HC Deb 15 October 1969 vol 788 cc475-6

Lords Amendment No. 69: In page 68, line 1, at end insert ("Part I of").

Mr. Elystan Morgan

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

Mr. Speaker

I suggest that it would be convenient for the House to discuss, at the same time, Lords Amendments Nos. 70, 82 and 94.

Mr. Elystan Morgan

That would be convenient, Mr. Speaker, because Amendments Nos. 69 and 70 represent a new subsection which is a paving subsection for Part II of Schedule 4. This contains transitional provisions which will have effect between the coming into force of the provisions of the Bill and the coming into force of some provisions of the Social Work (Scotland) Act, 1968.

As this is the first Amendment dealing with cross-Border provisions between England and Wales and Scotland, it might be appropriate if I were to make some general remarks about these provisions as a whole. At present, the law in force in England and Scotland is similar, and the provisions for the transfer of approved school orders, probation orders and supervision orders are comparatively simple. The Social Work (Scotland) Act, 1968, introduces an entirely new system in Scotland, but the relevant provisions of that Act are not yet in force and are not expected to be brought into force before about the end of next year.

The Scottish Act abolishes the prosecution of children under 16, except on the authority of the Lord Advocate, and provides for children who commit offences or who are broadly in situations equivalent to those in Clause 1(2) of the Bill to appear before children's hearings. The hearings have power to make supervision requirements, which may require children to reside in residential establishments and which are effective up to the age of 18.

The Social Work (Scotland) Act contains provisions for movement between the existing English system and the new Scottish system. I shall later be moving to agree to Amendments to that Act and to other Acts which will make permanent provision for movement between the new English and the new Scottish systems. Because of the differences between those systems these provisions are inevitably much more complicated than the cross-border provisions in the existing law. This is a price which has to be paid for a different approach to the question, although with the same basic aims, north and south of the Border.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendments agreed to.

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