HL Deb 05 April 1944 vol 131 cc425-6

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, in moving the Second Reading of this Bill, I would call attention to the fact that Clauses 1 and 2 of the Bill are in the usual form, and there is this year only one very simple matter which I need mention. That is in Clause 3, which contains an amendment of Section 176 A of the Army Act, which was added to the Army Act, as your Lordships will remember, last year. That section provides for the application of the Act to certain members of the Women's Forces; for example, the Auxiliary Territorial Service. After last year's amendment had been passed, the Elliot Committee recommended that members of Voluntary Aid Detachments enrolled for employment under the Army Council should also be declared to be members of the Armed Forces of the Crown and that the Army Act should be applied to them. As an interim measure the Defence (Women's Forces) Regulations, 1941, were amended by Statutory Rules and Orders,. 1943, No. 1554, last October to give effect to this recommendation so far as effect could be given by Defence Regulations. Your Lordships will realize, however, that it is desirable that Section 176 A of the Army Act should also be amended in the same sense, and Clause 3 of this Bill provides accordingly.

The purpose of the proviso to Clause 3 is to continue in force the instructions which were issued by the Army Council under the provisions of Regulation 713 of the Defence (Women's Forces) Regulations with regard to the adaptation and modification of the Army Act in relation to members of Women's Voluntary Aid Detachments enrolled for employment under the Army Council; otherwise the instructions would have to be re-issued. A similar provision is contained in Section 7 of the Army and Air Force (Annual) Act, 1943, which, as I have stated, added Section 176A to the Army Act.

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

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