§ LORD CHELMSFORD
, in moving the second reading of the Bill, said, its object was to extend to criminal courts in Scotland the same practice which already-existed in the civil courts—that of allowing persons who had conscientious objections to take an oath to make a solemn affirmation as to the truth of their statements. Some of the inconveniences of the discrepancy at present existing in this respect between the laws of Scotland and those of the rest of the United Kingdom were manifested on a recent occasion, when the sheriffs would not allow a witness to make a declaration in their Court 2 on the ground that no Order in Council had been issued extending the operation of the existing Act to that Court, although Her Majesty had power to do so. The Bill had passed unanimously through the other House of Parliament, and he hoped their Lordships would not offer any opposition to it.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
having pointed out that the language of the 3rd section would need some slight alteration;
§ Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday next.