HL Deb 28 July 1890 vol 347 cc1037-9

Commons Amendments considered (according to order.)


Perhaps, with regard to these Amendments, I may be allowed to say that I see no very great difference exhibited between those proposed in the other House and those to which I ask your Lordships to agree to. Mainly, the question has been with regard to the omission of Preambles of certain Acts of Parliament, and wherever it has been considered undesirable to omit the Preambles from the Acts of Parliament by reason of showing their purpose and object, I must advise your Lordships' House to disagree with the Commons Amendments; but in the greater proportion of the cases, I think we may safely agree to the Commons Amendments as made. One great distinction has been made, and I think wisely, by those who have had the consideration of these matters, that instead of an actual repeal of those portions of the Acts of Parliament consisting of Preambles and so on, there has been a reference made to them for the purposes of the authorised version of the Statutes. The effect will be that, should any question arise as to the existence or non-existence of those Preambles, or should any question arise as to the real meaning of those Acts of Parliament, they will still remain for purposes of reference, and they need not be printed again in the Revised Statutes. With that short explanation, I think it will not be necessary to do more than take the Amendments seriatim.


It is a very great satisfaction to the Committee, of which I happened to be Chairman, that the House of Commons have taken up the question of the revision of the Statutes as they have done. That Committee recommended that the Statute Law Revision Bill should go further than my Committee ventured to propose without the authority of the other House. They have gone even further: they have made omissions of some very valuable Preambles. They have also, as stated by the noble and learned Lord on the Wool-sack, recommended the course of cutting out the Preambles; not that they should be repealed, but that a provision should be inserted in the Bill stating that in future editions those parts might be excised. A Committee consisting of Lord Herschell, the Solicitor General, Mr. Price, and several Members of my own old Committee, including myself, have gone carefully through the Commons Amendments, and we have acceded to all of them, as the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack has stated. If your Lordships will accept that statement on my authority, I believe the preparation of the revised edition will progress very quickly.

Some of the Commons Amendments agreed to; some agreed to with Amendments; and consequential Amendments made to the Bill; some disagreed to; and a Committee appointed to prepare reasons to be offered to the Commons for the Lords disagreeing to some of the said Amendments: The Committte to meet forthwith.