HL Deb 18 December 1979 vol 403 cc1541-2

3.6 p.m.

The Earl of KINNOULL

My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time. Perhaps I may briefly explain that, following certain amendments during the passage of this Bill, it has been reduced considerably in size. There are, however, certain points that have been raised following the amendments by those concerned outside. These will be examined with care and taken up in another place, by my honourable friend Mr. David Crouch. I am grateful for the interest and attention which this House has given to the Bill. My Lords, I beg to move.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(The Earl of Kinnoull.)

3.7 p.m.


My Lords, I am sure that all noble Lords will join with me in paying tribute to my noble friend Lord Kinnoull, who has guided this Bill through all its stages in your Lordships' House. We are all indebted to him for focusing our attention on an area of human experience which raises important issues for us all. The Government find themselves somewhat at variance with the views of my noble friend Lord Kinnoull about the scale of the problems which are thought to stem from defects in existing controls over the use of hypnotism in places of public entertainment. The views which we have since received from the licensing authorities on this point are somewhat divided, and I have to tell the House that the Government remain unconvinced of the existence of serious abuse under the present law.

As I am sure the House is aware, the future of this Bill is somewhat uncertain. Pressure on parliamentary time is such that when the Bill reaches another place further progress will be very difficult indeed. But this is not to say that my noble friend and other noble Lords have wasted their time on the Bill. The discussion which has been provoked has served a very useful purpose, in that it has caused us to look again at the small but not unimportant piece of legislation which has stood for some 27 years, and has created in the minds of both the public and those more closely involved in the practice of this skill an awareness of the difficult questions to which it gives rise. For this we are indeed grateful to my noble friend.

3.9 p.m.


My Lords, the debates which your Lordships have had on this Bill have indeed been very valuable. On a previous occasion, my noble friend Lord Wells-Pestell had the opportunity from these Benches to express views about it. I have nothing further to add to that, and would only join the noble Lord, Lord Sandys, in congratulating the noble Earl, Lord Kinnoull, on his conduct of the Bill through this House.

On Question, Bill read 3a, and passed, and sent to the Commons.