HC Deb 30 April 1906 vol 156 cc249-50
MR. DICKINSON (St. Pancras, N.)

I beg to ask Mr. Attorney-General if he will state the several Acts of Parliament under which the right of any private individual in England to institute criminal proceedings is limited by the requirement that the fiat of the Attorney-General shall be first obtained, and the number of occasions upon which, since the passing of each Act, application has been made thereunder for such fiat, and the number of times that such fiat has been granted and refused.


The Attorney-General's fiat is required under the following Acts of Parliament:—;Vexatious Indictments Acts, 1859; Law of Property Amendment Acts, 1859 and 1860; Larceny Act, 1861; Newspapers, Printers, etc., Act, 1869; Larceny (Advertisements) Act, 1870; Explosive Substances Act, 1883; Official Secrets Act, 1889; Public Bodies (Corrupt Practices) Act, 1889; Money Lenders Act, 1900. It is not possible to give statistics relative to all the applications under the earlier Acts, but the numbers for the last twenty years are as follows:—;Larceny Act, 1861: 159 granted, 21 refused, total 180; Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act, 1889: 30 granted, 6 refused, total, 36; Newspapers, Printers, etc., Act, 1869: 5 granted, 12 refused, total 17; Larceny (Advertisements) Act, 1870: 7 granted, 6 refused, total 13; Explosive Substances Act, 1883: 5 granted, 5 refused, total 10; Vexatious Indictments Act, 1859: 5 granted, 3 refused, total 8; Law of Property Amendment Acts, 1859 and 1860: 2 granted, 5 refused, total 7; Money Lenders Act, 1900: 4 granted, total 4; Official Secrets Act, 1889: 3 granted, total 3. The fiat of the Attorney-General was formerly required under the Public Health Act 1875, and the Public Health (Members and Officers) Act 1885 for certain of the offences now covered by the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889, and under these Acts, 10 applications were granted and 11 refused, total 21.

MR. J. HENDERSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)

I beg to ask Mr. Attorney- General whether it is the intention of the Government to reintroduce the Bill to amend The Married Women's Property Act, 1882, which was brought from the Lords on April 4th, 1905 as well as in the previous session of Parliament, with a view to its being passed into law this session.


The substance of the Bill of last session is contained in Lord Davey's Bill which has already been read a second time in the House of Lords.