HC Deb 08 May 1968 vol 764 cc501-3

7.30 p.m.

The Minister of State, Board of Trade (Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu)

I beg to move Amendment No. 10, in page 7, line 25, after are 'insert or are of a kind'.

Mr. Speaker

I think that it would be convenient to discuss, at the same time, Government Amendment No. 11, in page 7, line 38.

Mr. Mallalieu

Both Amendments are part of the tidying up operation suggested by my right hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Darling) in Committee. At present, subsections (1) and (2) deal only with false indications of royal patronage, approval or award. Subsection (3) deals with false indications that goods or services are of a kind supplied to any person, which includes members of the royal family. Amendment No. 10 would extend subsection (1) to cover this latter kind of indication in so far as it concerned members of the royal family. The division of the Clause as proposed in the Motion would then make the present subsection (3) into a separate Clause. As a result, all the offences concerning royalty would be together in one clause.

The fact that the legislation contains provisions about false representations about goods supplied to other persons would become evident from the reference to the new Clause in the "Arrangement of Sections" index to the Bill. Otherwise, there would be no such indication in the index, to which lawyers and others will naturally turn when considering whether there is anything in the statute relevant to a particular case, and the omission could be confusing.

An incidental effect of the change would be some narrowing of Clause 20(3) which provides that it shall be an offence for anyone in this country to assist or induce the commission in another country of an act which, if committed here, would be an offence under Clause 12. Clause 20 does not deal with everything which in this country would be an offence under the Bill: we are not trying to write a law of misdescription for other countries. It is intended to bite only on certain acts which are likely to be particularly harmful to British export interests. False representations of royal approval or award are certainly of this kind, but there is no strong reason why Clause 20 should extend to false claims that goods are of a kind supplied to any private person.

I hope that the House will agree that this rearrangement will improve the Bill.

Mr. Michael Shaw

We fully support the Amendment. I accept the hon. Gentleman's assurance that this omission would be confusing, although I have not checked it. It is particularly important that the Clause should apply to goods sold abroad, where these designations are at least as important as at home because of the high regard for royalty in many countries abroad. I fully accept the need for the Amendment which I assume will be made in another place to Clause 20——

Mr. Mallalieu

As I understand, no Amendment is necessary to Clause 20, since these Amendments would achieve the desired result.

Mr. Shaw

Yes, I see the point, because the other pertains to Clause 13. We support the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: No. 11, in page 7, line 38: That Clause 12 be divided; and that subsections (1) and (2) do constitute Clause 12 and that subsection (3) be another Clause.—[Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu.]

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