§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.
§ THL LORD CHANCELLOR (Lord HERSCHELL)
My Lords object of this Bill is to consolidate all the Statutes on the subject. As your Lordships may be aware, the enactments relating to the offence of perjury are to be found in a great number of Statutes. By various Statutes at Common Law the offence is made subject to penalties. Under the Bill the offence of perjury will consist in false swearing committed in a judicial proceeding, whilst all forms of perjury are classified under one heading. The Bill does not make any substantial alteration in the existing law, although it gives legislative effect to a certain portion of the Common Law. It is a Bill entirely of details, and its provisions will have to be carefully considered; but I think your Lordships will have no difficulty in giving it a Second Reading.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Lord Chancellor)
§ LORD ASHBOURNE
I am sure your Lordships will have no difficulty in assenting to the Motion of my noble and learned Friend on the Woolsack to give a Second Reading to this Bill. It is very desirable there should be found in one Act the provisions now distributed over several. My object in rising is not to criticise the Bill or what has been said by my noble and learned Friend, but merely to say that at a future stage of the Bill I may possibly ask for an explanation of Section 9, which proposes that the provisions of the Bill shall apply to Ireland, in order to see what changes, if any, are sought to be made by that section in the existing law.
§ Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday next.