I beg to move for leave to introduce the "Local Government (Temporary Provisions) (Amendment) Bill, 1924." This is only a short Bill, and the object of it is to keep alive the various county amalgamations schemes that came into force under the Local Government (Temporary Provisions) Bill during the existence of that Bill. That Bill was extended by the Expiring Laws Act till the 31st December, 1924, and if this Bill is not passed before the 31st March those different county schemes will automatically lapse on that date, because Section 6 of the Local Government (Temporary Provisions) Act stipulates that every county scheme shall continue in operation until the 31st March, 1924, and shall then expire. This is, therefore, an urgent matter, and I am anxious to get it through before the 31st March next.

I desire to ask the Minister whether the purpose of the Bill is to make the extension last to the 31st March, 1925?

No; only until the 31st December, 1924.

Question: "That leave be given to introduce the Bill"—put and agreed to.
Second Stage ordered for the first day of next week's sittings.

at this stage took the Chair.