Lords Amendment: In page 1, line 16, leave out "it or lets it on hire" and insert:
lets on hire, gives, or lends it".
§ 11.14 p.m.
§ The Solicitor-General (Sir Harry Hylton-Foster)
I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.
I hope that in discussing this Amendment I may be allowed to refer to the next one, in line 17. I feel that it would be for the general convenience of the House to do so, as they relate to one and the same matter, namely, the definition of "publication" in the Bill.
1445 I am told that the idea that "I have been here before" is very long-standing in psychology and literature, and I feel that all hon. Members who have been concerned with the Bill must feel it very strongly now, because I think that we all know every single argument that can be urged on this question from either side.
I must say at once that, conceited as I may be, I am not so conceited as to imagine that, having failed to assuage the fears of hon. Members opposite the last time that we discussed this matter, anything has happened in between to enable me to assuage their fears by the same arguments now. But we think that we must ask the House to reconsider the view that it has expressed on this point, because we cannot, as the Government, avoid the responsibility of seeing to it that the law is not left in a state where it would be confusing and tiresome to operate by prosecuting authorities and magistrates' courts who have to make it work and, indeed, productive of anomalies.
I had hoped that after so much hard work on the Bill, and, indeed, after so much compromise, we might have ended in some stage of agreement, but by virtue of things that I have read in the newspapers and other agreeable symptoms which are apparent to me, it is not so. So I must recapitulate for the benefit of those hon. Members who are not immediately concerned what exactly is the point.
When the Select Committee looked at this problem it thought that it would be a good thing to consolidate—of course, to consolidate in a form which accommodated its recommendations—the law on obscene publications. The Government, originally, would have liked to do that, and, indeed, on that account we proposed originally that when one dealt with publication in the Bill one should deal with it on the basis of the widest sense of publication in common law. I mean any means whereby one person brings something to the attention of another—as wide as that. That process, I suppose, would have meant that the common law in this field would have been wholly superseded by the Bill when it became law in the field covered by the Bill.
But that kind of idea troubled the pro-motors. They were frightened that operating in that way would result in 1446 stirring up common law prosecution possibilities against certain kinds of publication which have not, in practice, been prosecuted at all. I think that they had in mind the performance of live plays, or the cinema, or television, or broadcasting, and they thought—I am trying to summarise it—that the words now in subsection (1) aboutan article … if taken as a wholewhich would besuch as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely … to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it.would stir up common law action in the field where it had been dormant for a satisfactorily long time.
We thought that their misgivings were ill-founded, but we did not prevail, and as a result of two Divisions, one in Committee and one on Report, the Bill got into the form in which it now is in Clause 1 (3), defining publication thus:For the purposes of this Act a person publishes an article who distributes, circulates, sells it or lets it on hire, or who offers it for sale or for letting on hire.We feel obliged to submit to the House that that is too tight a definition to do what we ought to do. I will explain why, as quickly as I can.
We are quite prepared, in the gay spirit of compromise which has operated on the Bill, completely to acquiesce in the view that the common law should continue to apply only to those forms of publication which are not covered by the Bill—forms of publication not prosecuted in the past and most unlikely to be prosecuted in the future. There is the live performance of the stage play, the cinema, television, broadcasting—all those forms of publication which are subject, in fact, to censorship either by public authority or internal control, by the Lord Chamberlain, the Board of Film Censors, or whatever it may be. That is, that prosecution in that field should be left to what was somewhat ingloriously termed in another place as "the limbo of the common law."
There are, however, some forms of publication which have been prosecuted in the past, and which would seem likely to require prosecution in the future. That would mean that if they are kept outside the field of the Bill, there would have to be maintained active 1447 the common law to serve as a means of prosecuting when the need might be; and hon. Members may think that if it had to be kept active there might be no need for legislation replacing the common law. We want to put back the words "gives or lends". It is something about which hon. Members know because we have discussed it here, apart from the discussion in another place.
There are such people, apparently, as the person who hands dirty pictures or drawings to children because it gives that person satisfaction to do so. Under the Bill as it stands, let us suppose that such a person hands identical copies to two or three children, on the one hand; or, on the other, were to hand the filthy picture to one child; or that the pictures given to the two or three children were different pictures. It would seem that there are not really any essential differences in the offences committed or the culpability of the offender.
But the result, if the Bill is left as it is without adopting this Amendment would be that, in the first instance, the act would be met by the Bill; and it might be said, because identical copies were distributed to two or three children, that we are dealing with a matter covered by the word "distribute." The other case would be outside the scope of the Bill and have to be dealt with on a common law basis. So that, on an indictment, there might be two counts, one being dealt with on a common law basis and the other by the Bill or, in a magistrate's court two cases following on one another and totally different parts of the criminal law would have to be operated for two very closely allied types of activity.
We feel that that would mean great confusion and difficulty for those who had to deal with these cases.
§ Mr. Niall MacDermot (Lewisham, North)
I wonder whether the learned Solicitor-General could help us on what is the present position? He bases his argument now, as he did on the Report stage of the Bill, and as it was based in another place, on the supposition of the person who hands pornographic literature or pictures to small children. He said during the Report stage that there were 12 cases, on average, each year which go before the 1448 courts. With what offences are these people being charged now? Are they charged with publishing an obscene libel, or is evidence laid where they are charged with another kind of offence, such as indecent assault?
I think that it was the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. John Hobson) who spoke about a person charged with another offence and evidence of this kind being laid. From such inquiries as I have been able to make, it does not seem to be common that, up to now, people have been prosecuted with the offence of publishing an obscene libel where what they have done is to hand pornographic literature to children. Could the Solicitor-General tell us now what are the offences with which people have been charged in those 12 cases a year? It goes to the root of the whole question and his argument.
§ The Solicitor-General
I cannot now, without obtaining some information which I have not at present to hand, and I am not sure that there is someone here to collect it for me at this late hour. But I will do my best to answer the hon. Gentleman's question.
§ The Solicitor-General
I should be glad to be able to conclude my submission to the House, because, as I said, everyone who has studied the problem knows all the arguments all the way round.
There is an exactly parallel problem, which arises in another context, which will explain why we want the words about showing, playing and projecting. It is apparently a trouble nowadays—I cannot claim any personal experience of it—that grossly obscene films are made and shown in private, sometimes for gain and sometimes for perversion or corruption. The difficulty about the Bill without amendment in that context would be that a person who sold such a film would be caught by the Bill, but the person who exhibited it or showed it for "dirty" purposes or for purposes of gain would be outside the Bill. An exactly parallel problem would arise in relation to those two cases: one would have to be dealt with under one branch of the law and the other under another.
1449 There is a further difficulty. I am not producing rabbits out of a hat, because hon. Members know all about it. As the Bill now stands, in the case of the grossly obscene film kept for exhibition, one could not make use of the seizure and destruction procedure under Clause 3. On general principle, it is clearly right that we should be able to make use of the seizure and destruction procedure in such circumstances, and that, we submit to the House, is an additional reason for saying that the defintion of "publication" is one which should comprise these words, relating to showing, projecting and so on, as provided by the Amendment.
I do not know that I can recall all the fears which had to be lulled. I think that it was the hon. Member for Deptford (Sir L. Plummer) who was very worried about what might happen if, from his distinguished library, he were to lend a book of a certain character—
§ The Solicitor-General
—of a certain curious character to a good friend and the friend left it about so that it reached the friend's children. Would the hon. Gentleman be in peril under the Clause? With respect, we submit to the House that that is not a very worrying proposition.
§ The Solicitor-General
I do not mean that it would not worry me if the hon. Gentleman were to be prosecuted; of course not. I am not allowed to quote what was said in another place, but I think it right to recall that Lord Birkett, who was looking after the Bill in the promoter's interest there, was compelled to say that he regarded the hon. Gentleman's fear as quite fanciful.
On examination, it does seem to be so. Unless the hon. Gentleman has more enemies than he knows, it is not easy to see how any complaint would be started in the circumstances he envisaged. I cannot imagine that much action would be taken against him on that line. In any event, unless he very badly misjudged the friend to whom he lent the book, it would appear that he would have a good escape under the terms of Clause 1 (1), on the likelihood 1450 of the book tending to deprave or corrupt the very person whom it was likely to reach.
I desire, however, to be serious. I submit that that fear is so abstruse and abstract that it ought not to be allowed to outweigh the obvious public advantage of putting into the Bill the words contained in the two Amendments.
In all the cases about which the hon. Member for Lewisham, North (Mr. MacDermot) asked me, my information is that they were all charged with publishing an obscene libel under the common law.
§ 11.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Roy Jenkins (Birmingham, Stechford)
Despite the fairness of the Solicitor-General in describing their antecedents and his persuasiveness in advocating the Amendments, both of which qualities he has always shown throughout our long discussion of the Bill, I greatly regret that the other place, on the admission of the Government, has felt it necessary to put either of the two Amendments into the Bill.
A short time before the Bill came before the House on Report, three points were outstanding between the Government and the sponsors of the Bill, three points on which the sponsors had succeeded in carrying the opinion of the Standing Committee. Shortly before Report, it was possible to reach agreement on two of the points, the Government giving way on one of them and the sponsors giving way on the other. The third point remained open for the decision of the House, and on a free vote the view directly against the first of these Amendments prevailed.
I think that in all the circumstances, it would have been much better if the Government had left it at that. The matter had been discussed twice and to have a third go was excessive, particularly as on Third Reading the Solicitor-General said—and he expressed the hope that he was speaking not only for himself, but for his colleagues—that he would make no attempt to reverse the decision. In view of all the antecedents, it would have been better for the Government to accept two defeats and not to try for a third one.
As the Solicitor-General has said, the merits of the matter were fairly fully discussed on Report and I do not want 1451 to go over them at length. Doubts were, however, expressed by a number of hon. Members—the Leader of the Liberal Party spoke on this matter, as did some noble Lords in the other place—that this might conceivably lead to gross interference with the rights of individuals. The right hon. and learned Gentleman asked us not to worry about remote possibilities, but, unfortunately, remote possibilities, which we have often been told not to worry about when Bills have been before the Legislature, have become the subject of worry at a later stage.
We cannot entirely dismiss these fears, particularly in view of the fact that, as it seems to me, there is doubt as to whether the Amendment would, in fact, cover the specific point which the Government have in mind of an individual who for perverted purposes wishes to show pornographic literature to young children. I would have thought that in the great majority of circumstances a person who did this neither gave the material nor lent it, but showed it without its going out of his possession and, very likely, not going out of his hands. Therefore, I am extremely doubtful whether the Amendment achieves the purpose that the Government have in mind. I am, however, certain that in trying to achieve it they are opening up grave danger to the interference of the rights of individuals. The Times today, in a leading article, in one of a series in which it has given extremely helpful and consistent support to the Bill throughout its long history, took this view and described the Amendment as unnecessary. That is certainly very much my opinion.
The second Amendment specifically concerns the private showing—the showing in private houses or in other private premises—of pornographic films. We have not debated this issue a great deal here, but in the other place the Lord Chancellor devoted a great deal of attention to it. Indeed, his speech was largely reported in the Press as amounting to a drive against the private showing of pornographic films. I have no doubt that the assembling of people in houses to see such films is not a particularly edifying process, but I am not willing to take the view that because something is unedifying it is necessarily the duty 1452 of this House or of another place to prevent them doing so by law.
I think that it is taking an extremely shallow view of liberty to suggest that one is only in favour of liberty for the purpose of doing things which one thinks ought to be done and that as soon as one comes up against something which is ugly or undesirable one stops short of allowing that liberty. I certainly think that one must look at the possible counter-balancing disadvantages of such a provision. I believe that the cure suggested by the Government may well be a great deal worse than the evil which they have in mind to prevent.
In the other place a noble Lord asked the question—I do not propose to quote him, but merely to paraphrase what he said—" Is it not the case that if this Amendment is inserted the police, passing a private house and seeing a light flickering behind curtained windows, and, thinking that a show is going on within, can go in, because they are suspicious, and ask what is happening? "
The Lord Chancellor, in reply to that question—I think that I am entitled to quote his words—said:In regard to the noble Lord's second point, it is, of course, theoretically possible, but, again, I think one has to trust to a certain amount of common sense on the part of the police.I am not prepared at present to trust too much to the common sense of the police. I have a general conviction that what the country needs at present is certainly not more but less interference with the private lives of individuals. I think it is a pity that this Bill was not allowed to go forward as a more unalloyed liberal Measure. It has certainly been made less so by the two proposed Amendments. I do not think that they destroy the value of the Bill from the point of view of the sponsors, but I think that they are extremely undesirable and I certainly cannot give my support to them.
§ Mr. Robert Jenkins (Dulwich)
The hon. Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins) mentioned the third leading article in The Times today. It was headed, "An Unnecessary Amendment," but in the body of the leader it said that the object of this Amendment was to preventthe exhibition of obscene films on private premises or in back-street clubs.1453 It went on to say that its object was also to preventthe showing of an obscene picture to a child by someone who, indulging in his corrupt pleasure only once or once in a while, might not be held either to have circulated or distributed the picture. …Further, the leader also said that there were other arguments which are available and which I will read if hon. Members challenge me. That is the statement by The Times of the Government's object in supporting this Amendment.
For the life of me I cannot see why any objection should come from hon. Gentlemen opposite to anything which will effect that. I cannot see how people who take a different line from the suggested purpose of the Government's Amendment, whatever legal arguments they may use and whatever arguments they may adduce for the benefit of people who will gain out of this pornographic literature, can possibly go into the Division Lobby tonight and vote for it.
The Times, incidentally, has stood for integrity and decency for many decades and is read by leading statesmen throughout the world. The hon. Member for Stechford said that there had been continued support from The Times for this Bill.
As is known, I have been an opponent of the Bill from the beginning. I much regret that I had not the moral courage to do what I should have done, with my hon. Friends—prevented the Bill from ever reaching this stage. Having regard to these Lords Amendments and the opposition of them, it is a bad thing, an evil thing, that the Bill should ever be put on the Statute Book.
The continued support of the Bill by The Times, and particularly in the leading article today, has, in my view, lowered its moral value in the world. [Lmughter.] I am sorry that hon. Members opposite are laughing. The Times' leading articles are read throughout the world. There is a certain book which we mentioned when debating the Bill in Committee upstairs and on the Floor of the House. In Denmark, in the big stores and the bookshops, and in other parts of Scandinavia where that book is allowed to be published, there are large notices put up, "This book is banned in Britain."
1454 I object to the Bill as a whole, but these Lords Amendments at least improve the Bill and prevent the depravity and corruption which would be bound to ensue if they were not passed. As is known, I feel very strongly on these matters. I believe that any publisher who publishes books which have a corrupting influence is a person who is not worthy of being considered as a decent person at all. I say that anybody who publishes this sort of literature which we understand is corrupting and depraving has no right to be accepted in decent society.
Pope uttered these words:Vice is a monster of so frightful mien.As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face.We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
§ Major H. Legge-Bourke (Isle of Ely)
I wonder whether my hon. Friend realises that when Pope wrote that he was merely plagiarising Dryden who, far earlier, had written:For truth has such a face and such a mien.As to be loved needs only to be seen."?Would my hon. Friend not agree that the complication arises when truth and obscenity get mixed up?
§ Mr. Jenkins
I entirely agree with my hon. and gallant Friend.
If hon. Members opposite vote in a certain way they may lose their Bill; on the other hand, if they vote the other way, they will get it; but I am wondering, since we first endure, then pity, then embrace, whether the writer of that third leader has reached only the stage of pity.
§ 11.45 p.m.
§ Mr. A. J. Irvine (Liverpool, Edge Hill)
I should like in a very few words to support the argument put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins). It is true, as the Solicitor-General said, that this matter has been gone over on several occasions. That, of course, is mainly because of the Government's insistence against the repeated expression of opinion in the House upon the issue.
I am not really so concerned with the observations made by the hon. Member for Dulwich (Mr. Robert Jenkins). It seems to me that he was disregarding the fact that the difference between the two sides of the House in this matter is 1455 on how to deal with particular classes of offences. There is no suggestion from any quarter that offences should not be dealt with. What is in issue is whether they should be dealt with under a comprehensive Statute, such as it is proposed this Statute should be, or whether there shall be rather more left within the ambit of the common law. The Government have set out their reasons for these Amendments on more than one occasion, and we quite understand that the Government would have preferred that the common law on obscenity should be entirely superseded and its whole field incorporated in the Bill.
They did not insist upon this course, however, because, as I understand, they took account of the anxieties of my hon. Friend the Member for Stechford and others that such a course might lead to actions in such matters as live performances of stage plays, the cinema, television, and broadcasting. These, though theoretically covered by common law, had not been, in practice, the subject of prosecutions, and it was felt that there was a risk that if the definition of publishing was not limited, the Bill, by drawing attention to the possibility of prosecution, might lead to action being taken in cases of that kind.
In the atmosphere of reasonable compromise that existed in connection with the Bill, the Government were none the less minded of other cases which, unlike the live stage performance, broadcasting and television cases, have been the subject of prosecution and which would be outside the ambit of the Bill as it left the House. The most important of these cases and the one most commonly referred to is the one called the dirty postcard case. It is said that it is undesirable that the common law should be kept active in respect of some forms of publication closely connected with the forms of publication covered by the Bill. Hence these Amendments to bring within the Bill all forms of obscenity which are expected in practice to be the subject of prosecution.
The difference that exists in the House rests upon this point, and we on this side are not pleased with the result. The point may be rather narrow, but we think that it would have been far better to keep within the field of the common 1456 law both, theoretically, live stage performances, the broadcasting, the cinematograph show in public, and the television, and, practically, the distinctive cases of private giving, lending and showing. We do not think that the duplication which would have followed from that would have given rise to much harm or confusion.
There is a point, on which my hon. Friend the Member for Stechford touched, that the man who is prosecuted for the dirty postcard type of offence will, in most cases, not give the postcard or lend it. He will show it. As I see it, the showing of it may be caught by the second of the two Amendments which we are discussing. But if there is reading matter on the postcard, as there may be, the showing of it, as distinct from the giving of it or the lending of it will not be caught by the Bill. I think that I am right in that.
It would seem to follow, therefore, that, albeit in a small number of cases, in any case of showing, as distinct from giving or lending postcards containing reading matter upon them, it will be still necessary to have recourse to the common law even if the Bill is passed in the form it is now proposed with these Amendments. The Solicitor-General spoke about the desire to avoid confusion, and we would all agree upon that, but there is an odd result of the policy which the Government are pursuing. When persons come to study the Bill, knowing it to be intended to be comprehensive in character and to cover all cases of obscenity which are to be the subject of prosecution, they will discover that under the Statute Law of England although it is an offence to exhibit a pornographic cinema performance in private it is not an offence to do so in public. That does not seem to be a desirable result. It seems to have certain confusing features and to be something which might well have been avoided if the Opposition's view on this issue had been adopted.
To sum up, I think that the object of bringing into the Bill all the publications which are currently subject to prosecution may not be achieved by the Lords Amendments, that the attempt to make the Bill comprehensive in this fashion gives rise to anomalies no less confusing than those the Lords Amendments were 1457 designed to eliminate, and that the Amendments open up the possibility of prosecution in a wide field of private cases to an extent which is undesirable.
§ Sir Peter Agnew (Worcestershire, South)
I intervene only to make my position clear on these Amendments. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Dulwich (Mr. Robert Jenkins), I am, generally speaking, opposed to the whole of the Bill in that I feel that it gives away far more on the one hand than it tightens up on the other, although professing to do both. I do not know—
§ Mr. Kenneth Robinson (St. Pancras, North)
But the hon. Gentleman signed the Report of the Select Committee on Obscene Publications, which goes a good deal further in the direction that it does not like the Bill in its present form.
§ Sir P. Agnew
Perhaps the hon. Member is forgetting that individual members of Select Committees do not sign the Reports of those Committees, so that no question of signature arises. When those Reports come to the House hon. Members who are members of the Select
§ Committees are free to express any views that they may wish about them.
§ I do not know whether the promoters of the Bill propose to divide the House on these Amendments in an attempt to disagree with the Lords. I am minded to form the opinion that they would not take up the time of the House by dividing if they thought they had any chance of winning the vote, because if they did it would be most unlikely that the Bill could possibly pass into law this Session. Consequently, I hope they will not take up time by having a vote, which would be quite unreal in its purport.
§ Although I do not like the general purport of the Bill, and think that we should have been better off if it had never been introduced, much less passed in its present form, I believe that it would be wrong for me to abstain from supporting the Lords Amendments because I might thereby risk supporting the Opposition in a totally improper purpose.
§ Question put:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 81, Noes 12.1457
|Division No. 173.]||AYES||[11.56 p.m.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Goodhart, Philip||Partridge, E.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Grant, Rt. Hon. W. (Woodside)||Pitman, I. J.|
|Armstrong, C. W.||Green, A.||Pott, H. P.|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Bingham, R. M.||Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.||Redmayne, M.|
|Body, R. F.||Hesketh, R. F.||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Hill, John (S. Norfolk)||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Brewis, John||Hobson, C. R. (Keighley)||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|Brooman-White, R. C.||Hornby, R. P.||Sharples, R. C.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hughes-Young, M. H. C.||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Hutchison, Michael Clark (E'b'gh, W.)||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Conant, Maj. Sir Roger||Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Cooke, Robert||Kershaw, J. A.||Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)|
|Corfield, F. V.||Legge-Bourke, Mal. E. A. H.||Teeling, W.|
|Courtney, Cdr. Anthony||Lagh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|Cunningham, Knox||Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)||Thompson, R. (Croydon, S.)|
|Deedas, W. F.||Linstead, Sir H. N.||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|de Ferranti, Basil||Maddan, Martin||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Markham, Major Sir Frank||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|du Cann, E. D. L.||Mathaw, R.||Webbe, Sir H.|
|Duncan, Sir James||Mawby, R. L.||Webster, David|
|Elliott, R. W.(Ne'castle upon Tyne. N.)||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.||Whitelaw, W. S. I.|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Medlicott, Sir Frank||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Finlay, Graeme||Nabarro, G. D. N.||Woollam, John Victor|
|Gibson-Watt, D.||Nairn, D. L. S.|
|Glover, D.||Noble, Michael (Argyll)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Godber, J. B.||O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||Mr. Robert Jenkins and|
|Sir Peter Agnew.|
|Bonham Carter, Mark||Irvine, A. J. (Edga Hill)||Plummer, Sir Leslie|
|Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan)||Jenkins, Roy (Steohford)||Usborne, H. C.|
|Grimond, J.||Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)|
|Holt, A. F.||Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Howell, Denis (All Saints)||Palmer, A. M. F.||Mr. MacDermot and|
|Mr. Kenneth Robinson.|
Lords Amendment: In page 1, line 17, at end insert: "or
(b) in the case of an article containing or embodying matter to be looked at or a record, shows, plays or projects it:
Provided that paragraph (b) of this subsection shall not apply to anything done in the course of a cinematograph exhibition (within the meaning of the Cinematograph Act, 1952), other than one excluded from the Cinematograph Act, 1909, by subsection (4) of section seven of that Act (which relates to exhibitions in private houses to which the public are not admitted), or to anything done in the course of television or sound broadcasting.
§ The Solicitor-General
I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.
In view of some words said by the hon. Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins), I should say that it is a complete illusion to suppose that this Amendment suggests some new drive against the private display of grossly obscene films. All that happens, of course, is that the power of prosecuting is transferred from the common law to this Bill.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Remaining Lords Amendments agreed to.