§ Sir F. BANBURY
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This Clause says, "The Guardianship of Infants Act, 1886, is hereby repealed."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 The only reason why that Act is repealed is in order that the charge may not be brought against this Bill that it is a piece of Chinese legislation. The Act of 1886 is repealed simply in order that it may be re-enacted, as the right hon.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 In order to meet that objec- 2296 tion we have repealed the Act, and re-enacted it in subsequent Clauses with the alterations that we desired to make.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
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.