HC Deb 26 July 1918 vol 108 cc2212-3

This Act may be cited as the Trading With the Enemy (Amendment) Act, 1918, and shall be construed as one with the Trading With the Enemy Acts, 1914 to 1916, and those Acts and this Act may be cited together as the Trading With the Enemy Acts, 1914 to 1918.


I beg to move, at the end, to add the words, Nothing in this Act shall be construed as limiting the powers of His Majesty's Government by Proclamation to prohibit any transaction or business which is not prohibited by this Act, or to licence and permit any transaction or business which is so prohibited. These words are taken from those giving power to the Board of Trade by the Trading With the Enemy (Amendment) Act, 1914. It seems to me you may well insert this proviso in this Act as well as in the other. The Board of Trade have certain powers which they can use, and which perhaps they ought to use, and as Parliament only a short while ago gave this Department similar powers in a similar Act I do not see why we should not extend those powers to this Act.


This Amendment has just reached me, and I have not had an opportunity of considering and seeing just exactly what it means. I would, therefore, suggest to my hon. and gallant Friend that he should agree to withdraw his Amendment. I will very carefully consider it, and see whether the words can be introduced, if necessary, at a later stage of the Bill.


The Government in this matter, I think, ought to have proceeded under the Defence of the Realm Act or by Orders under that Act. These powers have already been inserted in Acts, and the present proceeding is as much as to say that the Government have been wasting time all along in bringing in these trading with the enemy Bills. As they claim the right to interfere with the liberty of the subject under the Defence of the Realm Act they need not have been so squeamish in dealing with enemy subjects. They ought to have dealt with enemy rights, and enemy rights of property all along, either by Proclamation or the Defence of the Realm Act. This is quite unnecessary.

Amendment negatived.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.