, there are many precedents for carrying forward private Bills in this way in order to avoid unnecessary expense and delay.

The motion is concerned solely with procedure. Those hon. Members who wish to make points of substance about any of the Bills to which this motion applies will have every opportunity to do so when the legislation that they are concerned about comes to the House for its next stage. I commend the motion to the House.

Question put and agreed to. Resolved,


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    (iv) if such Bill had been read the third time in the last Parliament, it shall be deemed to have been read the third time;
    (6) paragraph (2) of Standing Order 166 relating to Private Business (First reading) shall not apply to any Bill brought from the House of Lords in the present Session and to which this Order relates;
    (7) when any Bill which was brought from the House of Lords in the last Parliament and to which this Order relates is brought from the House of Lords in the present Session, the Agent for the Bill shall deposit in the Private Bill Office a declaration, signed by him, stating that the Bill is the same, in every respect, as the Bill which was brought from the House of Lords in the last Parliament and, as soon as a certificate by one of the Clerks in the Private Bill Office that such a declaration has been so deposited has been laid upon the Table of the House--
    (i) unless the Examiner had reported pursuant to Standing Order 74 relating to Private Business (Examination of bills brought from the House of Lords, etc.), the Bill shall stand referred to the Examiners;
    (ii) if the Examiner had so reported, the Bill shall be ordered to be read a second time, or, if it had been read a second time, it shall be read a second time and committed; but
    (iii) if the Bill had been reported by a Committee with Amendments in the last Parliament it shall be committed to the Chairman of Ways and Means who shall make only such Amendments to the Bill as had been made thereto by the Committee in the last Parliament, and shall report the Bill to the House forthwith, and the Bill shall be ordered to lie upon the Table;
    (8) any Bill which under the provisions of this Order is deemed to have been read the first time, or the first and second time, or the first, second and third time, shall be recorded in the Journal of the House as having been so read;
    (9) without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph (5) of this Order, only those Petitions against any Bill which stood referred to the Committee on the Bill and which had not been withdrawn or had been deposited pursuant to paragraph (b) of Standing Order 126 relating to Private Business (Reference to committee of petitions against bill) shall stand referred to the Committee on the same Bill in the present Session;
    (10) in relation to any Bill to which this Order applies Standing Order 127 relating to Private Business (Right of audience before committees on opposed bills) shall have effect as if the words "under Standing Order 126 (Reference to committee of petitions against bill)" were omitted;
    (11) where any Standing Order had been dispensed with in respect of any private Bill in the last Parliament, those Standing Orders shall be deemed to have been ordered to be dispensed with in respect of any such Bill presented or brought from the Lords in pursuance of this Order;
    (12) any Standing Orders complied with in respect of any Bill originating in the House of Lords to which this Order relates shall be deemed to have been complied with in respect of such Bill if the same is brought from the House of Lords in the present Session, and any notices published or given and any deposits made in respect of such Bill in the last Parliament shall be held to have been published, given and made, respectively, for the Bill so brought from the House of Lords in the present Session;
    (13) no further fees shall be charged in respect of proceedings on a Bill in respect of which fees have been incurred in the last Parliament.

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