§ No young person under the age of eighteen shall be subject to any penalties under this Act.—[Mr. Whitehouse.]
§ Brought up, and read the first time.
§ Mr. WHITEHOUSE
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a second time."
I hope I am right in assuming that the right lion. Gentleman will not oppose the adoption of this Clause, which reads, "No young person under the age of eighteen shall be subject to any penalties under this Act." The right hon. Gentleman has promised to examine certain debatable Clauses of the Bill in order to secure the object of this Clause, and to make proposals on the subject. I take it, therefore, that he can have no possible objection to simply inserting these words, and so place the matter beyond any doubt. I would call his attention to the fact that the debatable point in the Bill is Subsection (2) of Clause 2, which, some of us hold, transfers the penalties from the original Act to young persons in this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman has promised to examine the point and to introduce words, and we can save time on the Report stage if the right hon. Gentleman will adopt these words. I can see no possible objection to them, seeing that he has given a pledge in the most unqualified terms to the effect that no penalties of any kind shall fall on any person under the age of eighteen for failure to observe any provisions of this Act. That being so, I move this new Clause.
In the original Act no penalties are imposed on any person under the age of eighteen. Following the Act of 1915, no penalties are here imposed. It is quite unnecessary to add the words of the hon. Gentleman to the Bill. We should endeavour so to mould the Bill as 949 to secure, as in the 1915 Act, that there shall be no penalties under the age stated. If it was not necessary to put the words in the original Act, it is not necessary to put them into this Bill.
§ Mr. MORRELL
I do not follow the views of my hon. Friend (Mr. Whitehouse) that it is absolutely necessary to put these words into the Bill, but I want to be quite clear how we stand. The right hon. Gentleman said, "no penalties in the ordinary sense of the word." I should like to know what he means by that?
What I say is that the Bill shall follow the Act of 1915 so far as penalties are concerned. In the Act of 1915 it is clear that any penalties imposed upon persons above the age of eighteen shall not be imposed upon persons under the age of eighteen. We shall mould the Bill so as to make it perfectly certain that no penalties, in the ordinary sense of the word, shall be so imposed.
§ Mr. MORRELL
I only want to be perfectly sure that there is no misunderstanding. When the right hon. Gentleman uses the words "in the ordinary sense of the word," I do not know whether there is some special sense to which he made reference. My right hon. Friend says that his pledge is not quite met by the very valuable Amendment which he introduced into Clause 6, Sub-section (4), where he introduced the words "if any person above the age of eighteen …." That only applies to the exemption from penalties in regard to that particular Section.
§ Mr. WHITEHOUSE
The right hon. Gentleman has expressly said that words will be found to mould the Bill so as to make it conform to the original Act in respect to the penalties Clause. I regret that he cannot deal with the matter in its final form, but in view of his very full and complete promise I will not press my Amendment to a Division, but will ask leave to withdraw it.
§ Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Bill reported; as amended, to be considered upon Thursday.