HL Deb 21 July 1967 vol 285 cc568-70

2.17 p.m.

Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time. Before we conclude our proceedings on the Bill, I should like to put on record the answer to a point raised in Committee on Clause 2 by the noble Lord, Lord Denham. The noble Lord asked whether the Post Office intended to provide publicity material, for use in television shops, to explain to the customer that his name and address will be given to the Post Office by the dealer. The answer is, I am glad to say, that this is my right honourable friend's intention. Hand-outs will be made available for dealers to give, if they wish, to their customers to explain why new measures against licence evasion are needed. These hand-outs will make it clear that, in giving the customer's name and address to the Post Office, the dealer is discharging a statutory obligation. These points will also be put across in the Press publicity to be mounted by the Post Office. My right honourable friend and I are glad to have this opportunity of making these plans known.

I am most grateful to the noble Lords, Lord Denham, Lord Airedale, Lord Strabolgi, and other noble Lords, for their constructive and helpful approach to our proceedings on this Bill. There may still be some evaders who do not yet realise what the implications of this Bill are for them, if they persist in their evasion, if they persist by their cheating in extracting a subsidy from the law-abiding majority who have licences for their sets. There are two things the evader should realise. First, he must expect to be found out, and secondly, he will be liable to a fine of up to £50 for a first offence. The Bill provides a deterrent of the right order. My right honourable friend does not want to prosecute evaders. He wants them to get licences. That is why he has said that no evader need fear prosecution if, before he is detected he goes and gets a licence. He will not be prosecuted. He will not be asked awkward questions. But, for those who will not comply with the law, the passing of this Bill will give my right honourable friend the means of catching up with them and the courts the means of imposing appropriate penalties on them. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(Baroness Phillips.)


My Lords, I should like to say how grateful I am to the noble Baroness for what she has said. We are grateful, too, for the charm with which she accepted some Amendments, even though they were only drafting Amendments. I hope she will not think me churlish if I say that, acceptable though the acceptance of these Amendments is in itself, it does not really make up for the intransigence that she and her right honourable friend sometimes show over Amendments of more substance.


My Lords, as this is a Third Reading and not a Second Reading debate, I shall be brief. I should like to associate myself with what the noble Lord, Lord Denham, has said, and to congratulate my noble friend Lady Phillips on steering this ship safely to port. I should also like to thank her for the considerable interest that she has taken, often extending far beyond the brief, and for the co-operation that we have received. I think we have been able to improve this Bill to a considerable extent. It is a good Bill, and now that it will shortly become law I wish it well.

On Question, Bill read 3a, with the Amendments.


My Lords, I should like to express my appreciation on behalf of my right honourable friend both to the noble Lord, Lord Denham, and my noble friend Lord Strabolgi. One realises that they both have very special knowledge of the matters under discussion, particularly in relation to this Bill, and this was greatly appreciated by my right honourable friend. As has been said on behalf of the Government, the Amendments were of a constructive character. I hope that perhaps the noble Lord, Lord Denham, can take heart from the fact that there may be more modifications in the future if he persists, as I am sure he will, with Amendments to Bills of this kind. I am grateful to both noble Lords for enabling me to take this important piece of legislation fairly swiftly through the House. My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill do now pass.

Moved, That the Bill do now pass.—(Baroness Phillips.)

On Question, Bill passed, and returned to the Commons.