HC Deb 20 July 1973 vol 860 c1027

Lords Amendment: No. 32, in page 10, line 18, at end insert: B. The provisions of Schedule (Provisions as to offences) to this Act shall have effect in relation to offences under this Act.

Mr. Wiggin

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

The clause and the new schedule effectively reproduce Sections 18, 19, 20, 23, part of 24 and 25 of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968, which it will be seen were among the provisions of that Act applied by the existing Clause 8 of the Bill.

It has been thought that it would assist the reader of the Bill if the provisions were set out in a schedule rather than incorporated in a reference to the 1968 Act. It is fair to say that throughout the drafting of the Bill and the negotiations that went with it a great deal of thought has been given to the similarity of the purposes of the Bill and the Trade Descriptions Act. To an extent this amendment reflects that similarity.

The only significant departure from the Trade Descriptions Act provision is in paragraph 6 of the new Schedule 2A, which reflects the defence of mistake, accident, etc. afforded under Section 24 of the Act but in a much more limited form.

This matter has been the subject of considerable discussion with the Department of Trade and Industry and with the Parliamentary Counsel who is responsible for the redraft as a whole. The Department has accepted that in the context of hallmarking law a more limited defence than is appropriate to the general commercial field should here be afforded. On the other hand the essentials of the defence in Section 24 are preserved.

I believe that this is a satisfactory conclusion to the substantial negotiations which have gone on behind the scenes.

Question put and agreed to.

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