Committee on Finance. - Vote 20: Office of the Minister for Justice.

I move:

That a supplementary sum not exceeding £65,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1974, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Justice, and of certain other services administered by that Office, including a grant-in-aid; and of the Public Record Office, and of the Keeper of State Papers and for the purchase of historical documents, etc.

It may not be necessary for the Minister to go through all the details on each Vote.

I reported progress on the debate on the token Vote. I would, of course, have been happy to continue speaking today on it. In view of the arrangement which has been made, I cannot do so. We were in the middle of a debate on this Vote and I ask the Minister whether a motion will be put down immediately after the beginning of the new financial year to take note of the activities of the Department of Justice in the financial year 1973-74 and a debate allowed on the motion. That was the normal practice in these circumstances in previous years.

I understand that there has already been an agreement between the Whips that such motions as the Opposition may desire to discuss any matters will be put down.

On the basis outlined by the Minister for Finance we are prepared to agree to all these Votes.

And on the basis that discussion will actually take place and that it will not be a question of motions appearing on the Order Paper which will never be ordered for discussion in the House.

I would like to make a point clear so that there will not be any allegations of confusion afterwards. I understood from the Opposition Whips that this procedure would be acceptable to them or, alternatively, the substantive Estimates for the year about to begin would be taken in such a way that the Departments about which the Opposition are concerned would be discussed. That option is also open.

Question put and agreed to.