Clause 8. — (Miscellaneous savings.)

Orders of the Day — Shops (Sunday Trading Restriction) Bill. – in the House of Commons on 1st May 1936.

Alert me about debates like this

11.33 a.m.

Photo of Mr Pierse Loftus Mr Pierse Loftus , Lowestoft

I beg to move, in page 8, line 31, after "hour," to insert, by reason of his having served a customer after that hour. I have been asked to move this Amendment by the draftsman, who says it is necessary in order to emphasize and make clear the point that, under the provisions of the existing Shops Act, the shop has to be, as it were, physically closed after the closing hour.

Photo of Captain James Duncan Captain James Duncan , Kensington North

I beg to second the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

11.34 a.m.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson , Hitchin

I beg to move, in page 8, line 42, after "hotel," to insert "or club."

Sub-section (4) of Clause 8 refers solely to hairdressers and barbers, and the object of this Amendment is simply to make it possible for hairdressers and barbers to attend members of clubs not less freely than residents in hotels. It is a widespread custom throughout the country for hairdressers and barbers to be in attendance at clubs on Sundays, and, if the Bill permits them to be in attendance at hotels, I can see no reason why that permission should not be extended to clubs. I should have preferred to give the hairdressers and barbers a full day's rest on (Sunday and exclude hotels, but the Standing Committee decided that hairdressers and barbers should work seven days a week in hotels. I suppose there are some 4,000 or 5,000 hotels which have their barbers' shops, and I see no reason why the 1,000 or 2,000 clubs which have hairdressers and barbers should not also be able to obtain their services on Sundays. It does not, in the long run, affect the working hours of the men, as they are governed by the Shops Act and other legislation outside the scope of the Bill altogether. By putting in "or club" we simply put clubs in the same position as hotels in this respect.

Photo of Major Sir Derrick Gunston Major Sir Derrick Gunston , Thornbury

Will not the acceptance of the Amendment mean that barbers or hairdressers working in clubs will be obliged to work seven days a week?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson , Hitchin

Not more than in hotels. The Shops Acts, 1912, and other legislation makes it quite clear that if a person works on a Sunday be should get compensatory holidays at other times in the year. It will not affect the law as hours of employment are concerned.

Photo of Mr John Leslie Mr John Leslie , Sedgefield

Is this to be limited to clubs which already possess hairdressing establishments?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson , Hitchin

The Amendment does not preclude fresh clubs opening fresh hairdressers' shops any more than it precludes fresh hotels opening fresh hairdressing shops. So far as a barber who comes into a club is concerned, he differs in no way from a barber who enters a hotel in order to give his services to some private person. That, according to Halsbury's Laws of England, is legal, provided the man is a resident in the club.

Photo of Mr Pierse Loftus Mr Pierse Loftus , Lowestoft

There is a growing tendency to use what are called residential or week-end country clubs. They are to a large extent almost identical with hotels. The promoters feel that there is a case made out for this Amendment, and that these clubs should be treated exactly like hotels. They authorise me to suggest that the Amendment should be accepted.

11.39 a.m.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

I would ask the Home Office to look very closely at this Amendment. There does not seem on the face of it to be any reason why hairdressing should not be carried on in respect of people who are resident in the club, but the Barbers Act, passed a few years ago, has been violated very severely in some parts of the country. There is no definition of club in this wording. A few people living in a house might call themselves a club and they could carry on the business of hairdressing in that way. Would this riot extend the employment of barbers on Sunday? I am very much afraid it would. We are not catering for the 98 per cent. of decent folk who will carry out their obligations under the law. We have to deal with the two or three per cent. who find all manner of ways and means of getting round the law. Before we part with the Amendment I should like to hear what the Home Office has to say about it.

11.40 a. m.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

In view of the fact that the hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr.

Loftus) and his friends have accepted the Amendment, we see no reason to oppose it, but in view of what the hon. Gentleman has said we will certainly look into it more closely than we should otherwise have done. It was legal to employ barbers in hotels for seven days a week before this Bill, but they will now come under the compensatory holiday provisions. Therefore, there is a very considerable element of protection from that point of view, and that will apply to employés of barbers who work in clubs as well.

Photo of Mr George Griffiths Mr George Griffiths , Hemsworth

If a steward in a working men's club has not had time to shave himself on Saturday and is a resident in the club, a barber can walk in and shave him, can he not?

Photo of Mr Albert Alexander Mr Albert Alexander , Sheffield, Hillsborough

The Amendment is much more dangerous than that. This will not be confined to the hairdressing of men. It will apply to what is a much more extensive business—the hairdressing of women. An Amendment of this kind will lead to the formation of clubs for that purpose. It is most inadvisable to let it go to another place as if this House has approved it.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

I do not know if the right hon. Gentleman appreciates that this has to be a residential club. I do not imagine that women will be ready to immure themselves in a special institution for the purpose of having their hair dressed.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

There are several clubs in London already for women. I should not be surprised if there are tens of thousands of women in clubs in London, and the institution is still growing.

11.44 a.m.

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

Surely there is a further difficulty. It was only a few weeks ago that the hon. Gentleman's chief was explaining to us the difficulty of bogus clubs. Large blocks of residential flats frequently have arrangements whereby food can be obtained, and they are not very dissimilar from clubs. What is to prevent a hairdressing club being formed by all the residents in a block of flats with a room provided where a hairdressing business can be carried on? All the ingenuity of men and women will be used to get round the law. This is really a most dangerous addition to the Bill unless there is some very strict definition of what a residential club is.

Division No. 156.]AYES.[11.45a.m.
Allen, Lt.-Col J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd)Grimston, R. V.Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Apsley, LordHamilton, Sir G. C.Palmer, G. E. H.
Aske, Sir R. W.Hannon, Sir P. J. H.Patrick, C. M.
Beaumont, M. W. (Aylesbury)Harris, Sir P. A.Penny, Sir G.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)Harvey, G.Radford, E. A.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G.Heneage, Lieut. -Colonel A. p.Ralkes, H. V. A. M.
Brocklebank, C. E. R.Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.Rankin, R.
Castlereagh, ViscountHulbert, N. J.Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Cautley, Sir H. S.Kerr, J. G. (Scottish Universities)Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)
Cnannon, H.Lamb, Sir J. Q.Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)
Choriton, A. E. L.Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)Ropner, Colonel L.
Cobb, Sir C. S.Llewellin, Lieut-Col. J. J.Rowlands, G.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)Lloyd, G. W.Salmon, Sir I.
Critchley, A.Loftus, P. C.Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)
Cross, R. H.Lovat-Fraser, J. A.Southby, Comdr. A. R. J.
Cruddas, Col. B.Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)Spears, Brig. -Gen. E. L.
Davies, Major G. F. (Yeovil)Manningham-Buller, Sir M.Strickland, Captain W. F.
De Chair, S. S.Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H, D. R.Tate, Mavis C.
Duncan, J. A. L.Markham, S. F.Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Elliston, G. S.Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.Tufnell, Lieut. -Com. R. L.
Foot, D. M.Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)Turton, R. H.
Fremantle, Sir F. E.Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)Wakefield, W. W.
Ganzoni, Sir J.Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.)Ward, Lieut.- Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Gledhill. G.Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)Wayland, Sir W. A.
Gluckstein, L. H.Moreing, A. C.Womersley, Sir W. J.
Goodman, Col. A. W.Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H.
Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J.Naylor, T. E.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbre, W.)Neven-Spence, Maj. B. H. H.Sir Arnold Wilson and Mr. Liddall.
NOES.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir F. DykeGardner, B. W.Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)
Adamson, W. M.Green, W. H. (Deptford)Oliver, G. H.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)Paling, W.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)Parkinson, J. A.
Banfield, J. W.Gunston, Capt. D. W.Potts, J.
Barnes, A. J.Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)Rawson, Sir Cooper
Batey, J.Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)
Benson, G.Harbord, A.Ritson, J.
Broad, F. A.Henderson, J. (Ardwick)Rowson, G.
Brooke, W.Holdsworth, H.Simpson, F. B.
Burke, W. A.Holland, A.Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Charleton, H, C.Holmes. J. S.Smith, E. (Stoke)
Chater, D.Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Crossley, A. C.Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)Taylor, R. J, (Morpeth)
Daggar, G.Keeling, E. H.Thorne, W.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.Tinker, J. J.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Leckie, J. A.Viant, S. P.
Day, H.Lee, F.Watkins, F. C.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)Macdonald, G. (Ince)Whiteley, W.
Eastwood, J. F.McGhee, H. G.Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)Mainwaring, W. H.Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Errington, E.Marshall, F.
Furness, S. N.Mathers, G.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr -Ede and Mr. Leslie.

11.53 a.m.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson , Hitchin

I beg to move, in page 9, line 2, to leave out "sea-going."

This is an exceedingly brief Amendment to Sub-section (5) which reads: This Act shall not apply to any shop, or to the carrying on of any trade or business, in any sea-going ship. The object is to make the position clear. Some Members of the shipping community take the same view as I do of the Bill that "sea-going ship" unduly limits the action of the Clause in that

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 81; Noes, 67.

there is a good deal of coastwise shipping which would not be regarded as sea-going by the Board of Trade. For example, the pleasure steamers which run from Bristol to Avonmouth, and from Avonmouth across to Cardiff or to Weston-super-Mare are not sea-going vessels for the purposes of this Clause and they would not be included in the Sub-section. There are other pleasure-going ships—quite a number of them—upon which passengers spend four, six, seven or eight hours. They run up and down the Thames, or as far as Southend and Clacton, and there are other ships on the Humber and the Mersey making quite a number of extensive trips. It is not reasonable that this Clause and the Act as a whole should apply to them. The Shops Act contemplated that they should be dealt with under the general law as applied to ships and should not be regarded as ships for this part of the Act. If we cut out the word "sea-going" and put in the word "ship," I think the Home Office would agree that it would be far easier for the Board of Trade and themselves to administer the Act, than if it was restricted to sea-going ships, leaving it to them to decide whether a ship running, say, from Bristol to Cardiff or Avonmouth to Cardiff, or a pleasure steamer running from Blackpool for a few hours, is or is not included.

Lieut.-Colonel SANDEMAN ALLEN:

I beg to second the Amendment.

11.56 a.m.

Photo of Mr Pierse Loftus Mr Pierse Loftus , Lowestoft

I hope that the House will not accept the Amendment. Under the Bill as it stands shops on sea-going ships are exempt. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Hitchin (Sir A. Wilson) wishes to remove the word "seagoing" and to allow any pleasure steamer, for instance, which may be cruising up the Thames and going from one pier to another pier a few miles away to sell anything of any kind on Sundays. These pleasure steamers under the Bill as it stands can sell any kind of refreshment, food, drink, and can also sell flowers, fruit and vegetables. Is it reasonable to give this extension just for pleasure trips and to allow them even to sell boots or anything they like? I hope the House will reject the Amendment.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

It is the first time that I have ever heard that the Irish Sea is not a sea.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

When ships leave Liverpool for Ireland they are certainly seagoing ships. The Bristol Channel is a sea. If we carry the Amendment there is no reason why people should not build little boats and put them out along the banks of the Thames, call them shops and do all the trade that we are preventing the ordinary shopkeeper from doing a short distance away. I hope the House will not accept the Amendment.

11.58 a.m.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

Hon. Members will recollect that in the Standing Committee the Amendment with regard to sea-going ships was inserted at my suggestion, on representations from the Board of Trade to the Home Office, on the common-sense basis that the great ocean-going ships should be exempt from this restriction. When the hon. and gallant Member for Hitchin says that this exemption ought to apply to river steamers and boats of that kind, it no longer fulfils the requirement of commonsense. It is a fact, as the hon. Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Loftus) has said, in resisting the Amendment, that the vessels alluded to by the hon. and gallant Member for Hitchin will, under the Bill, have exemption with regard to refreshments, tobacco, newspapers, magazines aid other things in the First Schedule. That, surely, will meet all the requirements.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson , Hitchin

If a ship is, for instance, running as a purely pleasure steamer from, say, Blackpool to Fleetwood, will it not be required completely to come under all the other provisions of the Act, unless some limiting provision is put in such as I have suggested in regard to coastwise ships? It is only coastwise shipping with which I am dealing.

Photo of Mr Michael Beaumont Mr Michael Beaumont , Aylesbury

Is it not a fact that the word "sea-going" means any vessel going to sea, including coasting traffic. I would remind the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) of the origin of this proposal. It was introduced six years ago at the instance of an hon. Member who raised the same point as that now raised by the hon. Member, against the advice of the Labour party, on a Bill to deal with Sunday barbers, introduced by the lateMr. James Stewart. I am glad that the hon. Member for Westhoughton has become a convert to that view.

Amendment negatived.

12 noon.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson , Hitchin

I beg to move, in page 9, line 3, at the end, to insert: for the convenience of bona-fide passengers, or to any railway train or air- craft, or to any fair lawfully held, or any bazaar or sale of work for charitable purposes from which no private profit is derived, as defined in. sub-section (2) of section nineteen of the Shops Act, 1912. In moving this Amendment I have in mind ships which are laid up for a long period and allowed to be used virtually as hotels and restaurants, thus escaping the normal provisions of the Sunday Closing Act—ships brought out almost for exhibition purposes, or say, a "Queen Mary," going to Southampton and running a most remunerative trade in supplying food, liquor and other things during prohibited hours and, in addition, possibly providing other services. We have the case of exhibition ships which have been common in the past and may be common again. I cannot help thinking that the words "for the convenience of bona-fide passengers" would be a useful addition to the Bill. I do not intend to exclude the convenience of the officers and others on the ship or workmen on board, but I think that "bona-fide passengers" is a necessary limitation to prevent an abuse that might very well grow up around the words "sea-going ship." any railway train or aircraft". These words are a matter of common sense. We have barbers' shops and shorthand typists, etc. on railway trains, and they may be developed as our railways become more up-to-date and more anxious to meet public need, and it seems unreasonable to restrict them while we are giving sea-going ships such privileges. The words or to any fair lawfully held, or any bazaar or sale of work for charitable purposes. are taken from the Shops Act, 1912, and they are intended simply to assimilate the law as far as possible as it is laid down in the Bill to that of the Shops Act, 1912, which, although it is not specifically stated in this Bill, is the principal Act by which we shall continue to be guided. There is no great likelihood that fairs will be held to a great extent on Sundays, but there are certain customary fairs which are held and have from time immemorial been held on the Sunday. There is no great likelihood of sales of work or bazaars for charitable purposes being covered by this Bill, but the Shops Act, 1912, having specifically excluded bazaars and sales of work for charitable purposes from the operations of that Act, I suggest that this Bill, which is designed to cover the same ground, should have the same limiting words.

Lieut.-Colonel SANDEMAN ALLEN:

I beg to second the Amendment.

12.6 p.m.

Photo of Mr Pierse Loftus Mr Pierse Loftus , Lowestoft

Again I find myself in disagreement with the hon. and gallant Member for Hitchin (Sir A. Wilson), and I hope the House will not accept the Amendment. It will drive not a coach-and-four but an omnibus through the Bill. It is much too wide. It speaks of: the convenience of bona fide passengers, or to any railway train or aircraft". In Committee we gave every reasonable facility to passengers by train, by ship or by air, or by motor-car. The word "passengers" is extremely wide and will be difficult to define in a court of law. Then the Amendment goes on: or to any fair lawfully held I do not know of any instance of a fair being held on a Sunday, and I do not think that we should give facilities for fairs to be held on Sunday. In the third place it says, or any bazaar or sale of work for charitable purposes from which no private profit is derived". The hon. and gallant Member says that these words are taken from the 1912 Act. Yes, but in that Act they did not apply to Sunday trading, but to an ordinary day in the week. No bazaars or charitable sales of work are held on Sundays, and it is against the whole idea of the Bill that they should be held on Sundays. The Amendment will open an immensely wide door, and I hope the House will not accept it.

Photo of Captain William Strickland Captain William Strickland , Coventry

There is one point upon which I am not satisfied. Schedule 1 excludes a railway station from the provisions of the Bill. Is the sale of refreshments on railway trains on Sundays protected in any way? Are the ordinary facilities fro refreshments on trains exempted from the Bill?

Photo of Mr Pierse Loftus Mr Pierse Loftus , Lowestoft

All sales of refreshments in places where meals are served are exempted.

Photo of Captain William Strickland Captain William Strickland , Coventry

Are they exempted only under the First Schedule?

Photo of Captain William Strickland Captain William Strickland , Coventry

Then why is it necessary to insert in the First Schedule— The sale of meals or refreshments for consumption on or off the premises, including the business carried on at a railway station refreshment room, if it is already exempted elsewhere?

Photo of Mr Pierse Loftus Mr Pierse Loftus , Lowestoft

It is difficult to remember the exact details of every discussion in Committee, but the words were inserted in order to make the matter quite clear.

12.10 p.m.

Photo of Mr Stephen Furness Mr Stephen Furness , Sunderland

This is rather an extraordinary Amendment. One part of it widens the exemptions and another part cut them down. The word "passengers" has rather a narrow meaning, and would cut out the officers and crew of a ship. If a shop is to be opened on a seagoing ship, we should not put any limitation on the people who may use the shop. If it is a sea-going ship it can only be used by those on board, and the word "passengers" would limit the people who would be able to use the shop to those who have paid a certain sum for the trip. It would shut out the officers and crew of the ship.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson , Hitchin

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment, in order to move it in a different form.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson , Hitchin

I beg to move, in page 9, line 3, at the end, to insert "for the convenience of bona fide passengers."

Lieut.-Colonel SANDEMAN ALLEN:

I beg to second the Amendment.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

The Home Office can accept the Amendment in this form, as it will serve a useful purpose.

Photo of Mr Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton

I hope the Under-Secretary will reconsider the insertion of these words. They must limit the area of exemption because "bona fide passengers" cuts out the officers of the ship. If you are to allow shops to be open on board ship, you will make it an offence if any of the officers of the Ship are served with anything. The courts of law have decided -that "passengers" is a narrow term. I hope the Amendment will not be accepted.

12.13 p.m.

Photo of Mr Ian Orr-Ewing Mr Ian Orr-Ewing , Weston-Super-Mare

I would like to reinforce the appeal that has been made by the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton). Running across the Bristol Channel are a series of passenger boats which carry large numbers of passengers to the Somerset coast. They are sea-going ships, and it will be a ridiculous position if the officers and crew are liable to be prosecuted if they purchase anything in a shop.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

I entirely agree, but the purpose of the Amendment is that only bona fide passengers should be served, and not purely casual members of the public. However, we will give this matter consideration in collaboration with the Board of Trade and see whether any necessary alteration should be made.

Photo of Mr Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton

In that case I hope the House will not insert the Amendment at the moment.

Photo of Sir Percy Harris Sir Percy Harris , Bethnal Green South West

It is clear that if something of this nature is not inserted in the Bill, all and sundry will be able to go on board ship and buy what they cannot purchase on land. It would be a distinct inducement for the shop side of ships to be developed. I hope the words will be put in the Bill, and then, if necessary, they can be modified in another place.

12.15 p.m.

Photo of Mr Michael Beaumont Mr Michael Beaumont , Aylesbury

The House seems to be in considerable confusion. Cannot we have the guidance of someone on the Government Benches as to what this Amendment really means? My hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton) and my Hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland (Mr. Furness) have given one definition. They say that crews are excluded. The Mover of the Amendment says that crews are not excluded. The Under-Secretary asked us to accept the Amendment, which he says would serve a useful purpose, but he does not tell us which of the hon. Members who have given us guidance on the subject is right. The Government must know whether it does exclude the crew and officers, and if so whether it would be better to insert these words now or to make the necessary alterations in another place.

12.16 p.m.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

I am sorry to intrude, again. If we read this Clause with the Amendment incorporated it clarifies the position. The Clause will then read: This Act shall not apply to any shop, or to the carrying on of any trade or business, in any sea-going ship for the convenience of bona fide passengers. That is a very simple proposition. It is news to me that officers are anxious to buy anything on board their ships. So far as I know they always want to go to a port and buy what they want at the port, because the prices of goods on board ship are very often twice what they are on shore. I think the House is exaggerating the importance of the Amendment.

Photo of Mr Edmund Radford Mr Edmund Radford , Manchester Rusholme

Would it not meet the views of all Members if the Mover of the Amendment would alter its terms so that it read, "For the benefit of bona fide passengers and for the officers and crews of ships"?

12.17 p.m.

Photo of Mr Dingle Foot Mr Dingle Foot , Dundee

It seems to me that the form of words which we are now discussing on this Amendment may not achieve anything at all. The Amendment is to add the words, "for the convenience of bona fide passengers". The Amendment deals only with the main purpose for which the store on board ship is run. I am not trying to give any ruling on the point, but may it not be that if we were to insert these words and if the authorities were satisfied that the shop was run primarily for the convenience of bona fide passengers, it would still be open to anyone to walk up the gangway of a ship at any port and purchase the goods which they could not purchase elsewhere under the provisions of the Bill? Whatever hon. Members may have in mind, it appears to be very doubtful whether the Amendment would achieve any purpose whatever. In those circumstances I hope the Amendment will not be pressed.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson , Hitchin

I am uninfluenced by the threats of the law lords held over our heads, but in view of the appeals made and not wishing to intervene when doctors differ, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment in the hope that the promoters of the Bill and the Home Secretary would consider the matter further and make any necessary alteration in another place.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.