HC Deb 04 April 1894 vol 22 cc1377-8

Order for Second Reading read.


moved the Second Reading of this Bill, which he said had been printed and circulated for two Sessions. It was, practically speaking, an extension of the law passed with so much benefit to little children some three or four years ago, and its main object was to remove certain doubts which had arisen, to extend the age in the case of boys from 14 to 16, to enable fresh remedial measures to be taken in cases where there had been actual assaults on children, and to enable the Secretary of State to sanction the emigration of children whom it was desired to place under the care of persons willing to take charge of them. The Bill was certainly not a Party question, and he trusted the House would accord it a Second Reading.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Sir R. Webster.)

* THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. B. BALFOUR, Clackmannan, &c.)

said, he fully sympathised with the objects of the Bill, but as it was proposed to extend it to Scotland, he must point out that a good deal of adaptation would be necessary for that purpose.


said, that although the Home Office did not object to the Second Reading of the Bill, the Home Secretary reserved to himself discretion to introduce certain Amendments hereafter.

MR. HOPWOOD () Lancashire, S.E., Middleton

said, he could assure the House that it was with a proper spirit of his responsibility that he opposed the Second Reading of this Bill. His object, was not to delay but: to secure that a measure of this sort should be brought in and carried through by the responsible Government, and not be submitted, as it was during the last Session night after night, on the chance of slipping through a number of Amendments at a late hour of the night. This Bill should be referred to a Select Committee, and if it were he would be glad to serve on that Committee, and thus to bring the measure within the range of practical legislation. He did not deny that they had an Act of Parliament which had done considerable good, but, on the other hand, there had been grave exaggeration and a great deal of sensational dealing with it, and the danger was that the law-was now being intensified in a manner that should not be. All this required a proper check on the part of the Executive, and unless he had a definite assurance in that direction, he should certainly, up to the latest hour he could, prevent this Bill from passing the Second Reading. He did not wish to talk it out, and if the understanding be given to him that the Bill should be properly watched in every stage on the part of the Government he should withdraw his opposition.


signifying assent,


withdrew his objection.

Motion agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday next.