HC Deb 02 August 1922 vol 157 cc1627-30

Order for consideration of Lords Amendment read.

Motion made, and Question, "That the

1. Session and Chapter. 2. Short Title. 3. How far continued. 4. Amending Acts.
(7) 4 & 5 Geo. 5. c. 3 The Grey Seals Protection Act, 1914. The whole Act,

Lords Amendment be now considered," put, and agreed to.—[Mr. Shortt.]

Lords Amendment considered accordingly.

Lords Amendment:

After paragraph beginning "4 & 5 Geo. 5. c. 3" Insert:

1. 2. 3. 4.
Session and Chapter. Short Title. How far continued. Amending Acts
4 & 5 Geo. 5. c. 78. The Courts (Emergency Powers) Act, 1914. So far as it relates: 5 & 6 Geo. 5 c 17,
(a) to enforcing the lapse of policies of insurance, and 6 & 7 Geo. 5. c 13.
(b) to orders made by any court before the thirty-first day of August, nineteen hundred and twenty two. 6 & 7 Geo. 5. c. 18.
7 & 8 Geo. 5. c. 25.
9 & 10 Geo. 5. c. 64.
10 Geo. 5. c. 5.

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME OFFICE (Mr. Shortt)

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

This is a small matter, but it is a matter of some importance to policy holders. By the Emergency Act policies on which the premiums are in arrear do not lapse. Unfortunately that expires on the 31st August this year. Meantime, in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee, which would only protect the industrial policy holders, we have had a great many negotiations and conferences, and now, I think, that we have arrived at something like agreement. Unfortunately, we arrived at that agreement too late to bring in a Bill at this portion of the Session. I hope to be able to introduce it in the Autumn Session. Meantime there would be a period in which the policy holders might run very grave danger. All that this Amendment seeks to do is to protect the policy holders during the period between 31st August and the time when the Bill is passed. The Bill which we propose to bring in would, if passed, repeal this provision, but it will be in the interval a proper protection for the policy holders. This Amendment is merely intended to protect the policy holder between the 31st August and the period when we can bring in the Bill.


I quite agree with the course the Government is taking. My only comment is that the anticipation of my right hon. Friend as to what is likely to be possible in The Autumn is rather dim. He said he hoped to be able to introduce legislation in the Autumn. If he could say it was his intention, and it was possible to do so, there would be a little more assurance. Could he make it a little more definite than that?


If it be possible, we shall certainly do so; but in any case this provision will protect the policy holder until we arc able to do it. If it be impossible in the Autumn—it is impossible for me to give a definite pledge as to that, as the right hon. Gentleman knows—this will continue long enough to enable it to be done. The intention is that this Bill should be introduced and, if possible, passed in the Autumn. The Bill is drafted and prepared.


My only point is that it is not desirable that this should be left for another whole year.


I agree.