Fugitive Offenders Act, 1881

Oral Answers to Questions — Commonwealth Relations – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st December 1964.

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Photo of Mr Dudley Smith Mr Dudley Smith , Brentford and Chiswick 12:00 am, 1st December 1964

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what proposals he has for the alteration and improvement of the Fugitive Offenders Act, 1881.

Photo of Mr Cledwyn Hughes Mr Cledwyn Hughes , Anglesey

Precise proposals were put to Commonwealth Governments several months ago, but we have not yet received the comments of all the Governments. This is, of course, an extremely complex matter. Meanwhile, I should prefer to treat as confidential the various proposals which we are in process of discussing with the Commonwealth.

Photo of Mr Dudley Smith Mr Dudley Smith , Brentford and Chiswick

Does not the hon. Gentleman remember that when I taxed my own side on the subject some 18 months ago the then Opposition indicated that if they were in power they would treat this with the utmost urgency and would amend the Act? Does he think that this should now go ahead despite the confidential nature of the discussions, and would he get in touch with the Commonwealth Governments concerned so that we can have a Bill before us in this Session?

Photo of Mr Cledwyn Hughes Mr Cledwyn Hughes , Anglesey

We are anxious to complete a review of the Act as soon as possible, and other Commonwealth Governments have been urged to let us have their views at an early date. I hope that it will prove possible for us and the rest of the Commonwealth Governments to move forward in step with each other. I think that that would be the view of hon. and right hon. Members.