HL Deb 22 July 1988 vol 499 c1601

64 Clause 21, page 15, line 12, leave out '(2)' and insert '(4)'.

65 Page 15, line 33, leave out from beginning to 'or' in line 36.

Earl Ferrers

My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 64 and 65. Perhaps I may speak also to Amendments Nos. 66, 68 and 350.

These amendments make a number of small changes to Clauses 21 and 22, which deal retrospectively with the admissibility of historic documents—such as diaries, sletters and business documents. Important amendments tightening the drafting of these provisions were made in your Lordships' House at an earlier stage. These amendments refine those changes.

Briefly, Amendment No. 64 corrects a technical error in Clause 21. Amendments Nos. 65 and 68 delete from Clause 21 and reinstate in Clause 22 one of the conditions which may render a document admissible. That is because the standing committee in another place considered it an inappropriate consideration for the personal documents covered by Clause 21, where one would expect the person to remember the incident recorded if it is to have any credence in court.

Amendment No. 66 improves the drafting of the condition relating to intimidation. Your Lordships will recall that this condition was inserted at the suggestion of the noble Lord, Lord Hutchinson of Lullington. It is one of several most helpful suggestions, if I may say so, which he made to improve this part of the Bill. Some noble Lords expressed concern that the drafting was somewhat obscure and complex, and my noble friend Lord Caithness undertook to consider whether it might be improved. Amendment No. 66 is the result of that consideration.

Amendment No. 350 modifies the application of one of the conditions in Clause 21 to service courts to suit the different circumstances of such courts.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 64 and 65.—(Earl Frrers.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.