Capital Punishment - part 2

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Capital Punishment - part 2


de Freitas has tabled Motion advocatg. suspension of penalty for period of years.  This wd. be called in preference to Motion by back-bench supporter of Govt.  This seems to point to need for a Govt. motion.  And that is desired by our supporters - who wd. welcome a lead from Govt.  Even those who favour abolition wd. be ready to vote in favour of retn. if Govt. made clear their intention to legislate on secondary matters covered by Heald Cttee.


Govt. motion wd. make it easier to get nobblers to support retention. Form of motion : put first the promise of amendg. legn. and continue "meanwhile penalty shd. remain".


Mustn't imply tht. penalty will be abolished when that legn. has bn. passed.


Will not be easy to frame legn. on secondary matters.  Most unlikely that it cd. be ready for this session.


We must on that a/c be guarded about what precisely will go into this legn.

Ld. Adv.

Sc. common law of diminished responsibility to be applied by statute to E. & Wales.  The legn. need not therefore be applied to Scotland.


Unless we have to cover Geneva Convention.


We needn't take a decn. or make an announcement, on that point at present.


Presume Ll.G. won't define precisely which points will be included in the legn.


Wiser to leave content open - for review in light of suggns. made in debate.
 In particular, inexpedient to promise that it will raise age-limit to 21.
Agreed  : Table Govt. motion.
L.P.S. to draft [with Ll.G., K., J.S., Solr. Genl] -    on lines of promisg. amendment of law, while    c.p. shd. be retained as part of the law of the land.


I wd. find it diff. to support such a Motion, but would be willing to abstain.


I am in same position as H.A.

Agreed  : Free vote for back-benchers.  Members of Govt.    not to vote against Motion.


Think we must promise to legislate to narrow the law on constructive malice and provocation.   Agreed.
Govt. spokesman in debate - to be settled by P.M.

Taken from C.M. 9(56) - Meeting held on 8 February 1956.