§ On the Order for the Committee stage of the Bill,
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said, he had promised to move that the Bill be referred to the Statute Law Revision Committee, with a view to its subsequently coming back for discussion in Committee of the Whole House. He therefore moved that the order for the Committee of the Whole House be discharged, and that the Bill be referred to the Joint Committee on Statute Law Revision.
SIR R. WEBSTER
said, that it must be distinctly understood that the House was in no way committed by the reference to the Statute Law Revision Committee. The Bill, undoubtedly, created new offences; but he was willing to consent to the Attorney General's Motion if the right hon. Gentleman thought that it would facilitate the discussion of the Bill by the House.
§ SIR EDWARD CLARKE (Plymouth)
thought that this Motion was the introduction of a new and somewhat mischievous practice. He was a Member of the Joint Committee on Statute Law Revision, and it was never intended that that Committee should consider Bills in the first place which were afterwards to be referred to Committee of the Whole House for discussion. The Committee was intended to deal simply with Consolidation Bills, and the present Bill was not simply a Consolidation Bill. He should, therefore, take objection to the Attorney General's Motion.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said, that this matter had been discussed several times already. He had pointed out that although the Bill could not be said to be a purely Consolidation Bill in its present form, because it brought together extracts from about 150 Statutes, yet the design was to make it a Consolidation Bill; and he would renew his undertaking to withdraw everything 1250 which appeared to be of a controversial character. In sending it to the Statute Law Revision Committee, nobody was being pledged in any degree.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)
thought that there was much force in the contention of the hon. and learned Member for Plymouth. The best course would be to allow the Bill to run through Committee of the Whole House, pro formâ, and then to have it recommitted so that all the objectionable parts could be struck out. Undoubtedly the Statute Law Revision Committee was not the best machinery for the Attorney General's purpose.
§ Objection being taken, the Motion stood over.