Clause 9. — (Limitation on Privilege.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Defamation (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th June 1952.

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Photo of Mr James MacColl Mr James MacColl , Widnes 12:00 am, 27th June 1952

I should like to say how glad I am to see these Amendments on the Order Paper. I appreciate very much that it has been possible to reach a settlement on this question. I think it worth pointing out the implication of the settlement, because it amounts to a departure from the Porter canon. It is interesting to see that, although we were told the Porter canon was sacrosanct and we were not to be allowed to depart from it, that this proposal put forward by my hon. Friend had been considered by the Law Officers and the Lord Chancellor and been turned down, and that therefore there was no point in discussing it any further, it has been possible to reach an agreement and to meet the feelings of both sides on this question.

I only hope that precedent will be followed on one or two other Amendments and proposals before the House on this Bill, because I have not the slightest doubt that the 10 days to which the Attorney-General referred would have been much less than 10 days had it been possible to meet some of the other attempts made to improve the Bill in a rather more reasonable frame of mind than was then shown. I hope the harmonious beginning of our proceedings today means that we shall be able to reach agreement on some of the later matters.