§ . In section 1(l) of the Indecency with Children Act 1960 (indecent conduct towards young child), for "fourteen" there is substituted "sixteen".").
§ The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, we are in similar territory with this amendment. I believe that if I continue to agree with the noble Baroness we shall both be dismissed immediately from our respective Front Benches. However, many of the points raised in our earlier debates were extremely serious. Where we were able to meet the points, I hope that it will be seen that we tried to do so.
§ This amendment is grouped with Amendments Nos. 32 and 57. At present it is an offence under Section 1 of the Indecency with Children Act 1960 for a person to commit an act of gross indecency with a child under the age of 14 or to incite a child under that age to such an act. The first new clause would raise the age of a child against whom the offence could be committed from 13 to 15. In Northern Ireland a similar offence of indecent conduct towards a child is to be found in Section 22 of the Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1968 and applies to children under the age of 14. The second new clause would raise the age of a child against whom the offence could be committed in Northern Ireland from 13 to 16.
§ I hope that the noble Baroness will again be able to say that this concession is in accord with the underlying theme of what she urged upon us on the earlier occasions. I beg to move.
§ Baroness Blatch
My Lords, if I carry on like this, I believe that I shall be in danger of being drummed out of the Brownies. That will come to an end temporarily, but I am deeply grateful to the Minister because I know that he has worked very hard to press the arguments in another place.
§ On Question, amendment agreed to.
Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 32:
After Clause 37, insert the following new clause—