HC Deb 30 June 1922 vol 155 cc2485-6 "An Act to provide that a woman charged with the murder of her infant child may, under certain conditions, be convicted of manslaughter."

Lords Amendment:

Leave out the words charged with the murder of her infant

and insert who wilfully causes the death of her newly-born.


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

I should like to say we have gone very carefully through these Amendments and they seem to make the object we had in view more certain and the Measure more watertight. Without going into them in any detail, I shall ask the House to agree with these Amendments and to accept the Bill as amended. Although it has been very largely changed in wording, it exactly carries out the purpose which the Labour party had in introducing it.


Here again we have a legal question and I should prefer to have the presence of the Law Officers. I think we should be told what is the effect of this first Amendment.


The Attorney-General has gone out to get a copy of the Bill. He will be back directly, and will be able to answer every conceivable question which the ingenuity of the right hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) can suggest. I do not know if the right hon. Baronet heard the terms of the Amendment and is aware of the original Title of the Bill, but it seems to me the meaning is perfectly clear. To my limited intelligence, the words of the Amendment are so clear that one would find difficulty in making its meaning any clearer. There is nothing I should dislike more than that my right hon. Friend should regard me as guilty of any discourtesy, but I am bound to admit that I cannot find words to explain more clearly the effect of the Amendment than the words actually employed here.

Question put, and agreed to.

Lords Amendment:

Leave out the word "manslaughter" ["convicted of manslaughter"], and insert "infanticide."

Amendment agreed to.