§ The Attorney-General (Sir John Hobson)
I beg to move, in page 3, line 8, after "who" to insert "wilfully".
This is a proposal which the Government would submit to the Committee to deal with the point raised by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Newport (Sir F. Soskice) on Second Reading. Under Clause 1(2, a), persons are under a duty to give notice to the Minister of any requirement or prohibition which has been imposed or which is threatened to be imposed on them pursuant to measures of a foreign authority to which the Minister has already applied the section.
It can be said, I think, with some force, that a man cannot neglect to comply with requirements of which he has no notice, and there is some support for the view that the Amendment is unnecessary. On the other hand, I entirely agree with the right lion, and learned Gentleman that it is better to make sure by inserting the word "wilfully" in this subsection so that it reads:wilfully fails to comply with section 1(2)(a)".It will then be apparent that a person does not commit an offence under Clause 1(2, a). unless he has knowledge of the facts which he ought to disclose and knows that he ought to disclose so we are not under Clause 1(2,a) making it an offence which might be committed by a person who had no knowledge of the facts he was supposed to have reported.
§ Sir F. Soskice
I am grateful to the Government for having proposed this change and I am sure that the Committee will support it. I agree with the right hon. and learned Gentleman that there is an ambiguity about the meaning of the word "neglect", and that conceivably it could be said by somebody charged with an offence that he did not know of the imposition and could not be said to have neglected to have complied with the requirement of the Government. It is, however, desirable to remove any possibility of controversy in the matter. I think that the Amendment amply does this and I hope that the Committee will support it.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.1602
§ Clause 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Bill reported, with Amendments; as amended, considered; read the Third time and passed.