HL Deb 03 August 1965 vol 269 cc120-6

[The references are to Bill [107] as first printed for the House of Commons.]

Clause 1, page 1, line 17, leave out ("without prejudice to that generality") and insert ("subject to that general duty")

Clause 1, page 1, line 19, after ("utility") insert ("and efficiency")

Clause 1, page 1, line 22, leave out from ("containing") to ("of") in line 23 and insert ("the numbers")

Page 2, line 1, leave out ("last preceding") and insert ("to which the report relates")

Clause 3, page 2, line 24, leave out subsection (3) and insert— ("(3) The Registrar General may, with the approval of the Secretary of State, direct that any other premises shall be used for the deposit of any registers or records in the custody of the Registrar General by virtue of this or any other Act, and such premises, so long as they are so used, shall be deemed for the purposes of the last foregoing subsection to be part of the General Register Office.")

Clause 4, page 2, line 39, after ("Act") insert (", including salaries or remuneration of officers appointed by him,")

Clause 6, page 3, line 18, after ("with") insert ("the")

Clause 6, page 3, line 20, leave out ("or dates")

Clause 7, page 4, line 16, at end, insert ("(in this Act referred to as 'senior registrars')")

Clause 7, page 4, line 45, leave out ("those functions") and insert ("his functions under this or any other Act")

Page 5, line 42, after ("authority") insert ("after consultation with the Registrar General")

Page 6, line 2, at end, insert (", or any person who, but for such service of his as may be so specified, would be such a person, officer or servant as aforesaid,")

Page 6, line 2, line 25, leave out ("may be prescribed for that appointment") and insert ("the Registrar General may from time to time determine")

Clause 8, page 6, line 33, leave out ("strong fire-resisting boxes") and insert ("fireproof safes or cabinets")

Page 7, line 11, leave out ("or strong box") and insert (", safe or cabinet")

Clause 10, page 7, line 35, leave out ("register boxes") and insert ("safes, cabinets")

Clause 10, page 7, line 40, leave out ("power") and insert ("control")

Clause 14, page 9, line 17, leave out first ("and") and insert ("or")

Clause 14, page 9, line 17, leave out second ("and") and insert ("or")

Clause 14, page 9, line 22, leave out from beginning to ("twenty-one") and insert ("within")

Clause 15, page 10, line 9, leave out ("before the expiration of") and insert ("within")

Clause 21, page 13, line 38, after ("shall") insert (", so far as applicable,")

Page 14, line 9, after ("that") insert ("to the best of his knowledge and belief")

Clause 23, page 15, line 35, leave out ("before the expiration of") and insert ("within")

Clause 31, page 19, line 41, after ("her") insert ("within eight days from the date of service of the notice")

Clause 31, page 19, line 42, leave out from ("registrar") to end of line 44

Page 20, line 3, leave out ("before the date specified therein")

Clause 37, page 22, line 6, after ("payment") insert ("to him")

Clause 38, page 22, line 21, after ("payment") insert ("to him")

Clause 38, page 22, line 30, after ("payment") insert ("to him")

Clause 40, page 22, line 39, at beginning, insert ("Subject to the following subsection,")

Clause 40, page 22, line 42, leave out from ("certificate") to ("shall") in line 43

Clause 40, page 22, line 44, at end, insert— ("(2) An abbreviated certificate based on information contained in the Adopted Children Register maintained under section 22(1) of the Adoption Act 1958 shall be in such form as may be prescribed, shall not include any reference to adoption, and may be obtained only from the Registrar General.")

Clause 42, page 23, line 22, leave out subsection (2)

Clause 42, page 23, line 42, leave out ("clerical error") and insert ("such type of error as he may specify")

Clause 43, page 24, line 10, leave out ("or") and insert (", and, without prejudice to the provisions of section 24 of the Adoption Act 1958 relating to the giving or taking of a new name,")

Clause 43, page 24, line 12, leave out ("the Adoption Act 1958") and insert ("that Act")

Clause 43, page 24, line 16, leave out ("before the expiration of") and insert ("within")

Clause 43, page 24, line 20, leave out ("before the expiration of") and insert ("within")

Clause 43, page 24, line 26, leave out from ("if") to ("in") and insert ("the name was changed or given otherwise than")

Clause 43, page 24, line 39, at end, insert ("; in this definition, in the case of an adopted child, the references to the father and mother or to the parents of a child shall be construed as references to the adoptive parents of the child.")

Clause 44, page 27, line 16, after ("extract") insert (", or in any abbreviated certificate of birth,")

Leave out Clause 47

After Clause 47, insert the following new clause—

Search of parochial registers, &c, and provision of extracts therefrom

(".On payment to him of such fee or fees as may be prescribed, the Registrar General shall at any time when the General Register Office is open for that purpose—

  1. (a) cause a search to be made of the aforesaid parochial registers or any copies or indexes thereof on behalf of any person or permit that person to search the registers, copies or indexes himself, and
  2. (b) issue to any person an extract of any entry in the said registers or copies which that person may require.")

After Clause 47, insert the following new clause—

Decrees of court altering status

(".Where a decree altering the status of any person has been granted by any competent court the clerk of court shall where no appeal has been made against such decree, on the expiration of the time within which such an appeal may be made, or where an appeal has been made against such decree, on the conclusion of any appellate proceedings, notify the import of such decree in the prescribed form to the Registrar General who shall thereupon cause an appropriate entry to be made in the Registrar of Corrections Etc.")

Clause 51, page 28, line 33, after ("be") insert ("served").

Clause 52, page 29, line 44, leave out ("which") and insert ("if such reproduction").

Schedule 1, page 33, line 18, leave out paragraph 3.

Schedule 2, page 35, line 12, at end, insert—

("2 & 3 Geo. 6. c. 34. The Marriage (Scotland) Act 1939. Section 1(5).")

Schedule 2, page 35, line 16, at end, insert—

("7 & 8 Eliz. 2. c. 5. The Adoption Act 1958. In section 22(6) the words 'with regard to the registration of names given in baptism or without baptism after registration of birth and'.")


My Lords, I beg to move that the Commons Amendments be now considered. I shall propose to your Lordships in due course that these Amendments be taken en bloc, but it may be for the convenience of the House if at this stage I say a few words about some of the Amendments. Generally speaking, the Amendments are of a drafting nature; but there are one or two exceptions to which I think it would be proper to make some particular reference.

Amendment No. 11 (to Clause 7, at page 5, line 42) really arises from an Amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Drumalbyn, when the Bill was being considered in your Lordships' House. At that time he proposed that the words "with the consent of the Registrar General" should be inserted in Clause 7(10). At that time I was not in a position to accept the Amendment, because it was a matter for the normal Whitley negotiation machinery. It was felt, however, that there was quite some useful purpose in the Amendment suggested by the noble Lord, and the opportunity was accordingly taken in the interval to have discussions. As a result, it became clear that an Amendment, not quite in the terms of the original one but moving quite a long way towards it, would not meet with any objection from any of the local authorities. The Amendment which is now before your Lordships' House, which was accepted in another place, obliges the local registration authority to consult with the Registrar General before determining the remuneration and allowances. I think it will commend itself, in particular, to the noble Lord, Lord Drumalbyn.

Amendments Nos. 12 and 13 (also to Clause 7, at page 6) are, perhaps, typical of one or two others. When the Registrar General and his staff started the work of drafting out the regulations which will be necessary under this Bill, they found that in certain respects the Bill did not in fact do all that is necessary to enable the regulations to be put out in the most suitable form. Amendments Nos. 12 and 13, are two which flow from this particular set of circumstances; and I would draw your Lordships' attention to them. Amendment No. 12 ensures that compensation will be payable to any of the registrars' staff who may be called up for National Service. Amendment No. 13 removes the need to prescribe qualifications, which would thereby become mandatory, and gives the Registrar General discretion to vary or modify de sirable qualifications where that is necessary. The particular field where this arises is where part-time registrars are needed and where it is not always possible to get people with the minimum qualifications who are within the prescribed age limits. It is sometimes necessary to appoint a man over the age of 60. I may say, in passing, that it is not intended to depart from the other two minimum qualifications, which are that the registrar should be of good character and be able to write legibly.

The next Amendment to which I wish to draw your Lordships' attention is Amendment No. 23, which is to Clause 21, at page 14, line 9. This relates to a declaration about a still-birth. As the Bill was worded when it left this House it placed an obligation in relation to the declaration of a still-birth, which could be reasonably made by a medical practitioner or a certified midwife, but perhaps was beyond the competence of anyone else. The Amendment, by inserting the words "to the best of his knowledge and belief" gives a qualification which is desirable where the declaration must be made by someone who does not fall within one or the other of these two categories to which I have referred.

Amendment No. 33 (to Clause 40, at page 22, line 44) inserts a provision about the giving of an abbreviated certificate in relation to adopted children. This is something which has been done for some years, but it is not absolutely certain that within the Registration Acts there is statutory authority for the giving of this abbreviated certificate. It was felt in another place that the opportunity should be taken to make the position absolutely clear, although I believe that the noble Lord, Lord Drumalbyn, may say that there is, in fact, some authority in the Adoption Acts.

The next Amendment in which I think that your Lordships would be particularly interested is Amendment No. 44—the new clause relating to search of parochial registers. The effect of the new clause, in place of Clause 47, which was inserted by this House and deleted in another place by Amendment No. 43, is to bring it into line with Clauses 37 and 38; that is to say, the search of parochial registers may be made by the staff of the Registrar-General's Department as well as by the applicant. As Clause 47 was worded, there was no specific authority given to the staff to make such search, whereas where postal application was made, the search could be made only by a member of the staff. There are other circumstances in which it would be desirable that the staff should make the search in relation particularly to valuable old parochial registers, where it is necessary to make absolutely certain that they are in the same condition at the end of the search as they were at the start.

Finally, Amendment No. 45 refers to another new clause inserted in another place which makes provision for an intimation to the Registrar-General of decrees altering the status of any person to be made in the prescribed form by the clerk of the court. This links with some modifications of substance to subsection (5) of the Act of 1855 which was not adequately covered in the Bill as it left your Lordships' House. I do not think it is necessary for me to make particular reference to any of the other Amendments made in another place. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Commons Amendments be now considered.—(Lord Hughes.)


The Question is, That the Amendments be now considered. There will, of course, be an opportunity for any noble Lord to move that this House doth agree, or doth not agree, with the Commons in their Amendments.


My Lords, I think it only necessary for me to thank the noble Lord, Lord Hughes, for his explanation, and to say that, for my part at any rate, I express a welcome to all the Amendments from another place.

On Question, Motion agreed to.


My Lords, with the leave of the House, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendments, 1 to 50, en bloc.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendments.—(Lord Hughes)

On Question, Motion agreed to.