HC Deb 29 June 1921 vol 143 cc2295-6

The Guardianship of Infants Act, 1886, is hereby repealed.


I beg to move to leave out the Clause.

This Clause says, "The Guardianship of Infants Act, 1886, is hereby repealed." I want to know what is the use of repealing the Guardianship of Infants Act, 1886. I was not aware that this Bill was coming on now, and have not provided myself with a copy of the Act of 1886.

Colonel Sir J. GREIG

Perhaps the right hon. Baronet will permit me to give him the explanation, which, I am sure, will commend itself to him. The only reason why that Act is repealed is in order that the charge may not be brought against this Bill that it is a piece of Chinese legislation. The Act of 1886 is repealed simply in order that it may be re-enacted, as the right hon. Baronet will find, by a subsequent Section of the Bill, with a few short additional Clauses making the necessary alterations in the Act of 1886. If the Bill had proceeded in the usual way, it would have been brought in in a couple of Clauses and adjusted into the existing Act; and it would then have been said that it was unintelligible, and could not be read by anyone of ordinary intelligence. In order to meet that objec- tion we have repealed the Act, and re-enacted it in subsequent Clauses with the alterations that we desired to make.


I do not think that that explanation, so far as I understand it, justifies our departing from the ordinary custom of the House, and following the customs of the Chinese—if there be a Chinese House of Commons. Unless I am very much mistaken, in China they do not write from left to right, but from right to left; and, as I understand what we are going to do, it is not beginning by introducing legislation in the ordinary way, by reference—

It being Eleven of the Clock, further consideration of the Bill, as amended, stood adjourned.

Bill, as amended (in the Standing Committee), to be further considered To-morrow.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.