§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee, read.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ [The EARL OF DONOUGHMORE in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1 agreed to.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (VISCOUNT HALDANE)
I move this new clause after Clause 1 for the purpose of making it clear what the meaning of being an inmate of a brothel is. It is not desired to confine the offence of procuration to a case in which the unfortunate girl is persuaded to live in a brothel. It may be that she lives outside and habitually frequents it, and we feel that the law as it is stated in paragraphs (3) and (4) of Section 2 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act requires strengthening upon this point. There are many cases in which the evil is just as great although the girl does not actually reside in the brothel. We therefore think that the words "or frequent" should be inserted, and I move accordingly.
Insert the following new clause:
§ Amendment of 48 & 49 Vict. c. 69, s. 2.
§ In paragraphs (3) and (4) of Section 2 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885, the words "or frequent" shall be inserted after the words "an immate of" wherever those words occur.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 2:
§ Increased Penalties for Procurers.
§ 2. Any male person who is convicted under section two of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885, may, at the discretion of the court, and in addition to any term of imprisonment awarded in respect of the said offence, be sentenced to be once privately whipped, and the number of strokes and the instrument with which they shall be inflicted shall be specified by the court in the sentence.
§ THE FIRST COMMISSIONER of WORKS (EARL BEAUCHAMP)
The first Amendment to Clause 2 stands in the name of the Lord Chancellor, but there are technical reasons which make it desirable that this Amendment should not be moved by my noble and learned friend. He will no doubt explain the technical reasons to the House. In these circumstances I beg leave to move the Amendment.
Page 1, line 10, after ("convicted") insert ("of a second or subsequent offence").—(Earl Beauchamp.)
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
The Government were pledged to give Parliament the opportunity of pronouncing on this question, and they also made it clear that every member of the Government would be free to vote as he pleased. Though the Amendment was put down in my name I felt it to be unbecoming that I should move it after having expressed opinions in a contrary sense in moving the Second Reading of the Bill. Therefore my noble friend who takes the other view has moved the Amendment, and I only rise for the purpose of again very shortly repeating what I said on the last occasion.
The purpose of this Bill is to deter people from committing this offence. We are dealing with very cold-blooded and calculating persons. It is felt that nothing short of the penalty of corporal punishment is likely to prove an effective deterrent to people whose profits are so large that they are content to take the risk of imprisonment. 108 Then comes the question whether the corporal punishment should be inflicted for a first offence. On that opinions differ. My own opinion is that the deterring effect is what you aim at in this Bill. With people of this class, to whom you cannot appeal in any ordinary way, who are not like those who commit crimes of passion but are cold-blooded, calculating people, the only effective deterrent is the fear of corporal punishment for a first offence. The Courts, I think, may be trusted to see that injustice is not done in these matters. I can conceive nothing which is mere likely to affect this class than that in some clear case it should he found that the arm of the law is very strong and will deal with this offence in a fashion which differentiates it from any other offence.
§ LORD EVERSLEY
My Lords, I hope I may be permitted to state in a few words the reasons why I support this Amendment. I understand that the Lord Chancellor, who gave notice of this Amendment, is not prepared to support it. I hope he will pardon me for saying that this is a somewhat unusual and perhaps unprecedented course. The Amendment is one of very grave importance. It is for the purpose of excluding, except in cases of second and subsequent convictions, the punishment of flogging. It proposes also to bring this clause into harmony with Clause 6 in this respect, and it proposes also to give effect to the wishes of the majority of the House of Commons as declared in the sixth clause.
I need hardly state that I detest the crimes at which this clause is aimed as much as any of your Lordships, and I agree that no punishment which the State thinks fit to apply to these offenders is too severe for them. The only question is whether, having regard to the past experience of this country and other countries in respect to flogging, there is reason to believe that it will be efficacious as a deterrent, and whether this kind of punishment is not attended with other evils which make it undesirable to apply it. This is no new question with me. So long ago as the year 1871, when I was connected officially with the Home Office, I gave a good deal of time to examining the records of that Department with regard to flogging, and I came to the conclusion, which I believe is the same as every one, with one or two exceptions perhaps, who has served at the Home Office has arrived at, that flogging has 109 not in the past been a deterrent of crime. Several discussions arose on the question during the period that I was a member of the other House, and I took my part at times in opposing or defeating the extension of flogging. The most important of those discussions arose in the year 1885 upon a question very analogous to that of the present clause. It was proposed to extend flogging to a crime quite as detestable as any crime included in this Bill—namely, rapes of young girls—and a discussion of great importance arose on the question, in which four of the most eminent lawyers of their time took part. Three of those eminent lawyers afterwards became members of this House. I refer to Lord James of Hereford, Lord Herschell, Lord Davey, and Sir Edward Clarke, and I think your Lordships will agree that it would not be easy to pick out four men of equal eminence at the Bar. They all concurred in the view that flogging had in the past been no deterrent of crime, they all opposed its extension, and they all pointed out other evils attending upon such punishment, with the result that the Bill was thrown out.
I wish I could quote to your Lordships fully the speech made by Lord Herschell on that occasion. It was one of the ablest I had heard from him. Among other things he pointed out that it was an entire mistake to suppose that the Act of 1863, commonly called the Garrotting Act, which applied flogging to cases of robbery with violence, had in fact put down garrotting. He showed that the outbreak of garrotting in London which had occurred in the previous year, 1862, had been entirely put down by a firm and severe administration of the law, under which all persons concerned in that crime had been sentenced to long terms of penal servitude, with the result that at the next sitting of the Central Criminal Court the learned Judge who presided congratulated the Grand Jury upon the complete putting down of that crime, and this was months before the Act of 1863 was passed. Lord Herschell also pointed out, in respect of other kinds of crime of robbery with violence which were included in the Act, that there had been an increase and not a diminution of those crimes in the years following the Act of 1863, showing clearly that the fear of the Act had not deterred people from committing these offences. The same view of the effect of the Garrotting 110 Act was given by the late Lord Aberdare in the debate in the House of Commons in 1875, and later in 1890 by Mr. Asquith, who had previously been Home Secretary, and also by the late Lord Ridley, who was at the time at the head of the Home Office. I think, therefore, it is absolutely certain that flogging under the Act of 1863, commonly called the Garrotting Act, had no effect whatever in putting down garrotting.
But, my Lords, we are not confined to experience of that Act in respect of flogging. I need not remind your Lordships that flogging was almost universal in this country and all through Europe up to the middle of last century. In this country flogging was the punishment applied to almost every kind of offence, great and small, under our Criminal Code, and persons, both men and women, were flogged in great numbers. Men were flogged before they were hanged. Men were flogged for every kind of offence of an immoral character. They were flogged for petty thefts and for libel. In the case of men they were flogged publicly, and I believe there were not less than sixty whipping-posts in London alone, showing the number of persons who must have been flogged in those days. All this flogging had no real effect upon the diminution of crime. In fact, there is good reason to believe that it rather increased crime than otherwise. It was the same on the Continent. Flogging was almost universal there. It was the punishment for offences great and small, and I believe I am right in saying that in petty courts of Germany ladies of the court were not infrequently flogged for breaches of etiquette. Perhaps I may remind the Bench of Bishops that flogging was at the time I speak of approved by the Church of Rome. The Church of Rome appears to have had a firm belief in the efficacy of flogging. Flogging was the punishment applied to all offences under ecclesiastical law. Flogging also was recommended by the Church of Rome as a form of penance, and priests and even bishops flagellated themselves in private, under the belief, no doubt, that that was the best way of curbing the evil spirits within them. Sometimes these flagellations took place in public, and priests headed processions throughout the streets of persons who were flagellating themselves till their backs streamed with blood.
111 Towards the middle of the last century a change came, and I think it was one of the most remarkable changes which have come about in the last hundred years. Flogging came absolutely to an end. There is not at the present time a single country in Europe whose Criminal Code recognises flogging as a proper mode of punishment. Everywhere throughout the Continent it has come to an end. The Church of Rome has also taken a very different view on the subject. Flogging has altogether ceased in cases of ecclesiastical offences and is also discouraged, if not forbidden, as a matter of penance. At all events, priests and monks no longer flagellate themselves except in a few cases of most severe monastic orders. Practically, therefore, the system of flogging has come to an end universally throughout Europe. This country is the only civilised country, I believe, where there has been a reversion to some small extent to this system in the case of the Act to which I have referred and also in the case of an Act directed against incorrigible rogues. With those exceptions I believe I am right in saying that flogging has ceased to be a punishment in every country in Europe, and also in every country in the New World. In these circumstances it does seem to me to be a grave question whether we should go further in the direction of re-establishing flogging.
There is another point connected with it which I desire to bring under the notice of the House, and that is the effect of flogging upon the persons who have to inflict it. I have consulted at different times persons who have seen the infliction of flogging as it is carried out at present in our gaols. It is carried out by warders, who receive additional pay for it, and the prison officials have to be present to see that it is properly carried out. I am told that the effect upon these men is decidedly bad. The warders who have to inflict it begin by a feeling of disgust at it, but that passes away soon, and there seems to be a strange fascination connected with the system which has a bad effect in stimulating the passion of the men who are engaged upon it, and not only them, but also the officials who are bound to be present. For my part I think that the State has no right to put these men in a position where they are compelled to be parties to scenes of that kind, and I believe it would be a wise thing on that 112 account not to extend the system but rather to limit it in the cases in which it is already permitted. There is much more that I could say on the matter, but I have endeavoured to be as temperate in my language as I could be. I can only conclude by saying that my firm conviction is that flogging has not been in the past and cannot in the future be a means of putting down crime. I believe, on the contrary, that its only effect is to brutalise those upon whom it is inflicted and those whose duty it is to inflict it, and in the long run also to brutalise public opinion, with the result that crime instead of being diminished will ultimately be increased. I beg, therefore, to support the Amendment before the House.
THE EARL OF DESART
My Lords, I do not propose to follow the noble Lord who has just sat down in a general discussion as to the desirability of the punishment of flogging, because, as I understand this Amendment, it only relates to the question whether flogging, being included in the clause to which the Amendment is moved, should be inflicted on a first offence or only on a subsequent offence, and anything I say will be entirely limited to that point. We are familiar with the principle that a different punishment may be awarded for a first, or a second, or a third offence; and in respect of a great number of offences there is, if not at all a conclusive, perhaps a fair presumption that a first conviction may very likely represent a first offence. But I think if there is any presumption in the case of an offence of this kind, which is the procuring of a girl to send her to a brothel either here or abroad, it is that it is extraordinarily unlikely that a first conviction would in any way represent a first offence. I think it is almost certain, in a crime which requires planning, deliberation, and thought, that a man will never be the principal in such a transaction who is doing it suddenly for the first time in his life. That seems to me quite improbable, and therefore I think the principle on which you impose a different punishment for a first and a second offence does not apply at all to the same extent in relation to this offence as it does to many other offences.
Take the case of an arrest on suspicion which arises on another clause in the Bill. The arrest on suspicion in perhaps ninety- 113 nine cases out of a hundred arises out of circumstances which would not be suspicious at all if it were not for the fact that the person who is arrested is well known to the Police to be a man who has laid himself open to the suspicion of taking part in such offences. I do not think, therefore, that an ordinary conversation between a man and a girl in the street would lead any constable to arrest such a man unless he had some reason to suppose that the man was engaged in this traffic. Further, supposing it was the first time that a man of this class had actually procured a girl in this way, I ant not at all sure, if it comes to a question of morals, when you consider what the offence is, that the distinction between a first and a second offence is so great as it might be in some other cases. I should like to put one other point. Supposing you did really have a case in which a man had been tempted by money or by some other cause and led into committing this offence for the first time and really under circumstances which showed great temptation, we know by the way trials are conducted in this country that he would have every
§ chance of establishing such a defence, and it is hardly conceivable that a Judge would inflict flogging upon such an offender. But even if he did, would not the sentence be revised by the Court of Criminal Appeal? I cannot imagine any case where a man could show that he was in any sense tempted and fell for the first time in this way, in which there would be the least chance in the ultimate result of his receiving the punishment of flogging. It seems to me that we have not to consider in any discussion upon this Amendment whether flogging is or is not a good thing. I do not agree with those who object altogether to flogging in these cases, but I understand their position. I do not, however, understand how those who accept the principle of flogging in this particular class of case can reasonably urge that there is any grave danger of injustice being done if that punishment is inflicted in the case of a first conviction. I use the word "conviction" deliberately, and not the word "offence."
§ On Question?
§ Their Lordships divided: Contents, 11; Not-Contents, 88.113
|Morley of Blackburn, V. (L. President.)||Ashton of Hyde, L.||Shaw, L.|
|Courtney of Penwith, L.||Stanley of Alderley, L. (L. Sheffidd.) [Teller.]|
|Beauchamp, E.||Eversley, L. [Teller.]||Weardale, L.|
|Russell, E.||Reay, L.|
|Canterbury, L. Abp.||Goschen, V.||Ebury, L.|
|Haldane, V. (L. Chancellor.)||Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.)||Ellenborough, L.|
|Knollys, V.||Farquhar, L.|
|Bedford, D.||Llandaff, V.||Granard, L. (E. Granard.)|
|Brandon, D. (L. Hamilton.)||Gwydir, L.|
|Devonshire, D.||Bangor, L. Bp.||Hastings, L.|
|Marlborough, D.||Bristol, L. Bp.||Hatherton, L.|
|Newcastle, D.||St. Albanas, L. Bp.||Haversham, L. [Teller.]|
|Abercorn, M. (D. Abercorn)||St. David's, L. Bp.||Herschell, L.|
|Lansdowne, M.||Sandhurst, L. (L. Chamberlain.)||Hindlip, L.|
|Salisbury, M.||Addington, L.||Kilmarnock, L. (E. Erroll.)|
|Chesterfield, E. (L. Steward.)||Alverstone, L.||Kinnaird, L.|
|Camperdown, E.||Ashby St. Ledgers, L.||Lawrence, L.|
|Catheart, E.||Balfour, L.||Lovat, L.|
|Craven, E.||Barnard, L.||MacDonnell, L.|
|Cromer, E.||Belhaven and Stenton, L.||Moulton, L.|
|Dartrey, E.||Blythswood, L.||Oriel, L. (V. Massereene.)|
|Denbigh, E.||Boston, L.||Oranmore and Browne, L.|
|Halsbury, E.||Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.)||Plunket, L.|
|Harrowby, E.||Channing, L.||Ritchie of Dundee, L.|
|Londesborough, E.||Charnwood, L.||Shute, L. (V. Barrington.)|
|Loreburn, E.||Chaworth, L. (E. Meath.)||Southwark, L.|
|Mar and Kellie, E.||Clifford of Chudleigh, L.||Strachie, L.|
|Northbrook, E.||Colchester, L.||Stuart of Castle Stuart, L. (E. Moray.)|
|Northesk, E.||Colebrooke, L.|
|Selborne, E.||Dawnay, L. (V. Downe.)||Templemore, L.|
|Westmeath, E.||De Mauley, L.||Willingdon, L.|
|Allendale, V.||Desart, L. (E. Desart.)||Willougliby de Broke, L.|
|Chilston, V.||Digby, L.||Wolverton, L.|
|Colville of Culross, V.||Dunmore, L. (E. Dunmore.) [Teller.]||Zouche of Haryngworth, L.|
|Resolved in the negative and Amendment disagreed to accordingly.|
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
The Amendment of which I have given notice is, as your Lordships will see, to add the words "or three" after the words "Section two" at the beginning of Clause 2. There are two sections of the principal Act of 1885 which deal with these particular offences. The first deals with simple procuring; that is to say, procuring without aggravating circumstances of deception or menace. Section 2 appears to deal specifically with the case of procuring for the purpose of prostitution, but Section 3, on the other hand, deals with the aggravated offences of procuring with all the circumstances of deception and menace, and even a still more terrible nature of offence where the crime is carried out with the assistance of drugs. In those respects it deals with far more heinous offences than does Section 2. I confess that when I came to read this particular clause in the Bill I was rather astonished to find that under Section 2, which is the only section of the principal Act that is dealt with as the Bill stands, there were none of these aggravated circumstances of deception and menace and action by the help of drugs which have formed the basis of all the terrible stories—true stories, I am afraid—which have been the occasion of bringing in this Bill at all. Your Lordships are unfortunately familiar with the kind of crime that is dealt with—the deception of young girls and the terrible stories of fraud under which they have been induced to trust themselves to persons who are really agents of this horrible traffic. Those offences are not specifically referred to in Section 2, the section we are dealing with, but they are specifically referred to in Section 3, which is not mentioned in the Bill at all. I therefore venture to say that if you are going to deal with the principal Act at all you ought to deal rather with Section 3 than with Section 2. As far as I can make out, to procure a woman for the purpose of prostitution even with her own consent is a crime under Section 2, but I am sure that none of your Lordships really desire that the drastic penalties which we have just affirmed should be applied to crimes of that kind. The crimes by means of menace and drugs are dealt with under Section 3. There is this distinction, that Section 2 deals with procuring for the purpose of prostitution, whereas Section 3 deals with the offence of procuring merely for dis- 116 honour without the further aggravation of prostitution; but still it remains true that the whole atmosphere of deception and menace with which we have been familiar during the last few days in the discussion of this terrible question is dealt with under Section 3, which is never referred to in this Bill at all, and not under Section 2, which is the only one dealt with. I should have been happier, I confess, if the penalties we have been decreeing to apply by Section 2 should only apply if t he offences under Section 2 are accompanied by fraud or menace. I therefore think that Section 3 should be included, and I beg to move that your Lordships should add after the word "two" the words "or three."
Page 1, line 10, after ("two") insert ("or three").—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I hope the noble Marquess will not press his Amendment, for reasons which I will very shortly assign. I agree with him that some of the offences which come under Section 3 of the Act of 1885 are very heinous offences indeed, but I doubt whether they are, all of them at any rate, on the same level as procuration. Procuration is a cold and deliberate crime, and we propose to apply flogging to it under this Bill, not because we approve of the punishment of flogging, which is one that is becoming more and more looked on with repugnance, but because we think that for this particular offence flogging is not only justifiable but is an effectual deterrent. But when you come to Section 3, although that section covers some very bad offences they are not only of a somewhat different character but some of them are of a very different character. Subsection (2) of Section 3 deals with an offence which may cover a crime of passion, if I may call it so—the case of a person who is carried away by passion and under the pretence of marriage induces a girl to become his mistress. The noble Marquess's Amendment would apply to that. Subsection (2) deals with a person who—By false pretences or false representations procures any woman or girl, not being a common prostitute or of known immoral character, to have any unlawful carnal connexion, either within or without the Queen's dominions.117 Obviously that covers a class of offence which is very different from anything we are dealing with under the previous section, and to extend the punishment of flogging to a crime of passion like that would be going a very long way—indeed, far further than I, for one, would be prepared to go.
But one consideration which weighs with me very much is that inevitably if the noble Marquess's Amendment were carried there would arise a great division of opinion in another place, and I should be sorry to say that the prospects of the Bill would be assured if it were transformed in this fashion. There is another point still of somewhat a technical character. The gravest of the crimes cognate to those dealt with by Section 3 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act is rape. Rape is a very high crime, and corporal punishment is not imposed for rape. But Section 3 covers what one may call minor offences of the character of rape, procuring carnal connexion by misrepresentations and by drugs, and so on, which, although constituting a crime which is less than rape, the noble Marquess proposes to punish with a punishment which the law does not apply in the case of rape. That shows how far-reaching the noble Marquess's Amendment is. For those reasons, therefore, I hope your Lordships will not accept the Amendment. Firstly, I do not agree with it; secondly, I think it will give rise to a dangerous controversy elsewhere; and, thirdly, it puts the law out of gear as regards the crime of rape. I therefore venture to suggest to the noble Marquess that it would be unwise for him to press his Amendment.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
We take note of the noble and learned Viscount's intimation that by pressing this Amendment we should be endangering the prospects of the Bill elsewhere. That is a very strong intimation, and one which I should certainly not like to treat lightly. But I confess I did not follow the argument of the noble and learned Viscount as satisfactorily as I could have wished. He suggested to us that there was this great difference between Section 2 of the Act of 1885, which is referred to in the Bill on the Table, and Section 3, which is not—the difference, namely, that offences covered by Section 2 were what he called offences 118 of a cold and deliberate nature. What are the offences dealt with by Section 3 which my noble friend wishes to include within the purview of the Bill?
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I said that some of the offences under Section 3 were of a cold-blooded nature. But I took the case of subsection (2) of Clause 3.
§ THE MARQUESS of LANSDOWNE
I was just going to refer to subsection (2). I agree with the noble and learned Viscount as to this subsection, and I admit that it would probably be unwise to bring offences under that subsection within the scope of the Bill on the Table. But, my Lords, I would ask you to look at the other two subsections—(1) and (3). Subsection (1) deals with persons who—By threats or intimidation procures or attempts to procure any woman or girl," etc.Surely you could not have a more cold and deliberate offence than the offence contemplated by the subsection. And the argument is even stronger in the case of subsection (3), which deals with cases where a person—Applies, administers to, or causes to be taken by any woman or girl any drug, matter, or thing, with intent to stupefy or overpowerfor an immoral purpose. Surely there you have the element of cold-bloodedness and deliberation in the most marked form. I should have been inclined to suggest that my noble friend might have worded his Amendment so as to make it applicable only to the first and third subsections of Section 3, but I own that when the noble and learned Viscount tells us that he and his colleagues will not be responsible for the safe passage of the Bill if the Amendment is pressed I am greatly discouraged in supporting my noble friend in persevering with what I should otherwise describe as a reasonable and logical amendment of the Bill.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I agree with the noble Marquess that some of these offences are very grave; but, on the other hand, Section 3 of the Act of 1885 is of a very far-reaching character. For instance, the noble Marquess has spoken of drugs, but it is not confined to drugs. The words are "Drug, matter, or thing." There is a famous novel, "Tess of the D'Urbervilles," in which, according to my recollection, the very 119 incident occurs—a most reprehensible incident but not one which you would wish to punish corporally. As regards the other point, I did not desire in any sense to convey to the noble Marquess that my colleagues and I are not most anxious that this Bill should pass into law, even if it were amended. We should consider it a greater evil to lose the Bill than to have it amended. What I meant to say was that this Bill could only pass if there was a general assent given to it in another place and if there was no great controversy about it, and we think that it would jeopardise the security which we hope for now if your Lordships were to introduce this new and controversial matter.
§ LORD ALVERSTONE
I should be disposed to join in the appeal of the Lord Chancellor. I have myself tried many cases quite of a minor character where a man has simply told a lie in order to induce a girl to whom he was very much attached to have connexion with him, and therefore if we were simply to apply it to any case under subsection (3) of Section 3 of the Act it would be impossible for me to vote for the Amendment. It has been suggested that the Amendment might be limited to subsections (1) and (3). What I say with regard to that is that there are various grades of offences under subsections (1) and (3) which we have to try. Take the case of a man who is very much attached to a girl and has given her drink to induce her to have connexion with him. That is one case. But the words are, "Any drug, matter, or thing with intent to stupefy or overpower," and one has to be very careful. We must not mix this matter up with cases of procuration under subsection (2). That is quite a different matter altogether. This is against the individual for what I may call a personal offence, or, it may be, getting somebody else to have connexion with the girl, which is not an uncommon offence. I quite agree with what has been said by the noble Marquess below me. Many cases of giving a girl a drug are as bad as they can be; but we ought to be careful to get sections in this Bill which only deal with really serious offences, and you cannot justify applying this punishment to Section 3 because you have applied it to Section 2. It is an entirely different class of offence. Under Section 3 there is nothing which practically amounts to that except under subsection (1)— 120 procuring a girl by threats to have unlawful carnal connexion, it may be with the man himself. I know from some considerable experience that under this section offences which are very bad, but still nothing like as bad as the offences we have been dealing with, have been punished, and I think it would be likely to give rise to well-grounded criticism if we were at once to apply this punishment to the whole of the offences dealt with under Section 3. I may say for myself that I could not possibly vote for the Amendment seeing that subsection (2) is included.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
After what has been said I will not press my Amendment. But in order to justify myself may I say that the point on which I was most insistent was that there was no mention of deception or menace in Section 2 of the principal Act. The noble and learned Lord Chief Justice has just said that we ought not to attach this drastic punishment to any crimes which are not of the most heinous character. I submit that there are many crimes in Section 2 of the Act of 1885 which are not of the most heinous character.
§ LORD ALVERSTONE
It is in the discretion of the Judge. No Judge would inflict such a punishment for those offences.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
I agree it is in the discretion of the Judge, but that is not what the Lord Chancellor said. He said we ought not to apply this punishment to crimes of a less heinous character. I want your Lordships to realise that under Section 2 you might have procuring—the Lord Chancellor did not deal with this point—with the consent of the woman, and yet that would be an offence under that section. There are no words in Section 2 which show that the procuring requires to be done against the wishes of the victim. Therefore when we are imposing very drastic penalties, as we are doing, I think it is astonishing that those who are drafting this Bill should not have put in words showing that in applying these words to Section 2 they meant them to apply to heinous offences under Section 2 and not to less heinous offences. It was with a view to covering that point that I tried to induce your Lordships to accept my Amendment adding words covering Section 3. But I quite 121 realise the force of the argument of my noble and learned friend, and I shall not press my Amendment. In fact, I am quite satisfied in having brought the point to the attention of your Lordships.
As the noble Marquess has just observed, you have actually made procuring with the consent of the woman an offence which may be punished by flogging. The words "common prostitute" only apply to Section 1. A woman may be a common prostitute, and a person may procure her to go to a brothel elsewhere and yet he may be flogged. A woman may be frequenting a brothel in Liverpool, and a person may say to her "Come over to Manchester where there is a better opening," and you inflict flogging for that.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
My Lords, in moving to leave out Clause 2 I need not say much. I think the discussion that we have just had shows that when once you start on this career of flogging you never quite know where you are to stop. The noble Marquess was anxious to extend it to another section, and he drew from the Lord Chief Justice the interesting admission that some of the offences under the section it had been applied to were not necessarily very heinous offences. That shows what may happen when once you go in for flogging. I do not want to deal with the merits of flogging itself, because we had an excellent speech from my noble friend Lord Eversley as to the past history of flogging and as to its deterrent effect, with which I associate myself. If you apply flogging to one crime it seems to me that you will very soon be asked to apply it to a great many other crimes. For instance, the rape of a woman who is unwilling is about as bad a crime as any that is dealt with under this Bill. Your Lordships have been told that the punishment of flogging does not apply to that crime, and I think you will find that very soon there will be a plea for its extension to the crime of rape. It is a remedy that appeals to the natural manly view, but I venture to suggest that it is neither a wise nor a thought-out one, and it is not a remedy that the criminologist believes in or will encourage you in adopting. I know that a large majority are in favour of it in this House, 122 but I think it desirable to press this Amendment in order to give those of us who feel that the punishment of flogging should be discouraged in our law an opportunity of expressing this feeling. I see a considerable Bench of right rev. Bishops here to-day who, no doubt, are going to support flogging. The history of their votes in this House shows that they have supported other extreme measures. I think I am not wrong in saying that they supported the punishment of hanging for larceny, and therefore I do not think on this occasion that we can be rightly guided because the right rev. Prelates are going to support a particular course of action on this occasion. I believe the noble and learned Lord opposite referred to the case of a prison chaplain—
I beg the noble and learned Lord's pardon. I have also received a communication from a gentleman who was a prison chaplain and who feels very strongly on this matter. He is strongly opposed to flogging, and I have a letter from him in which he says that flogging is "neither beneficial to the sufferer nor to the administrator." I will not detain your Lordships longer, but will simply move that Clause 2 be deleted.
Leave out Clause 2.—(Earl Russell.)
THE LORD BISHOP OF ST. ALBANS
My Lords, I should like to state the point of view from which I regard this question. Many of us have come to this House to-day at a great sacrifice of time and by the putting aside of other work with the object of supporting this Bill. We have a very great desire that the Bill should pass, and I should be prepared to vote against any kind of Amendment which would endanger the passage of the Bill. Such a point as that which the noble Earl has raised has been thrashed out in the House of Commons and been decided there by considerable majorities. The noble Earl has spoken of this Bench as though we were advocates of flogging. I should like to say that I, at any rate, have had experience of parochial life, which has given me personal knowledge of what procuration means. My experience has shown me the horrible danger to which young girls are exposed. I should like a little 123 sympathy shown with the fathers and mothers of these girls themselves, and I think that sympathy with them would be better placed than sympathy with those who would come under the lash under the operation of this Bill. I entirely agree with what the noble Earl on the Cross Benches (Lord Desart) said to us to-day, that whenever there is a first conviction under this Bill it will not necessarily mean a first offence, but probably a very calculated offence and one which has been going on for a very long time. I hope, therefore, that your Lordships will pass this Bill practically in the form in which it has come to us from another place.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
The object of the Government is very much the same as was so well put by the right rev. Prelate—namely, to pass the Bill substantially in the form in which it has come to us from the House of Commons. It may be taken to represent general public opinion. Of course, there is great division on the question which my noble friend behind me has raised. The question of flogging is a very controversial one. My noble friend holds one view with regard to it and I hold another, perhaps not so very different from his, but I think there are certain offences with regard to which it is desirable to retain this punishment, and I think this is one. It has been said by the noble Marquess that under Clause 2 we have extended the power to flog very widely. I do not agree with him. Clause 2 has been extremely carefully drawn, and drawn to catch in its net the deliberate procurer. A procuress cannot come under it because there is no flogging of a woman, but the deliberate procurer comes in, and he is always deliberate because he has persuaded the unfortunate girl—
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
I do not know what the noble and learned Viscount means by "deliberate procurer." There is nothing more deliberate in the one section than in the other.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
The noble Marquess suggested that the consent of the girl made a difference to the offence. I think that the consent of the girl does not make the offence of the grown up person who deliberately persuades her a different kind of offence, and it is for that offence, tempered by the discretion of the Judge, that corporal punishment is retained in this Bill. Therefore I am not moved by the comment that we have gone very far in Clause 2 in applying flogging. As regards the general question, public opinion is in my view in favour of the use of this punishment for this class of offence. I think that what happened in another place showed it, and the current of opinion outside Parliament is to the same effect. Therefore as representing the Government I am wholly unable to agree with my noble friend who sits behind me that it would be a wise or a proper course on our part to in any way substantially alter the Bill in the way suggested.
I might say one word in reply to the right rev. Prelate. If he had done me the honour to read my speech on the Second Reading he would have seen that I expressly disclaimed sympathy with the persons against whom this punishment is directed. I do not think, therefore, that we are helped in our discussion by what the right rev. Prelate said. There is also the other point to which I have before referred which has a great bearing upon the punishment—namely, the different temperament of Judges and the different circumstances under which these things come up.
§ On Question, whether the clause proposed to be left out shall stand part of the Bill?
§ Their Lordships divided: Contents, 76; Not-Contents, 10.125
|Canterbury, L. Abp.||Abercorn, M. (D. Abercorn.)||Craven, E.|
|Haldane, V. (L. Chancellor.)||Lansdowne, M.||Cromer, E.|
|Salisbury, M.||Curzon of Kedleston, E.|
|Brandon, D. (D. Hamilton.)||Chesterfield, E. (L. Steward.)||Denbigh, E.|
|Devonshire, D.||Camperdown, E.||Halsbury, E.|
|Newcastle, D.||Cathcart, E.||Harrowby, E.|
|Londesborough, E.||Alverstone, L.||Forester, L.|
|Mar and Kellie, E.||Ashby St. Ledgers, L.||Granard, L. (E. Granard.)|
|Northesk, E.||Balfour, L.||Gwydir, L.|
|Selborne, E.||Barnard, L.||Hastings, L.|
|Westmeath, E.||Belhaven and Stenton, L.||Hatherton, L.|
|Allendale, V.||Blythswood, L.||Haversham, L. [Teller.]|
|Chilston, V.||Boston, L.||Herschell, L.|
|Falkland, V.||Channing, L.||Kinnaird, L.|
|Goschen, V.||Charnwood, L.||Lawrence, L.|
|Hutchinson, V. (E. Danoughmore.)||Chaworth, L. (E. Meath.)||Mac Donnell, L.|
|Clifford of Chudleigh, L.||Newton, L.|
|Knollys, V.||Colchester, L.||Oranmore and Browne, L.|
|Llandaff, V.||Colebrooke, L.||Ritchie of Dundee, L.|
|Dawnay, L. (V. Downe.)||Shute, L. (V. Barrington.)|
|Bangor, L. Bp.||De Mauley, T..||Southwark, L.|
|Bristol, L. Bp.||Desart, L. (E. Desart.)||Strachie, L.|
|St. Albans, L. Bp.||Digby, L.||Stuart of Castle Stuart, L. (E. Moray.)|
|St. David's, L. Bp.||Dunmore, L. (E. Dunmore.) [Teller.]|
|Sandhurst, L. (L. Chamberlain.)||Ellenborough, L.||Wolverton, L.|
|Addington, L.||Farquhar, L.||Zouche of Haryngworth, L.|
|Morley of Blackburn, V, (L. President.)||Ashton of Hyde, L.||Shaw, L.|
|Courtney of Penwith, L.||Stanley of Alderley, L. (L. Sheffield.)|
|Beauchamp E. [Teller.]||Emmott, L.|
|Russell, E. [Teller.]||Eversley, L.||Weardale, L.|
On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Resolved in the affirmative, and Amendment disagreed to accordingly.
§ Clause 2 agreed to.
§ Clause 3 agreed to.
§ Clause 4:
§ Determination of Tenancy of Premises on Conviction for permitting Use as Brothel, &c.
§ 4.—(1) Upon the conviction, after the passing of this Act, of the tenant, lessee, or occupier of any premises of knowingly permitting the premises, or any part thereof, to be used as a brothel, the landlord or lessor shall be entitled to require the person so convicted to assign the lease or other contract under which the said premises are held by him to some person approved by the landlord or lessor, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld, and, in the event of the person so convicted failing within three months to assign the lease or contract as aforesaid, the landlord or lessor shall be entitled to determine the lease or other contract but without prejudice to the rights or remedies of any party to such lease or contract accrued before the date of such determination. If the landlord or lessor should so determine the lease or other contract of tenancy the court which has convicted the tenant, lessee, or occupier shall have power to make a summary order for delivery of possession to the landlord or lessor.
§ (2) If the landlord or lessor after such conviction has been brought to his notice fails to exercise his rights under the foregoing provisions of this section and subsequently during the subsistence of the lease or contract any such offence is again committed in respect of the premises, the landlord or lessor shall be deemed to have knowingly aided 126 or abetted the commission of that offence unless he proves that he had taken all reasonable steps to prevent the recurrence of the offence.
§ (3) Where a landlord or lessor determines a lease or other contract under the powers conferred by this section and subsequently grants another lease or enters into another contract of tenancy to, with, or for the benefit of the same person without causing to be inserted in such lease or contract all reasonable provisions for the prevention of a recurrence of any such offence as aforesaid, he shall be deemed to have failed to exercise his rights under the foregoing provisions of this section, and any such offence as aforesaid committed during the subsistence of the subsequent lease or contract shall be deemed, for the purposes of this section, to have been committed during the subsistence of the previous lease or contract.
§ (4) A person quitting premises in Ireland held by him under a lease or contract which has been determined in pursuance of this Act shall not be entitled to compensation under the Town Tenants (Ireland) Act, 1906.
LORD BALFOUR op BURLEIGII
I want to ask a question about this clause. Subsection (2) says that if the landlord or lessor after such conviction has been brought to his notice fails to exercise his rights, and so on, he shall be deemed to have knowingly aided or abetted the commission of the offence unless he proves that he has taken all reasonable steps to prevent the recurrence of the offence. I want to ask what is the definition of having the conviction brought to the notice of the landlord. I quite agree, if the landlord knowingly does this thing, 127 that lie ought to be involved in the offence, but I would like to ask whether a mere verbal information is to be sufficient to bring the landlord under this clause. It seems to me that the Clerk of the Court or some official connected with the case should send a notice in writing to the landlord, and then there would be no doubt as to whether the landlord had or had not received notice.
I should like to repeat the question I asked on Second Reading on subsection (1) of this clause—namely, whether it would not be more convenient that the conviction should forfeit the lease then and there instead of having recourse to this process.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
In answer to the first question put by the noble Lord opposite, no jury or Court would ever convict a landlord on mere suspicion. The purpose of this clause is to hit the case of owners of premises who, in order to get a large rent, as I am afraid a certain number of persons do, let their premises for the purpose at which the clause strikes. There is no difficulty about a case of this kind, whereas it might be difficult for the Clerk of the Court to find the landlord or the lessor if there were an obligation upon him to give notice. That is not such a simple matter as it looks, and I think the situation is safe from the point of view of the question which was put. Then the noble Earl asks why it is not expedient to void the lease. We do not consider it expedient, for the reason that it would introduce further intricacies into the title to real property in this country. There are at present enough of them. Secondly, there may be cases in which the tenant has spent a good deal of money on the property, and although you want to punish him for the offence he has committed you do not want to make him forfeit his improvements to the landlord who may have contributed nothing. Therefore we think that you ought to give him the opportunity of assigning his lease to a respectable tenant. We think it better on the whole to have the clause in the form in which it stands than in the more drastic form suggested.
§ Clause 4 agreed to.
§ Clause 5 agreed to.128
§ Clause 6:
§ Amendments of 61 & 62 Vict c. 39, and 2 Edw. 7, c. 11.
§ 6.—(l) In section one of the Vagrancy Act, 1898, and in section one of the Immoral Traffic (Scotland) Act, 1902, in subsection (3) (which deals with the evidence, of living on the earnings of prostitution) there shall be substituted for the words "and has no visible means of subsistence" the words "or is proved to have exercised control, direction, or influence over the movements of a prostitute in such a manner as to show that he is aiding, abetting, or compelling her prostitution with any other person."
§ (2) The period of imprisonment with hard labour which may be awarded to a person deemed to be a rogue and vagabond under the Vagrancy Act, 1898, or to a person convicted summarily of a crime and offence under the Immoral Traffic (Scotland) Act, 1902, shall be increased to six months, but such person shall not be liable to be dealt with as an incorrigible rogue within the meaning of the Vagrancy Act, 1824.
§ (3) The Vagrancy Act, 1898, as amended by this section, shall extend to Ireland with this modification, that for the words "be deemed a rogue and vagabond within the meaning of the Vagrancy Act, 1824, and lie liable to be dealt with accordingly" there shall be substituted the words "be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months with hard labour."
§ (4) A person charged with an offence under the Vagrancy Act, 1898, or the Immoral Traffic (Scotland) Act, 1902, may, instead of being proceeded against in England as a rogue and vagabond, or in Scotland or Ireland summarily, be proceeded against on indictment, and on conviction on indictment shall be liable to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding two years, and, in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, the court may sentence the offender to be once privately whipped, and the number of strokes and the instrument with which they shall be inflicted shall be specified by the court in the sentence.
§ (5) The wife of a person charged with an offence under either of the said Acts may be called as a witness either for the prosecution or defence and without the consent of the person charged, but nothing in this provision shall affect a case where the wife of a person charged with an offence may at common law be called as a witness without the consent of that person.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I move, after the word "person" at the end of subsection (1), to insert the words "or generally." In the other House the clause originally stood without the words "with any other person," and people were concerned lest the ease of a man himself persuading a girl to have relations with him—in other words, mere seduction—should he covered by the clause, and the words "with ally other person" were inserted in order to make it clear that it was prostitution and not merely relation with himself that was struck at. The effect of that, 129 when we came to look at it, was that it was necessary t o prove that the prostitution was with a definite person, which might be extremely difficult, and we therefore propose to put in the words "or generally,"under which sending her into a brothel, for example, would be enough to satisfy the clause. The adding of the words "or generally" will show that it is prostitution that is aimed at, but not prostitution with any definite person.
Page 3, line 26, after ("person") insert ("or generally").—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
I quite agree with the noble and learned Viscount that the wording of the clause requires amendment. I only suggest to him that the simpler form of amendment surely would be to leave out the words "with any other person."
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
The point was raised in the House of Commons that it would cover a case of seduction or at any rate a case of prostitution with the man himself, and the House objected to it and put in the words "with any other person" to make it clear that the individual was not in peril. The words "or generally" were inserted by a very eminent criminal lawyer in the 1885 Act. They are taken from Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, "Any person who, with intent that any unmarried girl under the age of eighteen years should be unlawfully and carnally known by any man, whether such carnal knowledge is intended to he with any particular man, or generally," and so on. We followed the analogy of that in amending this clause.
§ LORD ALVERSTONE
I hope the Lord Chancellor's Amendment will be accepted. We know what the practice of the Criminal Law Amendment Act has been and we have had decisions on it, and I think it would be much more convenient to follow the form of that Act than to adopt a new one in this Bill.
§ LORD ALVERSTONE
Before the Lord Chancellor moves his next Amendment I desire to move to leave out from subsection (2) the words, "but such person shall not be liable to be dealt with as an incorrigible rogue within the meaning of the Vagrancy Act, 1824." I cannot understand how those words got in unless it was through some misunderstanding on the part of the powers that be in another place. Under the Act of 1898 the act of prostitution or soliciting or importuning for immoral purposes is made an offence, and if a person does that he shall be deemed to be a rogue and a vagabond within the meaning of the Vagrancy Act, 1824. There is a class of offence in London and in the large towns in this country for which the Police have been trying to get hold of offenders—sodomy and such crimes. We had as many as four or five cases before us last month in the Court of Criminal Appeal, and the number of cases is very large. The Act of 1898 made that an offence under the Vagrancy Act. For the first offence the man can only be treated as a rogue and vagabond; for the second offence, he may be sentenced to six months imprisonment, and he can be whipped; and it seems to me that when we are going to inflict whipping for another kind of offence we should not weaken the law in regard to a very disgusting offence as to which, ever since 1898, the Court of Quarter Sessions has had power to inflict whipping. I understand that these words were inserted in haste and without full consideration, and I think they had better be left out. Whether they render the next Amendment standing in the name of the Lord Chancellor unnecessary I do not know, but I think that the law should not be weakened in the respect I have pointed out.
Page 3, line 31, leave out from ("months") to the end of the subsection.—(Lord Alveretone.)
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
In my opinion the Amendment which my noble and learned friend has proposed is right, and I think I can account for how the words got in in another place. There was an impression there that there was no power to deal with these eases at Quarter Sessions, and between the insertion of the words and the Bill coming up here there was a decision of the Court of Criminal Appeal 131 which showed clearly that the power did exist and always had existed. The noble and learned Lord does not propose to add anything new to the law; he only intends to prevent part of the law being repealed. I think it was under a misunderstanding that the words were put in, and I am quite prepared to accept the noble and learned Lord's Amendment. It will involve a slight modification of my own Amendment which I will move afterwards.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I now move to insert at the end of this clause the words, "but nothing in this subsection shall affect the powers of a Court of summary jurisdiction to deal with a person deemed to be a rogue and vagabond under the Vagrancy Act, 1898, anything in any other Act to the contrary notwithstanding." It is a technical Amendment. Under Section 17 of the Summary Jurisdiction Act if there is a case where the sentence may be over three months the Court of summary jurisdiction cannot deal with it. We are now proposing to enable the Court of summary jurisdiction to award six months imprisonment. I am dealing now with quite a minor class of offence, an offence not involving flogging. A London magistrate can deal with such offences summarily, and we do not want them to be tried by juries. We therefore put in these words to enable a magistrate to keep his powers, notwithstanding the effect which the insertion of six instead of three months would have in bringing Section 17 of the Summary Jurisdiction Act into operation.
Page 3, after line 33, insert ("but nothing in this subsection shall affect the powers of a Court of summary jurisdiction to deal with a person deemed to be a rogue and vagabond under the Vagrancy Act, 1898, anything in any other Act to the contrary notwithstanding").—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
The new subsection which I now move is proposed with a view to carrying out a pledge given in the other House. An Amendment was moved in that House which would have extended the provisions to female persons living on the earnings of prostitution of women. Objection was taken to that on this ground, that the 132 effect of doing it would be to render liable to criminal procedure an aged or paralytic woman supported by her daughter who was a prostitute, or a young and innocent girl supported by her mother who, to provide food for her family, went on the street. The Amendment is designed to cover the difficulty which arises in those cases. The way the Government have done it is this. They have made a substantive new subsection, covering women as well as men, which enacts that every person of either sex who acts as a pimp, souteneur or bully, or otherwise for the purposes of gain aids or abets prostitution, shall be guilty of an offence under the Vagrancy Act, 1898, or in Scotland under the Immoral Traffic (Scotland) Act, 1902. I think that meets all that is wanted, and I move accordingly.
§ Amendment moved—
Page 3, line 40, after ("labour") insert a new subsection:
( ) Every person, of either sex, who acts as a pimp, souteneur, or bully, or otherwise for the purposes of gain aids or abets prostitution, shall be guilty of an offence under the Vagrancy Act, 1898, or in Scotland under the Immoral Traffic (Scotland) Act, 1902, and those Acts as amended and extended by this section shall apply accordingly."—(The Lord Chancellor.)
Does not the Vagrancy Act bring in flogging in this case?
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
No, except in the case of a second offence where a man is found to be an incorrigible rogue.
I would like to ask the noble and learned Viscount whether the words "pimp, souteneur, or bully" are words which are clearly understood?
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I think so. The magistrate or the Judge would have interpret what the words mean. Words had to be found, and those were the most suitable words that could be got.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
Well, they have occurred in a great deal of classical literature on this topic.
Page 4, line 8, after ("conviction") insert ("such second or subsequent conviction being a conviction on indictment") and after ("may") insert ("in addition to any tern of imprisonment awarded") and after ("offender") insert ("if a male")
Page 4, line 12, after ("wife") insert ("or husband")
Page 4, line 16, after ("wife") insert ("or husband").—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ LORD ASHTON OF HYDE
I should like to ask the Lord Chancellor a question. if I understand the Bill aright, under Clause 2 flogging can only be given in the case of a man who is tried before the High Court of justice, but in a case of flogging under Clause 6 he can be tried before a Court of Quarter Sessions. If that is so it seems to me a little hard on those who are convicted under Clause 6, because, after all, the crimes under Clause 6 are not as great as those under Clause 2, and it appears to me that the man who commits these crimes ought to have the greater protection of the High Court just as the man under Clause 2 has the protection of the High Court against flogging. I say so on the ground, as I read Clause 2, that it is merely an amendment of the Act of 1885, which lays down that all these cases shall go before the High Court and shall not go before a Court of Quarter Sessions. That is not the case with the Act of 1898, which governs the new clause, Clause 6, and I suggest that in all these cases prisoners ought to be tried before the High Court and not before a Court of Quarter Sessions. The Court of Quarter Sessions, as we know, has frequently a legally trained mind at the head of it. But very often the Chairmen of Quarter Sessions, with all respect to some I see 134 before me at this moment, have legally trained minds, and they are so accustomed to the laws of evidence as are the Judges of the High Court. Beyond that, as the Courts of Quarter Sessions are very much larger in number and the men sitting at these particular Courts of Quarter Sessions will hold very different; views, one man taking one view about flogging and another man taking another, it does seem to me that in this very serious punishment of flogging you will not have equality of treatment. I suggest, therefore, that all these cases ought to go before the High Court and. not before a Court of Quarter Sessions.
§ LORD ALVERSTONE
I think the noble Lord is under a little misapprehension. No indictment under the principal Act of 1885 can be tried at Quarter Sessions. Therefore so far as the offences are concerned they will be tried in the high Court on indictment. The only cases in which they can be tried at Quarter Sessions are those to which I have already referred dealing with particular offences under the Vagrancy Act of 1898. I think, therefore, that the Bill is satisfactory as it now stands.
§ Clause 6, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clause 7:
§ Restriction on Application of Act.
§ 7. This Act shall not, apply where proceedings have been instituted before the commencement of this Act.
THE MARQUESS OF SALTSBURY
These are very little more than drafting Amendments. The point is that Clause 7 is intended to bar cases where proceedings are actually pending, but as it is drawn it might bar any reference to proceedings which are not only pending but which have been decided before—in other words, account could not be taken of previous convictions. That is not intended, and these Amendments are merely designed to put that right.
Page 4, line 18, leave out ("where") and insert ("to").—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)
Page 4, lines 18 and 19, leave out ("have been instituted before") and insert ("pending at").(The Marquess of Salisbury.)
§ Clause 7, as amended, agreed to.135
§ Clause 8:
§ Short Title and Commencement.
§ (2) This Act shall come into force on the first day of January nineteen hundred and thirteen.
Page 4, line 21, after ("1912") insert ("and the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885, and this Act may be cited together as the Criminal Law Amendment Acts, 1885 to 1012").—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
I should like to ask whether the House thinks it is wise to pass the second subsection at all. I understand that those who are in favour of the Bill would like it to come into operation on its passing and not on the 1st of January, 1913. I am informed that those who are engaged in this traffic are exerting every effort to make money during the few days of grace which are left to them. That is the reason why so much pressure has been put upon your Lordships to pass the Bill without delay. There is tremendous pressure to get the Bill passed so that the last few days of grace to these scoundrels should be made as few as possible, and there is no particular reason why the Act should not come into force on its passing rather than leave them another week or two. If the Committee will assent to it, I beg to move to leave out subsection (2).
§ THE EARL OF HALSBURY
I have been informed, and I have every reason to believe it is accurate, that there is urgent necessity for this Bill. I have myself abstained from moving one or two Amendments which certainly were in my mind because I desired to do nothing whatever in the slightest degree to obstruct the passage of the Bill. I may add that to my mind the Bill is inadequate, and I hope it will be supplemented. What I would suggest hereafter to His Majesty's Government would be that they should make a conspiracy for this purpose a felony. No one but a lawyer will quite comprehend how very wide the net would become if that amendment were made. I only throw that out as a suggestion for His Majesty's Government to consider. But on the particular Amendment now before your Lordships I do trust that no delay will be placed in the way of this Bill coming into operation.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I rise at once to say that if the noble Marquess moves that Amendment I will accept it. As regards what the noble and learned Earl has said, it is quite true there must be a great deal of consideration of the law with a view to seeing where the meshes are weak, and that is not likely, I think, to be overlooked.
Leave out subsection 2.—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)
§ Clause 8, as amended, agreed to.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
Will the noble and learned Viscount say when he proposes to take the remaining stages of the Bill?
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
As this matter is so urgent I thought that possibly to-morrow we might suspend the Standing Orders and take the remaining stages of the Bill at the one sitting.
The Report of Amendments to be received Tomorrow, and Standing Order No. XXXIX to be considered in order to its being dispensed with, and Bill to be printed as amended.—(No. 182.)