HC Deb 02 November 1916 vol 86 cc1883-4

Bill reported, without Amendment.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."


Do we understand that this Bill is now quite effective for dealing with statements that are partially false? Statements are made very often which, if the man took more trouble, he would know they were wrong, but he turns a blind eye to them. I want to be sure that we get at these men. A manufacturer, for instance, may be sending two kinds of goods, and he does not wish to be informed whether these particular goods are of one category or another or going to one destination or another. He could find out, but he does not do so if he thinks it would lead to a good deal of trouble. I am anxious that we should get at the people who are liable, and I want to be sure that this Bill will get at the man who, while not actually making a false declaration, is wilfully closing his eyes -or ears to information and not satisfying himself.


The statement is either true or false. There is no third category. That is to say, if it is not true then a penalty is imposed

"unless he proves that he had taken all reasonable steps to ascertain the truth of the statements made or contained in any document so presented or produced or to satisfy himself of the genuineness of the guarantee certificate or undertaking."

Therefore, the moment the authorities have proved that the statement is false, it is for the person who made it to show that he has taken every possible and reasonable steps to ascertain the truth of the statements made.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read the third time, and passed.