HC Deb 08 March 1888 vol 323 cc586-7
DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)

asked the Lord Advocate, If he will inform the House of the number of clauses in the Burgh Police and Health (Scotland) Bill which prescribe penalties, the range of the pecuniary penalties enacted, and the range of the terms of imprisonment prescribed in default of payment; if he will state the number of specific offences for which penalties are prescribed in the Bill; if he will state how many of the proposed offences are offences under the present Common Law or General Statute Law of Scotland; and, if he will take steps to enable Members to distinguish between the consolidating and the amending provisions of the Bill by printing the amending portions separately, in the form of a Memorandum?

MR. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N.)

asked, whether it would be possible to mark by an asterisk the portions of the Bill which contained new law?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. H. A. MACDONALD) (Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities)

the Bill to which the hon. Member refers is the same as that which has been before the House during several previous Sessions, and is practically the same as regards penalties, whether of fine or imprisonment. I would suggest to my hon. Friend that the details of a Bill before the House are hardly matter for answer at Question time. I shall consider whether a Memorandum distinguishing by number the consolidating and amending clauses could be made up; but I cannot undertake to have so large a Bill reprinted in great part in a separate form. With reference to the Question of the hon. Member for Aberdeen, I will consider whether She making up of such a Memorandum as he suggests can be carried into effect.


asked, whether it was the fact that this Bill had been amended in the House of Lords, or was it the same as when before the Commons? Was it not the fact that the Bill contained about 250 clauses, enacting penalties in respect of specific offences to the average of at least 10, making 2,000 or 3,000? Did not the penalties range up to £50, and the period of imprisonment to three months? Would the Lord Advocate consider the possibility of doing what was done in the case of the Public Health (Ireland) Bill, where the précis was put at the side showing where the clauses were got from?


I have already said I shall endeavour to meet the wishes of my hon. Friend with reference to the number of clauses. If he will confer with me, I will be glad to consider anything he might suggest for the purpose of facilitating the decision of the Bill?


Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman give any idea of the number of penalties?


It never entered my mind to total up the number of penalties. I think the real way of dealing with the question of penalties is to consider whether, in each case, the subject of the penalty is a proper one or not?

SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)

asked, whether the Bill was to be compulsory in the smaller burghs?

[No reply.]