HC Deb 21 March 1955 vol 538 cc1826-8

8.0 p.m.

The Lord Advocate (Mr. W. R. Milligan)

I beg to move, in page 118, line 12, to leave out "under this Act" and insert: to which this section applies. We have given consideration to certain suggestions made in committee that Clause 218 might, in its terms, be restricted; in other words, that where an offence to which this Clause applies is committed in Scotland the offender should be tried in Scotland, and, similarly, that if it is committed in England, the offender should be tried in England.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 118, line 14, at end insert: Provided that such an offence committed in any part of the United Kingdom shall not be triable outside that part of the United Kingdom. (2) The offences to which this section applies are offences against any of the following sections of this Act, that is to say, section nineteen, section one hundred and sixty-one, section one hundred and seventy-one, and sections one hundred and ninety-one to one hundred and ninety-seven; and references in this section to a part of the United Kingdom are references to England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.—[Mr. Ward.]

8.2 p.m.

Mr. Ward

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

The new Air Force Bill has undergone very careful scrutiny in Committee. The fact that it has emerged comparatively unscathed is yet another strong tribute to the careful and highly-skilled labours of the members of the Select Committee, to whom I should like again to express my indebtedness, and to add my tribute to that already paid to the Committee by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War.

I am quite sure that my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kensington, South (Sir P. Spens) and the members of his Committee feel very justly proud at this moment of the result of their labours. I feel extremely glad and proud also to have been associated with this first revision of the Air Force Act. Some, like my right hon. and learned Friend, may regret the passing of some old-world expressions enshrined in the existing Act, but a fresh Act, brought up to date, logically arranged and as clear as a legal code can reasonably be made will, I know, be a boon to students of Air Force law, and particularly to those officers who, although not lawyers themselves, are charged with the administration of that law.

I should like once again to thank hon. Memers on both sides of the House for the careful examination which they have given to this Bill, and for the friendly and co-operative spirit in which they have tried to improve it.

8.4 p.m.

Mr. M. Stewart

My right hon. Friend the Member for Dundee, West (Mr. Strachey) said a few words on the Third Reading of the Army Bill; it is perhaps appropriate that I should say a little on the Third Reading of the Air Force Bill.

There are, at the moment, few hon. Members present on this side of the House who were not members of the Select Committee. It is, therefore, a little difficult for us to pay a tribute to the work of the Committee, but we are greatly indebted to the Under-Secretary for the tribute that he has paid. I am sure that I shall carry my hon. and right hon. Friends with me if I pay tribute to the work of the Chairman of the Committee, to the Departmental Committee, and to the very many people who did not appear before us but who must have helped in the preparation of memoranda. I think that the completion of this piece of work will be not only a source of gratification to us here, but a considerable source of relief both to the War Office and to the Air Ministry. They have had many other anxieties while these Bills were under preparation, and many other calls on the time of their personnel, but the Committee never experienced the least sign of impatience with our rather persistent, meticulous, and detailed demands.

The Committee experienced nothing but the utmost willingness to provide the fullest possible information. Without that help this work could not have been brought to its successful conclusion. I am happy to join with the hon. Gentleman in recommending that the House should give the Bill a Third Reading.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.