HL Deb 11 July 1927 vol 68 cc318-9

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, I will trouble your Lordships for a very few minutes in inviting you to read this Bill a second time. Your Lordships have already had this Bill before you, not exactly in the form in which it is now, but doing the same thing in a slightly different way. The Bill was introduced and passed through all its stages, after having been examined by a Select Committee, which took a great deal of evidence from all manner of people. In particular, evidence was given that it was of the utmost importance to prevent people engaged in agriculture from being really deliberately swindled when they had to bring their cattle and other goods to market. The Bill was read a third time by your Lordships, but was not, proceeded with in the other House simply for want of time.

This Bill was introduced in another place at the beginning of this Session. It has gone through all its stages there, and now comes to your Lordships in the state in which I would ask your Lordships to read it a second time. It provides that if any "dealer," by which is meant a man who gets his living by dealing at auctions, offers a gift or any other consideration to any person not to bid against him at that auction, or who otherwise behaves in a way in which it is notorious that people do behave who belong to "rings" at auctions, that shall be a criminal offence. It is provided, in order that the Act—if it should become an Act—may not bear hardly upon people, that no prosecution should take place except on the fiat of the Attorney-General. I do not think I ought to detain your Lordships longer because you have considered the Bill very carefully before. Of course, if there are any matters to be considered in Committee, that can be done.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Darling.)


My Lords, it, may be for the convenience of the House if I stated briefly and at once the position of the Home Office with regard to this Bill. When my noble friend introduced it some time ago the Home Office did express doubt as to whether it would achieve the objects for which it was designed, but now that this Bill is in a somewhat different form and has gone through the scrutiny of a Select Committee and also some very considerable discussion in another place, the Home Office has not the smallest hesitation in recommending it as a Bill which may possibly do much good.

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