HL Deb 16 March 1922 vol 49 cc565-6

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, you will be relieved to hear that this is practically an agreed measure. It is introduced with a view of protecting the names of associations incorporated by Royal Charter and also the distinctive uniforms, badges, and markings of such as may make use of them. In the popular phrase it is, of course, the Boy Scouts' Bill. Your Lordships may be interested to know that the Boy Scouts' uniform is protected by Act or Ordinance in the Dominions of Canada and New Zealand and in the Colonies of the Gold Coast, Gibraltar, British Guiana, Jamaica, Trinidad, and one or two other of the West India Islands. There have been motions of assent from nearly all the bodies who are so placed, notably, of course, the British Legion, King George's Fund for Sailors and the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. I will not read the long list which I have in my hand, and of which I have supplied the Government with a copy, in support of the proposal. I do not think there is any serious opposition to this measure, and in Committee I shall be quite prepared to consider any Amendments that may be moved by your Lordships. I content myself at the moment with merely making the Motion that stands in my name.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2ª.—(Viscount Burnham.)


My Lords, I do not desire to disagree with the noble Viscount, or to take up the time of the time of the House beyond saying this. The noble Viscount referred to this Bill as practically an agreed measure. I wish to indicate to him that I shall have an Amendment to move on behalf of at least two associations—the Salvation Army and the Young Men's Christian Association—which had started a scout movement before the formation of the Boy Scouts. They, however, are not incorporated—at least the Salvation Army is not, and it is not necessary, in their view, to be incorporated. They would not desire that any of their uniforms or badges which are settled by the regulation of the General of the Salvation Army should be affected or that the General of the Salvation Army should apply to the General of the Boy Scouts' Association any more than the General of the Boy Scouts' Association would wish to apply for his orders to the General of the Salvation Army.

It seems to me that this Bill goes rather far. It may have to be carefully considered in Committee so as to protect associations of the character I have named and, possibly, associations to which adult persons belong. The Bill does not discriminate between males and females, and it may be that such associations as the Girl Guides, or others that wear a uniform not so very different from that of the Boy Scouts, will have to consider whether they are sufficiently protected under the Bill. At the present time, however, I merely indicate that I shall hope to agree with the noble Viscount as 1.o the particular Amendment which it is my intention to bring forward.


My Lords, I rise merely to say that this Bill, in its present form, is one to which my right hon. friend sees no objection whatever. He is not in a position to say, if the Bill passes your Lordships' House, whether it will be possible to find time for it to proceed in another place; but, as I say, the Government offer no opposition to it. Of course, the question of its future depends upon the amount of opposition it may excite.

On Question, Bill read 2ª, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.