§ Brought from the Commons.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 1ª.—(Viscount Allendale.)
§ On Question, Bill read 1ª, and to be printed.541
§ VISCOUNT ALLENDALE
My Lords, this No. 2 Bill makes some small extensions of the Defence of the Realm Act, 1914, passed a few days ago, by which His Majesty in Council has power, during the continuance of the present war, to issue regulations as to the powers and duties of the Admiralty and Army Council and of the members of His Majesty's forces and other persons acting in his behalf, for securing the public safety and the defence of the realm; and His Majesty may, by such regulations, authorise the trial by courts martial and punishment of persons contravening any of the provisions of such regulations designed (a) to prevent persons communicating with the enemy or Obtaining information for that purpose or any purpose calculated to jeopardise the success of the operations of any of His Majesty's forces or to assist the enemy; or (b) to secure the safety of any means of communication, or of railways, docks, or harbours.
These emergency measures were hurriedly drawn, with the result that certain omissions took place. It has been found necessary to ask your Lordships to amend the Defence of the Realm Act. The No. 2 Bill which I am now submitting enables the military authorities to deal with the spreading of false reports in the same way as they can now deal with a communication of information to the enemy. It enables the Admiralty or Army Council to apply to training camps certain provisions which apply now only to defended harbours, such as the prohibition of signalling and the requirements that lights shall be extinguished after a certain hour and that all persons shall remain indoors after a certain hour at night. It enables the military authorities to exercise their existing powers for the acquisition or use of land or the making of by-laws without the existing restrictions such as consents of local authorities, publication in newspapers, etc., which occupy time and are inapplicable to war conditions.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2ª.—(Viscount Allendale.)
§ On Question (Standing Order No. XXXIX having been suspended), Bill read 2ª: Committee negatived: Bill read 3ª, and passed. (No. 266.)