HC Deb 21 November 1963 vol 684 cc1168-9
32 Mr. MacColl

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department which Sections of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1963, have so far been brought into force; and when he intends to bring into operation the remaining provisions of the Act.

Mr. Brooke

Sections 1, 14 and 15, 45 to 49, 54 to 56, 58 to 65 (save for subsection (2) of Section 64), and the related provisions in Schedules 3 and 5, were brought into operation on 1st October last. I intend to bring the remainder of Parts I and III (and the related provisions in the Schedules) into force early in 1964. I cannot yet be sure when it will be possible to bring Part II into force.

Mr. MacColl

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the nature of his Answer shows the obscurity of his policy? How is it possible for anybody to know how much of this Act is in force and what the law is? This Act of Parliament was passed unanimously by this House. Is it not rather an abuse of the right hon. Gentleman's prerogative so arbitrarily to select bits of it to be brought into force? Why not bring the rest of the Act into force; that would not cost any money?

Mr. Brooke

If the hon. Member examined Statutory Instrument 1561, made on 12th September last—he has had plenty of time to do so—he could see exactly what is in force already. I consider that I have been very expeditious in getting forward with the bringing of this Act into operation. I want to bring the remaining Sections into operation as soon as I can.

Miss Bacon

Does the Home Secretary know that we are fully aware of what is in operation but that we are rather concerned about the parts of the Act which are not yet in operation? Is he aware that by 1964 the Act will have been passed for nearly a year and the Government will be getting credit for these things which probably will not be put into operation before the Government go out of office?

Mr. Brooke

I think the Government will be in office in plenty of time to bring this into operation.