HL Deb 26 October 1909 vol 4 cc478-9

Amendments reported (according to order).

LORD ALVERSTONE drew attention to subclause (2) of Clause 2, dealing with the manner of administration of oaths. He said that it read, "Provided that in the case of a person who is not a Christian the oath shall be administered as nearly as may be in the form and manner aforesaid, but with such modifications of the words or ceremony as may make the same conformable to the religious faith, or binding on the conscience of such persons." How that was to be found out he really did not know. How was anybody in a County Court or any other Court to find out what was "conformable to the religious faith or binding on the conscience" of a Parsee or an Arab? He asked whether it would not be better to say that in the case of a non-Christian they should be allowed to administer the oath in the way it was now administered with regard to any Christian? They had the uplifted hand, and the Testament, and the use of the words "I swear by Almighty God that the evidence I shall give to the Court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." He moved to insert words to provide that the oath should be administered to a non-Christian witness "in any manner which is now lawful."

Amendment moved— In page 1, line 18, to leave out the words of the subclause after the word 'administered,' and to add the words ' in any manner which is now lawful.'"—(Lord Alverstone.)


I have no objection to offer to the Amendment of the noble and learned Lord.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Bill to be read 3a on Monday the 8th of November next, and to be printed as amended (No. 212.)

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