HC Deb 04 August 1898 vol 64 cc241-3

Lords' Amendments to Commons' Amendments considered.

Lords' Amendments, as far as the Amendment in page 2, line 24, agreed to. Lords' Amendment, page 2, line 24, at the end of the Commons' Amendment, to add— (2) But this Act shall not apply to proceedings in courts-martial unless so aplied—

  1. "(a) As to courts-martial under the Naval Discipline Act, 1866, by general orders made in pursuance of section sixty-five of that Act; and
  2. "(b) As to courts-martial under the Army Act, by rules made in pursuance of section seventy of that Act."

Motion made and Question proposed— That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."—(Sir S. Webster.)


There is not a word about courts-martial in the section which the House of Commons inserted, and this Amendment proposed by the Lords has not the smallest consequential relation to the Commons' proposal. I therefore submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that the Lords' Amendment is out of order.


I agree that the Amendment of the Lords is not consequential to the Amendment of this House. If the Commons' Amendment had come down to this House as a Lords' Amendment, and the present Lords' Amendment had thereupon been proposed in this House, it would have been my duty to decline to put it, on the ground that it did not arise out of the previous Amendment of the other House. But the Lords, having inserted an Amendment which is relevant to the Bill, though not consequential to the Commons' Amendment, it is my duty, while informing the House that it is not consequential, nevertheless, to put the Motion of the Solicitor General to the House, leaving it to agree with the Lords if they think that is the convenient course, or to disagree on the ground of inconsequence, or upon any other ground.


Then, Sir, I shall move to disagree with the Lords in this Amendment. It obviously (has no relation whatever to the section which we put in. I submit to the Government that this is really introducing new matter into the Bill, and I trust they will assent to my Amendment.


It will not be an Amendment. The question is that the House agree with the Lords in their Amendment.


The matter stands in this way. As the Bill came down from the House of Lords it provided that the Act should apply to all criminal procedure, notwithstanding any Statute to the contrary. Then this House excepted the Evidence Act of 1877. Therefore, the Bill went back to the Lords with the assent of this House to this clause, provided a certain exception were introduced. Then the other House say, "Very well; we accept your Amendment on condition that we may add this further Amendment." So much for the point of order raised by the honourable Member. On the merits, I would just say one word. It is extremely desirable that it should be made quite clear that there should be rules providing for the application of the