HC Deb 28 June 1956 vol 555 cc782-3
Mr. Simon

I beg to move, in page 2, line 5, at the end to insert: (2) Any reference in this Act to an enactment shall be construed as a reference to that enactment as amended by or under any other enactment. This is an obscure formula, but it is designed to improve the drafting of the Bill. In supporting an Amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Abingdon (Mr. Neave) in Committee, which was accepted by the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman), I had occasion to draw attention to the fact that it was necessary to make this drafting Amendment. In spite of the fact that he accepted it, the hon. Member today referred, I think extremely ungraciously, to what I had said and, I am bound to say, misrepresented me. When I challenged him with a copy of HANSARD, which I now have here, he, typically, tried to brazen it out. I have read through what I said on that occasion, and it is perfectly clear that I was holding him and him alone responsible for the drafting of the Bill.

This Amendment seeks to take account of the fact that Section 23 of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1933, and Section 57 of the Children and Young Persons (Scotland), Act, 1937, which are referred to in Clause 1 and which prohibit the passing of a sentence of death against a person under 18, have been amended by Section 16 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1948, and also by Section 17 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland), Act, 1949. I apprehend that the Amendments which we have just passed do not meet that point and, subject to the advice of my right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate or any other Law Officer, it seems to me that this Amendment is necessary.

Mr. S. Silverman

I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, without argument, that the point covered by the Amendment is no longer necessary, having regard to the Amendments which the House has just accepted.

Mr. Speaker

The Question is not yet before the House. The Amendment needs a seconder.

Mr. Frederic Harris (Croydon, North-West)

I beg to second the Amendment.

Mr. Silverman

I make that submission to you, Mr. Speaker, and there is no need for anyone to offer any further observations.

The Lord Advocate

I am fully aware that an argument can be advanced by the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) that these words are not necessary, but I think that I can advance a stronger argument that they are necessary. In any case, it is very much better to have them there, and I suggest that the House should accept them.

Amendment agreed to.

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