§ MR. CAVE (Surrey, Kingston)
To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Act passed by the Legislature of New South Wales with a view to obtaining the benefit of Section 20 of The Finance Act, 1894, was communicated to the Imperial Government early in the month of February, 1905, but, nevertheless, the Order in Council under Section 20 was delayed until May 29th, 1905; whether he is aware that the delay in passing the Order has involved a loss to one estate alone of upwards of £900; and whether, in order that individuals may not suffer by the delay of a public department, he will give instructions that in the case above referred to and in all similar cases the Order in Council shall be treated as retrospective, and a return of duty shall be made.
(Answered by Mr. Asquith.) The usual course of procedure was followed in this instance. It was necessary to take legal advice as to the effect, not only of the Act referred to, but of other legislation of New South Wales, before the issue of an Order in Council could be agreed to. The Colonial Act was made to take 396 effect from the date of the Order in Council, and there was therefore no ground for making the operation of the Order retrospective.