HC Deb 21 December 1944 vol 406 c1941
55. Major Sir Jocelyn Lucas

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider amending the War Charities Act, so that any society or person in reply to the statutory advertisement, giving information to the authorities as to why a proposed charity should not be registered, will be exempt from action for libel or slander.

Mr. H. Morrison

Under the War Charities Act there is a statutory obligation to give public notice, as prescribed, of the intention to apply for registration of a war charity, and of the time within which, and the place at which, objections to the application may be made. I am advised that in such circumstances qualified privilege would attach to any objection made, and that there would appear, therefore, to be no necessity for amending legislation in this respect.

Sir J. Lucas

While I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his reply, is he aware that in certain circumstances it is practically impossible to prevent registration, and that the Act badly needs strengthening?

Mr. Morrison

On the point in the Question, I think that if a person makes objection, without malice and in the public interest, he has nothing to fear. I do not think that the law is unsatisfactory in this respect.

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