HC Deb 02 November 1916 vol 86 cc1880-1

This Act shall not apply where proceedings have been instituted before the passing of this Act.

Clause brought up, and read the first time.

Commander WEDGWOOD

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a second time."

The object of this new Clause is that a man who is now being prosecuted should not, under this Act, have put upon him the risk of penalties which he did not incur when the prosecution was started. It is a small matter, but I think it is in the interests of justice that a man who has been indicted should not during the process of the trial find that the penalties are largely increased against him.


I am unable to follow the reasoning of my hon. and gallant Friend which has led him to put down this new Clause. I can quite understand that it would be perfectly easy to say that you must not make a man liable to a penal offence which was not a penal offence before the prosecution was instituted, but I really cannot see by what process of reasoning my hon. and gallant Friend is led to the conclusion that where there is a criminal offence, and the man has been guilty of that criminal offence, the Legislature may not modify the punishment. I hope the Amendment will not be pressed.

Commander WEDGWOOD

I beg leave to withdraw.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.