HC Deb 05 November 1959 vol 612 cc1190-1
15. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce, during the present Session, legislation to amend the law relating to suicide and attempted suicide.

Mr. R. A. Butler

As the hon. Member knows, I have stated that I understand his point of view on this matter. There are, however, certain points concerning the consequential provisions which would be necessary if the offences of suicide and attempted suicide were abolished which I have thought it desirable to refer to the Criminal Law Revision Committee for its early advice.

Mr. Robinson

While thanking the Home Secretary for that fairly promising reply, may I ask whether he has seen the report of the Committee set up by the Archbishop of Canterbury, which takes broadly the view which I have been pressing upon him for the last 18 months? Does the right hon. Gentleman not now agree that reform of the law in this sense would be considerably less controversial than he thought in the initial stages?

Mr. Butler

I have seen that statement and I think that there is a general growth of public opinion in the direction in which the hon. Member desires. We should, however, get the views of the Criminal Law Revision Committee before taking the matter further.

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