HC Deb 22 December 1925 vol 189 cc2228-44

Order for Consideration of Lords Amendment read.

Motion made, and Question, "That the Lords Amendments be now considered," put, and agreed to —[Captain Hacking]

Lords Amendments considered accordingly.

CLAUSE 1.—(Probation officers.) Lords Amendment:

In page 2, line 2, after the word "as" insert subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act with respect to scales of salaries, remuneration and expenses.


I beg to move. That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

It is not my intention to go into any details in reference to these Amendments, but if any hon. Member wishes to have any information I shall be only too glad to give it. The first Amendment which I am now proposing to accept is one intended to simply remove any possible inconsistency between the two Clauses.

Subsequent Lords Amendments, down to page 10, lines 9 and 10, agreed to.

CLAUSE 11.—(Venue in indictable offences.)

Lords Amendment:

1n page 10, lines 11 and 12, leave out "them in pursuance of this Sub-section" and insert any examining justices in pursuance of this Sub-section—(a) it appears to the examining justices.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.—[Captain Hacking. ]


We are now approaching a point at which the Amendments are not merely drafting proposals, and I think we should have some explanation in regard to this particular Amendment.

Notice taken that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Member's being present—

The SOLICITOR GENERAL (Sir-Thomas Inskip)

This Amendment deals with Clause 11, which relates to the venue of indictable offences. It is thought a desirable thing that an additional safeguard should be given to the prisoner to this extent. In the Bill as it stands the prisoner has the right in cases of hardship to ask that he shall not be tried in any other place but that in which the offence has been committed. The Amendment gives him a right of appeal when his application has been refused before the magistrates.


I think this is a most valuable provision, and the giving of this right to the prisoner is something which we should all welcome.


The Amendment we are now dealing with is due tithe intervention of the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just addressed the House, and I should have thought that he would have allowed it to pass without further comment.


I did not comment upon it; in fact I simply welcomed it as a valuable provision.

Subsequent Lords Amendment agreed to.

CLAUSE 12.—(Provisions as to taking of depositions, and caution to and statement of accused on proceeding before examining Justices,)

Lords Amendment:

In page 12, line 22, after the word "him" insert who knows anything relating to the facts and circumstances of the case or anything tending to prove the innocence of the accused.


I beg to move "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

This Amendment is really a small consolidation of the existing law and does not really alter the effect of the Section. It merely lays down the rights of the prisoner to the extent stated in the Amendment, and makes it plain that he may call upon anybody at the time in question who knows anything about the case who can satisfy the magistrate that he is innocent and ought not to be committed.


We are now in the domain of jurisdiction and procedure for indictable offences, and should not limit the rights of the prisoner in such cases.


This proposal extends them.


I think this proposal is a limitation of the rights of the prisoner, because a witness might be prevented from being called altogether under certain circumstances. I think we ought to have some assurance that this will not limit the rights which belong to a prisoner being tried for indictable offences.


This proposal does not limit the prisoner's rights; in fact, it gives him more protection.


These words appear to be to limit the rights of the prisoner.


The hon and gallant Member asked for my assurance that they did not limit his rights, and I gave it.


Surely this proposal limits the rights of the prisoner, because it precludes certain people from coming forward to help him in his defence.


Those who are familiar with the ordinary procedure in these cases will see that this is a great extension in favour of the prisoner. It is extremely unwise in many cases for the prisoner to make a statement before the magistrate, because his cross-examination of the witnesses might indicate the line of his defence. I think this proposal is an enormous extension of the power of the prisoner, and I hope it will be passed.

Lords Amendment:

In page 12, leave out lines 23 to 28.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."— [Captain Hacking.]


I should like to have a little further explanation of this Amendment. This seems to be a case where you are restricting the right of the prisoner by taking out these words. This Amendment seems to be doing this to a greater degree than the previous Amendment, and therefore I should like some further explanation of it.


Surely we should have some explanation on this point. I am in very great doubt about the words which have been recently added being to the advantage of the prisoner at all, but to take these words out now does seem to be a further limitation and against the interests of the prisoner who is going to be tried. I hope we shall have some statement made from the Treasury Bench to justify this proposal.


The omitted paragraph at line 23, which is now being dealt with by this Amendment, gave effect to Section 23 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, which is about to be repealed by the existing Bill. As hon. Members will see by the words which have just been inserted, the Clause now includes the words who knows anything relating to the facts and circumstances of the case or anything tending to prove the innocence of the accused. The intention of these Amendments is not to enable long investigations into matters which are not necessary to enable the magistrate to decide the duty which is their duty, of inquiring as to whether there is a prima facie ease against the accused person. The only intention is that the person shall have every facility to call evidence which he thinks is likely to prove his innocence, and not, for instance, in the case of a criminal libel, to enable the person to use the proceedings before the magistrates for the purpose of justifying the truth of the libel, which is not a question for the magistrate at all and which must be discussed before a jury, because the jury have to be satisfied as to the justification of the criminal libel.

The effect of these two Amendments is to give the person an additional right which, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ealing (Sir Herbert Nield) has said, is a valuable extension of his privileges, and at the same time not to convert the inquiry before the magistrate into an opportunity for entering into a great variety of matters which are not really relevant to the only inquiry which the magistrates have to conduct. For instance, another matter which it is not intended that the magistrates shall have to hear evidence upon, is evidence which might be given and probably will be given before the second court to whom the person is committed, as to circumstances justifying a smaller sentence. I hope that the House will see that these two Amendments are in the person's interests, without running into the opposite danger of indefinitely extending the area of inquiry and allowing oppor- tunity for all sorts of evidence which is not relevant to the inquiry which the magistrates have to hold.

Lords Amendment: In page 18, line 13, at the end insert:

NEW CLAUSE A.—(Power to dispense with grand jury at Quarter Sessions where all persons committed have pleaded guilty.)

A.—(1) If by the fifth day preceding the day appointed for holding any Quarter Sessions no persons have been committed for trial at the Sessions except persons in respect of whom a certificate has been transmitted in pursuance of Section 4 of the Administration of Justice Act, 1920, stating that they have pleaded guilty or admitted the truth of the charge, there shall be deemed to be no business requiring the attendance of grand jurors at that Sessions, and the provisions of the Assizes and Quarter Sessions Act, 1908, shall apply accordingly. (2) In any case to which this Section applies an indictment against any person for the offence in respect of which he was committed for trial may be presented to the Court without having been found by a grand jury, and where an indictment is so presented it shall be proceeded with in the same manner as it would have been proceeded with before the commencement of this Act, and all enactments and rules of law relating to procedure in connection with indictable offences shall have effect accordingly. (3) An indictment against any person presented to a Court of Quarter Sessions in pursuance of this Section may contain, in addition to the counts for the offences specified in the caption of the depositions, any further counts founded on facts or evidence disclosed in any examination or deposition taken before a justice in the presence of the accused. A Court of Quarter Sessions may in any case direct any such further counts as aforesaid to be added to any indictment presented to the court. (4) Rules may be made under the Indictments Act, 1915, for carrying this Section into effect, and in particular for modifying, so far as is necessary for the purpose of this Section, any enactment, including any statutory form, and for applying with the necessary modifications the provisions of Section 3 of the Indictable Offences Act, 1848, relating to certificates of an indictment having been found.


I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

Perhaps I ought to say a few words or this Amendment. Hon. Members will. remember that on the Report stage it was decided that the Grand Jury at Quarter Sessions should not be abolished, but those who are most in favour of the retention of Grand Juries will realise that the best way to get public opinion in favour of the maintenance of Grand Juries is not to require the attendance of persons summoned to serve on Grand Juries when there is really nothing for them to do. If they are required really for the purpose of saying whether a true Bill ought to be returned against any person charged with an offence, the House has decided that they shall be retained. Under the existing law there is a provision in the Administration of Justice Act, 1920, by which when a person pleads guilty to an offence at the Sessions, the Justice's Clerk may forward a certificate to that effect to the Clerk of the Court of Trial, and the Grand Jury may then merely on the production of that certificate return a true Bill without hearing any witnesses. If the Grand Jury are to be summoned merely for that formality, hon. Members will agree it is an unnecessary attendance, merely to look at the certificate and say, "This is a certificate that the man has pleaded guilty, and therefore we do not want to hear any evidence or witnesses, and the man may be committed for trial." It is in order to avoid attendance for that idle formality that this Amendment is moved, and I respectfully hope the House will accept it.


Although I happened to be one of the promoters of the Motion on Report to retain the Grand Jury, I agree with the Solicitor-General that in this particular case there is good ground for dispensing with the Grand Jury, and, speaking for myself, I am willing to accept this proposal, because I think it will do away with any possibility of another attack on the Grand Juries for another half century. Having succeeded in achieving victory we now wish to entrench ourselves against this or any other Government which may try to destroy this ancient institution. For this reason I am very much in favour of this Amendment, because though some Members may not agree, there are some ancient institutions which exist to defend the liberty of the subject, and the Grand Jury is one. Therefore I hope the House will agree to this proposal to exclude the obligation to call a Grand Jury in such cases.


I agree that it would be nonsense to have a Grand Jury summoned when the only persons to appear before them are those who have pleaded guilty. That shows the mistake in the legislation of 1920. I think it was a pity that the power was ever given to enable persons to plead guilty and to have a certificate given of that plea and so be precluded from coming before the Grand Jury. As I understand this matter, it should not preclude such persons from withdrawing the plea of guilty, because there will be no Grand Jury summoned if he or others in the same position as himself are the only persons for trial and that fact comes down on the certificate. If he does want to withdraw his plea and plead " Not Guilty," he ought to have a perfectly clear ground before the Grand Jury without their having any knowledge whatever that he had pleaded before, and that as a result of that a certificate has been given. I think if that is so he should be able to withdraw his plea of " Guilty" and plead " Not Guilty" before the Grand Jury and have no reference made to his having pleaded guilty before. In the present state of the law it is inevitable, for otherwise, as the Solicitor-General has said, you may have a Jury summoned from all parts of the country and find there is no work to do because the Act of 1920 has made it a work of supererogation.

CLAUSE 22.—(Amendment of Count;/ of Hertford Acts, 1874 and 1876.)

Lords Amendment: In page 20, leave out line 40 and insert "commencement of this Act."


I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

This and the following Amendments are merely drafting Amendments, to allow this Clause to come into operation simultaneously with this part of the Bill, namely, on the 1st of June next. It is necessary that there should be a special provision for this Clause alone.

Subsequent Lords Amendments, down to page 27, line 41, agreed to.

Lords Amendment: In page 29, line 36, at the end insert:

NEW CLAUSE B.—(Unlawful possession of pension documents.)

B.—(1) If any person receives, detains or has in his possession any document to which this Section applies as a pledge or a security for a debt or with a view to obtaining payment from the person entitled thereto of a debt due either to himself or to any other person, he shall be able, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and imprisonment. (2) This Section applies to certificates or official documents evidencing or issued in connection with the light of persons to pensions or allowances payable out of any grant which may be made out of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom in pursuance of any Act for civil non-effective services.


I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment"?

Perhaps I ought to say in reference to this new Clause that it was a Clause inserted to extend a small branch of the law which is already enacted in certain Acts of Parliament relating to pensions under the Army and Navy Acts. It is to prevent moneylenders or any oilier person taking in pledge documents entitling a person to a pension, who is in the Civil Service. The House will recognise this is an essential provision which ought to be made.

CLAUSE 38. — (Penalty for drunkenness while in charge of motor car and for reckless driving.)

Lords Amendment: In page 31, line 19, at the end insert: and shall be disqualified to hold a licence to drive for twelve months from the date of the conviction: Provided that a person who is disqualified to hold a licence to drive under this or any other Act may apply to the justices who made the order to reconsider their decision at the. end of any period of not less than three months; or, with the leave of the Court, after a shorter period.


I beg to move. "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

I shall propose a new Amendment in lieu of the Lords Amendment. There is no desire on the part of the Government to depart from the substance of the Amendment, but the intention is to fill in some of the gaps which hon. Members who examine the Amendment will find in it. The substance of the Amendment which was put in in another place was to enact that a person who is convicted of being drunk in charge of a motor car should be disqualified for 12 months, but there was a proviso that there should be liberty to apply to the Justices to reconsider the disability to which the convicted person was subjected at the end of any period of not less than three months, but it will be seen that there are, one or two gaps which require to be filled.

2.0 P.M.

If hon. Members will be good enough to look at the Amendment standing on the Paper, they will see a much longer Clause in substitution of the Clause which contains the enactment but it preserves the same effect. It provides that a person shall be disqualified for 12 months, as the Lords have proposed, and that particulars of the conviction shall be endorsed on the licence, but it also provides that any person who has had such a conviction recorded against him may apply to the Courts from time to time, and the Court may order as it thinks proper, having regard to the character of the accused and his conduct after conviction, that the disability shall come to an end. No provision is made for an appeal from the refusal of the magistrates to order the disability to end although, of course, under the ordinary law there is a right of appeal from the original conviction. If hon. Members are satisfied that this Clause carries out the intention of the Amendment moved in another place—which had the support, I think, of all the Noble Lords who are associated with the party opposite—no doubt, the House will be prepared to accept the Amendment which stands in the name of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.


Might I ask precisely what is meant by the provision as to conduct after conviction? Does it mean general conduct, or does it mean conduct in reference to driving a motor ear? In what way would it be interpreted?


The hon Member will appreciate that what we are considering is a conviction for being drunk while in charge of a motor car, and, presumably, the magistrates would consider the habits of the person, as proved before them, in relation to the offence. If anyone who had been convicted of being drunk while in charge of a motor car came before the magistrates and satisfied them that he had ceased to be a victim of drunkenness, presumably that is something relating to the conduct of the accused subsequent to the conviction which would satisfy the magistrates that they need no longer leave him subject to the disability of being unable to drive a motor car. I may point out that he can only come to the magistrates after three months, and at intervals of three months. There is no attempt to define precisely the scale of conduct which it is relevant to prove before the masigtrates. but, presumably, no person will come and prove irrelevant facts when the one relevant fact that is wanted is to satisfy the magistrates that he is an ordinary law-abiding, sober citizen who may he trusted to drive a motor car.


I feel that I cannot let this Amendment pass without making a few comments upon it. It seems to me to be a very unwise provision indeed. It seems to me to be a kind of special class legislation directed against the drivers of motor cars. The effect of this provision will be to deprive the driver of a motor car of the means of earning his living. I am quite aware that, when one talks of drunken motorists, the picture conjured up is that of a young man who has dined not wisely but too well, and who afterwards drives a high-powered motor car perhaps about the streets of London, comes into collision with the police, and is duly convicted of being drunk in charge of a motor car. With such a one no one has any sympathy, and no one pretends that he should not, be subjected to the severest penalties; but I am thinking of the large number of people who have to drive motor cars for their living—the drivers of taxi-cabs, motor omnibuses, lorries, or commercial vehicles, professional drivers, and so on; and against this class a special kind of legislation is being provided.

After all, the man who drives an engine is not deprived of his living for 12 months on account of one conviction for insobriety. The man who rune a train, or a lift, or anything else which may endanger human life, is not thus deprived. This seems to me to be a part of the new idea of legislating specially against motorists, and, inasmuch as it may deprive certain classes of people of the means of earning their livelihood, I think it is extremely dangerous. Moreover, it may have an effect exactly opposite to that which is desired, because it takes away the discretion of the magistrates. At the present time they have the discretion to deprive a man of his licence for one month, three months, a year, or any such period. Under this provision they are compelled to deprive a man of his licence for 12 months, and it may have the very effect of preventing a bench of magistrates from convicting a man who has to earn his living by driving a motor car, because they may think it is too severe a penalty to deprive him of his living for 12 months.

It may be answered that the convicted man has the right of coming back to the Court at intervals of three months and asking, not that the conviction may be quashed, but that his licence may be restored. That also seems to me to be an entirely new provision in criminal procedure. What is the man to prove? He cannot prove that he has not since been drunk in charge of a motor car, because he is not allowed to be in charge of a motor car. Is he to come back and bring the evidence of his fellow-citizens, of his wife, or the local publican, to say that he has been sober since that date? That seems to me to be a very ridiculous state of affairs, especially in view of the fact that, after all, drunkenness is an offence which it is extremely difficult to prove. The border-line between insobriety and sobriety is a very narrow one. Very often it is largely a question of opinion, and to make this heavy penalty for this indeterminate offence on the part of one particular class of people who are earning their living in one particular class of way seems to me to be a very dangerous thing to do.

For all these reasons, and at the risk of being held up outside as a defender of drunken motorists, at the risk of the outpouring of the vials of wrath which would no doubt be poured upon my head by certain hon. Members if they were here, such as the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Scrymgeour) and the Noble Lady the Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Viscountess Astor)—at the risk of those vials of non-alcoholic wrath being poured upon my head, I must make an emphatic protest against this provision being inserted in the Bill at the last moment.


I should like to reinforce what has fallen from the hon. Member for Great Yarmouth (Sir F. Meyer), and I should like to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department why it is that this reactionary departure in our criminal law has been made. It, is quite true that in olden times we used to find minimum sentences, and in some classes of cases these were so heavy that juries ceased to convict. I believe that, under the direction of learned Judges, although the offence was practically conclusively proved, they were, in view of the fact that the penalty was so severe. advised to disregard certain parts of the evidence, and find the person only guilty of attempting to commit the offence. The class of legislation which inflicted minimum sentences has been virtually abandoned and upset, and full discretion has been left to the Courts that administer justice.

That has been found to be by far the most valuable and suitable way of administering justice, because offences of every kind, whatever they are, may vary so much in degree that in almost every class of case you will find mere border-line cases, where the very smallest penalty is sufficient to meet the justice of the case. Here, I understand, that in any case which comes before the Court, however extenuating the circumstances may be, the Court is bound to deprive the defaulting person of his licence for 12 months. I say that that will inevitably have the effect that in many cases the Justices will not convict. It seems to me to be an absolutely new thing that has been put into the Bill by the other House. The Home Office have sought to amend it, not by making it, weaker, but, as I understand it, by making it stronger, and I do not see why the Home Office are taking this course.


I hope the Under-Secretary will pay no attention to the arguments of the hon. and learned Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley) or of the hon. Member for (heat Yarmouth (Sir F. Meyer). There is no doubt about the feeling in the country. One thing upon which the public are determined is that a stop shall be put on these drunken drivers. It is an evil which has been growing. Statistics show that the convictions have been increasing day by day. Those who are making a plea on behalf of professional drivers surely forget the fact that professional drivers are able to inflict much greater damage and injury, and even loss of life, even than private drivers, in the circumstances in which they drive. An omnibus driver, for instance, sometimes has as many as 50 passengers on his omnibus, and, though we should have every sympathy with the omnibus driver it he were convicted when he was not actually drunk, I think we must allow the ordinary safeguards of the law to look after him in that case.

I certainly think that this is quite a serious offence in the case of a private driver who is convicted of being drunk while in charge of a car, but the immediate effect is liable to be far worse in the cast; of the professional driver, and, although the punishment may be more severe upon him, I think it is right that all those who drive omnibuses, taxi-cabs, and so on, should know that if they take too much alcohol they are liable to be thus punished. Some people say that taking any alcohol is quite sufficient in the case of a person who is driving a car, and I myself should be in accord with that view. I have made a few experiments on the matter myself—[Laughter.]— I do not mean in the sense in which hon. Members have taken it, but I mean that a man who has had just one or two drinks becomes less precise in his driving than the man who has not taken any at all, and, when vehicles are passing each other at the rate of 30 miles an hour, where even a foot or nine inches makes all the difference in the world, the man who has taken a double whisky and soda stands much less chance, in conditions of roughness of road or other like circumstances, of getting by. Alcohol has two effects—it unwarrantably increases the self-confidence of the driver, and at the same time it gives him less control over his vehicle. I hope that the strictest penalties will always be enforced, both in the case of professional and private car drivers convicted of drunkenness while being in charge of cars.


We had some discussion on this Clause when the Bill came before the House for Third Heading, and also during the Committee stage. We were able to get taken out of the Clause the part that is in the Motor Car Act, and we thought that that was the right thing to do, but we think the Lords Amendment, so far as I could learn from what the Solicitor-General said, is preferable to the one that he read out. Unless I have misunderstood him, it seems to me to make the provision much stronger and harsher even than the present Lords Amendment, and that seems to me to be pretty harsh already. I am not bothering very much about the question of drunkenness of the driver so far as: penalties are concerned. We are desirous that drivers of all descriptions shall be entirely sober when driving care or any mechanically propelled vehicles. Neither do we expect that, at anytime, if men driving commercial vehicles are brought before the Court and are entitled to get off with a fine of £50, that fine will ever be paid; the man would have to go to prison, and would not pay the £50. That. I take it, is not really intended for the ordinary commercial driver, but is intended for some of the people who have very high-powered cars, and who think they are entitled to do as they like, and to go where they like when they like and how they like. If they get convicted they will probably pay the £50 and it will not affect them very much. But in that case it does seem to me that there should be this disqualification from holding their licence to drive, and that 12 months is not too long a period. Then I understood the Solicitor-General to say that they would have an opportunity of coming back to the Court again and asking for a review of their case in accordance with their conduct every three months. That may be a very-good reason for having the Clause there, because the penalties may have been the means of bringing the culprit to book and to have better thought and sense, and if he gave a pledge which was satisfactory to the Court, he might probably be reinstated after three or six months, as the case might be. But I think this Clause ought to be drawn so as to give the Court a full opportunity of saying the licence shall be endorsed and the man shall not be allowed to drive for 12 months, with the precaution, if need be, that he may come forward and make an application. I prefer the Lords Amendment to the suggestion of the Solicitor-General.


It must be borne in mind in the first place that this Amendment was introduced not in the interest of the drunken driver, but in the general interest of the public at large, because it is not only the driver of the car who suffers if he happens to be drunk. It is the general public.


The hon and gallant Gentleman must bear in mind that a man may be drunk in charge of a car and cause no damage to anyone.


That is quite likely, and that is why, if a man is once convicted, you should know something about his habits before he is let off, and before he is granted his licence back again. A question was put to me by my hon. and learned Friend with regard to the three months. I think it will be agreed that if it is proved that a man is of drunken habits, he should not be allowed to drive a car, and it is with the idea of proving whether or not he has those habits that he is not expected to come before the Court to ask to have his licence back until he has proved conclusively that during those three months at any rate he has lived a sober life, and that is the only reason why the three months is put in. Only if he has lived a decent life for three months has he the, opportunity, in all probability, of getting his licence back, because it is felt that he will not be himself responsible for putting the general population in a state of danger.


Is it the intention of the Government now to remove all Clauses affecting this type of offence from other Acts of Parliament?


No, it is not the intention to eliminate anything except what is stated in this Amendment. We are only dealing with this particular Bill.


There are Sections in other Acts which govern the offence of drunkenness.

Amendment made: In page 31, line 19, at the end, insert as new Sub-sections (2) A person convicted under the preceding Sub-section shall (without prejudice to the power of the Court under Section 4 of the Motor Car Act, 1903, to order a longer period of disqualification) be disqualified for holding a licence for a period of twelve months from the date of the conviction, and any licence held by him shall, so long as the disqualification continues, be of no effect. The Court shall cause particulars of any such conviction and of the resulting disqualification to be endorsed upon any licence held by the person convicted, and shall send notice of the conviction to the council by whom the licence was granted. (3) If a person who under this Section is disqualified for holding a licence applies for or obtains a licence while he is so disqualified, he shall be guilty of an offence under the Motor Car Act. 1903, and any licence so obtained shall be of no effect. (4) A person who by virtue of a conviction under this Section is disqualified for holding a licence or who, by virtue of an order made under Section 4 of the Motor Car Act, 1903, on his being convicted of an offence, is disqualified for obtaining a licence or whose licence is suspended, may at any lime after the expiration of three months from the date of the conviction, apply from time to time to the Court before which he was convicted to remove the disqualification or suspension, and on any such application the Court may by order, as it thinks proper, having regard to the character of the person convicted and his conduct subsequent to conviction, the nature of the offence, and the other circumstances of the ease, either remove the disqualification or suspension as from such date as may be specified in the order or refuse the application, and if the Court order a disqualification or suspension to be removed the Court shall cause particulars of the order to be endorsed on the licence, if any, held by the applicant. (5) In this section the expression 'licence' means a licence granted under Section 3 of the Motor Car ACT., 1903."— [Captian Hacking.]

Remaining Lords Amendments agreed to.

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