§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 1:—;
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton) moved to report Progress.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again.—;(Mr Claude Hay.)
§ MR. HALDANE
appealed to the hon. Member not to take that course. He pointed out that this Bill was also a legacy of the late Government. He proposed what the late Government had proposed, and desired to carry out the proposals they desired in the same way as the late Government proposed to carry them out. It was a Bill of the simplest character, and contained, he believed, no controversial elements. As the law stood there was no remedy against a man who forged the character of a soldier or seaman, save that to be obtained by the cumbrous procedure of common law. In the case of servants there was a remedy, and the late Government took the view that a remedy should be provided in this case. The object of the Bill was simply to bring these cases under summary jurisdiction.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY
said in his opinion the penalties to be inflicted for forging a man's character were far too light. A penalty of throe months imprisonment for falsifying the character of a soldier or a sailor was much too little. These documents were the only documents in the possession of a man who had served his country well, with which he could go into the open market and obtain employment in civil life. If once any doubt was cast upon the true value of those documents—;if once the employers doubted their 636 accuracy—;an additional penalty was inflicted on the man who had served in the Navy or Army. Under these circumstances he thought there ought to be a much more drastic penalty for this crime if it was at all prevalent, and as to that no one could give better information than the right hon. Gentleman in charge of this Bill.
* MR. GEORGE FABER
said that in the case of so serious a crime, the Bill provided a penalty which was quite insufficient. Forgery was one of the most serious crimes in this country, and the reason why the Bill had been blocked year after year by the Party opposite when in opposition must have been because the penalty was so inadequate.
And, it being a quarter past Eight of the Clock, further proceeding was postponed without Question put pursuant to Standing Order No. 4.