Tuesday | January 16, 2001
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House debates Knife Bill today

THE HOUSE of Representa-tives begins the last third of the 2000/2001 session this afternoon at Gordon House, Duke Street, central Kingston.

The session, expected to be very active with several important Bills to be debated, will open with a debate on the report from the Joint Select Committee of Parliament on the Offensive Weapons (Prohibitions) Act.

The Bill is the Govern-ment's reaction to the increasing incidence of the toting of "offensive weapons" in public places and in particular their use to carry out murders and intimidation in cases of robbery and rape.

One of the most critical aspects of the debate on the Bill has been the fear expressed by members that "anything that could be manipulated by the hand of man" would fit into the category of offensive weapons. Also, members have expres-sed the fear that innocent persons could be found culpable by mere possession of such articles.

The House is also expected to debate Bills amending the Customs Act as well as Acts providing incentives for factory construction and exports. The Bills will be piloted by the Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Omar Davies, and the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Technology, Phillip Paulwell, respectively.

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