HC Deb 02 April 1895 vol 32 cc817-9

On the motion for the Second Reading of this Bill,


hoped the House would give the Bill a Second Reading. An hon. Gentleman had asked him a question about it, and he had stated that anything controversial in it should be removed. He suggested that, being a consolidation Bill, the Bill might be sent to the Statute Law Revision Committee, and afterwards considered in Committee of the whole House.

MR. S. T. EVANS (Mid Glamorgan)

said, that on the understanding that the Bill did go to a Committee of the kind suggested by the Attorney General, he hoped the House would allow it to be read a second time.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

observed that there were a number of Gentlemen in the House of Lords who seemed to have nothing to do bat to introduce Bills dealing with the criminal law. So far as this Bill was a consolidation Bill he did not offer any objection whatever to it, but in his judgment it created a new offence, and Bills which created new offences ought to emanate from the House which represented the people. The Attorney General had asked the House to send the Bill to the Statute Law Revision Committee. He had sat on that Committee for three or four years, and a more unsuitable Committee to which to refer a Bill he did not know The most hideous blunders had been committed in that Committee.


wished to know whether the hon. and learned Gentleman was speaking to the Bill?


said, he was speaking to the proposal of the Attorney General to refer the Bill to the Statute Law Revision Committee. He was sorry if the references he had made to the House of Lords did not meet with the approval of the noble Lord. If the Attorney General would say that he had applied his mind to this Bill as a craftsman he would offer no further opposition to it; but he did not think that a Bill of this kind ought to be allowed to pass unless the Law Officer of the day was ready to give to the House of Commons an assurance, on his authority as a Minister, that he had himself gone into the Bill and could inform the House of its contents.


said, that he had explained on a former occasion that, inasmuch as this Bill attempted the codification of about 150 Statutes, it could not be affirmed that it was purely and simply a consolidation Bill. It was for the purpose of making it a purely consolidation Bill that he proposed to refer it to the Statute Law Revision Committee and to withdraw from it anything that was considered controversial. He hoped that the hon. and learned Member would be satisfied with this explanation.


said, that after the assurance which the hon. and learned Gentleman had given he should withdraw his objection.

Bill read 2°.