§ Lord Jenkins of Putney
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Why the Attorney-General is requiring Exit the Voluntary Euthanasia Society to cease distribution and to destroy all existing stocks of its Guide to Self-Deliverance in England and Wales while no such requirement is being sought or enforced in Scotland; and what the position is in Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Orkney and Shetland.
§ The Lord Chancellor
The Attorney-General has commenced proceedings in the High Court seeking a declaration that the distribution of the Exit booklet,Guide to Self-Deliverance, constitutes an offence contrary to Section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961 or an attempt to commit such an offence. The 1961 Act is limited to England and Wales. The Scottish branch of Exit has distributed a similar booklet in Scotland, where suicide, and aiding and abetting suicide, are no longer regarded as crimes. Her Majesty's Government are not aware that any persons in Northern Ireland are distributing a similar booklet there. Nor are Her Majesty's Government aware that persons in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man are distributing similar booklets in those islands: in any event, Her Majesty's Government are not responsible for the internal affairs of those islands. Scottish law applies in Orkney and Shetland.
House adjourned at twenty-five minutes past three o'clock.