HC Deb 18 August 1919 vol 119 cc2109-11

(4) If any person at or for the purpose of any such investigation or in any such complaint furnishes any information or makes any representation which is recklessly or to his knowledge false in any material particular, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to both such imprisonment and fine.

(6) In any proceedings under this Section to which the Board is a party costs may be awarded to or against the Board.

(7) This Act applies to any article or class of articles to which it is applied by Order of the Board of Trade, being an article or class of articles declared by the Order to be one or one of a kind in common use by the public, or being material, machinery, or accessories used in the production thereof, but this Act does not apply to any articles which are sold by public auction or competitive tender or which are from time to time declared to be controlled articles, and different provisions of this Act may be applied to different articles.

(10) Nothing in this Act shall apply to the sale of any article for export from the United Kingdom.

Lords Amendment:

In Sub-section (4), after the word "complaint," insert the words "knowingly or recklessly."

The PRESIDENT Of the BOARD of TRADE (Sir A. Geddes)

I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

Captain W. BENN

May we ask the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill to explain what the Amendment is? It is hardly fair, even if we have to sit up all night, that we should not have some explanation of what first of all the Amendment means, and, secondly, what is the reason for the course the Government recommends to the House.


I did not think it was necessary to give any explanation of this Amendment and the next one. It is merely a case of moving words from one part of the Clause to another to get them to qualify verbs instead of nouns. It is merely a drafting Amendment, put forward by the draftsman and adopted by the Lords. The next Amendment is precisely the same thing, and so is the one after. The next one is to insert the word "chairman." It was agreed to by this House, but was dropped in the printing. It is simply putting the word back exactly in the place in which it was when the Bill left this House. The next Amendment is to insert the words "of trade" after "Board." The next Amendment is to clarify the meaning of an Amendment. It applies to an Amendment which was introduced in this House describing articles which are sold by public auction or competitive tender, and which is not in the most happy place in the Bill; it is simply moved down to a more convenient place at the end of Sub-section 10, Clause 1, so that it will read, "or to the sale of any article by public auction or competitive tender." Those are simply drafting Amendments put forward by the Government. The next Amendment put in is an Amendment by the Lords dealing with the question of an appeal from any decision of a local committee, limiting that appeal to these cases: "Against decisions other than the decision to take proceedings before a Court of Summary Jurisdiction."

Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY

On a point of Order. Is it in order to discuss all these Amendments now—it is rather difficult to follow them—before they have been put from the Chair?


Strictly speaking, it would not be in order, but I thought it would be for the convenience of the House.


The last Amendment is one which it is considered necessary should be introduced to give the committees which are inquiring into the question of profiteering the protection against proceedings for libel which are possessed by a Court exercising judicial authority. As the Bill stood when it left this House, there was no actually expressed protection for these committees against actions for libel which might be brought against them. Naturally, it was assumed that no such action could have been brought. But it is considered better that that should be stated expressly in the Bill. Those are the Amendments. With the exception of the last, they are practically all drafting Amendments which simply involve moving the same words into more convenient positions in the Clauses.

Question put, and agreed to

Lords Amendments:

Leave out the words "recklessly or to his knowledge."—Agreed to.

In Sub-section (6), after the word "Board" ["which the Board"], insert the words "of Trade."—Agreed to.

In Sub-section (7), leave out the words "which are sold by public auction or competitive tender or."—Agreed to.

At end of Sub-section (10), add the words "or to the sale of any articles by public auction or competitive tender."—Agreed to.