HC Deb 02 May 1889 vol 335 cc1074-5

Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [16th April], "That the Bill be now read the third time."?

Question again proposed.

Debate resumed.


I rise to move the re-committal of the Bill. I wish to point out that the Bill is drawn in such a way as to catch in the net of criminal legislation a great number of persons whom it is not intended should be included. The Bill provides that if any man in a Government office disclose an official secret contrary to the rules of the office—which by the way may be modified and altered at any time without the cognizance of the House—he shall be liable to certain penalties. But if any official should give information on certain subjects to Members of this House he would bring himself under the Act, because the very giving of the information would be against the rules of the office. I understand the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite is willing to modify the Bill in that respect. But there is another part of the Bill which is equally objectionable. The hon. Member for Crewe has pointed out how inventions may be pirated, and in fact we know how in the Post Office certain telegraphic inventions are pirated.


Order, order!

It being midnight, the debate stood adjourned. Dabate to be resumed upon Monday next.