HC Deb 25 March 1858 vol 149 cc709-10

said he wished to ask the Attorney General whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to introduce the Bills for the Consolidation and Amendment of the Criminal Statute Law which were prepared by the Statute Law Commission, and announced by the late Government.


said, that the Bills to which his hon. and learned Friend referred constituted a very essential, though a very small portion of the consolidation of the entire Statute Law of the country, a work which had long been in active progress under the superintendence of the Statute Law Commission. Some of them had already undergone the consideration of the House of Lords; but there was also a great number of other Bills, which, though in an advanced state of preparation, had not yet been submitted to Parliament. The whole subject had received the anxious attention of Her Majesty's Government, and on a very early day after Easter it was his intention to move the first reading of the Criminal Law Consolidation Bill in that House. In the event of the House agreeing to read the Bills a first time it was his intention, probably on the Motion for the second reading, or after the Bills should have been read the second time, to move for the appointment of a Select Committee to consider, not only the expediency and practicability of the entire scheme of consolidation of the Statute Law, but certain other objects which had already engaged the attention of Parliament, and among others the necessity of some provision being made for the more simple and more accurate preparation of Parliamentary Bills. He hoped that the result of the labours of that Committee would be that the whole consolidation scheme would receive the sanction of that House at least, and that a Board would be appointed to carry into effect the Resolution of the House relative to the construction of Acts of Parliament.