15 DECEMBER 1961, Page 4

Private Member's Bill •

tv page 891 Charles Pannell, the Labour NIP V./for Leeds West (who is unlikely to be eon- fused•.With Norman Pannell. the Tory MP for Kirkdalc) introduces a Private Member's Bill in the form in which it will—or should--be discussed in Parliament; coupled with 'a -discussion of the reasons why he is anxious for it to reach the Statute Book. This is the first of a series of such articles, contributed by back-benchers, which Will be appearing from time to time in the Spectator. Some of the Bills will actually be in the queue at Westminster, others will outline draft ideas for future legislation.

The series has begun at the suggestion of John Foster, QC, who has pointed out that the.contrae- tion of private members' time in Parliament .har pens to coincide with a growing need for their act' ivity--in the .sense that the Pipeline is at present clogged with bureaucratic legislation, giving little chance for any Bill of the kind,..say, that Sir Alan Herbert got through to reform the divorce larxs, or 'Roy Jenkins, to reform the law of obscenity. And because there is so little lime, MPs who are lucky in the draw tend to introduce non-con-. troversial Bills, in the hope of getting something through—leaving controversial, though often far more important, subjects alone. If time cannot be found to discuss such proposals at Westminster, at least they can be aired in the press.