§ Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.
§ LORD AMMON
My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend the Earl of Listowel I beg to move that this Bill be read a Third time.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(Lord Amman.)
§ LORD BROUGHSHANE
My Lords, I am indeed glad to be present this afternoon when this Bill receives a Third Reading. As is well known to your Lordships I have taken a great interest in this matter for a good many years. The Bill just passed will relieve the forebodings and anxieties of quite a considerable number of our fellow citizens. There are approximately 53,000 illegitimate births in this country every year, and therefore at the end of fifteen years, when these children will have attained adolescence, some 800,000 persons born out of wedlock will be in existence. Many of these young people have in the past lived in a state of foreboding of the day when they would have to produce a birth certificate which would disclose the fact of their illegitimacy. I trust that this Bill will relieve those forebodings and anxieties as well as the fears of persons who have adopted children and dread that it should be disclosed that such children are not their own. I agree with the noble and learned Viscount, the Lord Chancellor, that the Government are entitled to praise at the promptitude with which they have dealt with this matter. I personally am very grateful to them.
§ On Question, Bill read 3a, and passed.