§ 55 and 56. Sir R. COOPER
asked the Prime Minister (1) if steps are being taken to remove from the Privy Council members who are of enemy birth; (2) if he is aware that Sir Edgar Speyer, Baronet, asked, in 1915, to be relieved of his membership of the Privy Council; if this request was refused; and if he proposes to reconsider it?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
As regards Sir Edgar Speyer, it is the fact that in the year 1915 he offered to resign his membership of the Privy Council, and the offer was not at that time accepted. I understand that in the event of the Nationality and Status of Aliens Bill becoming law his name will be submitted by the Home Secretary to the Committee to be set up under that Bill. As to the general question, the subject is, I understand, to be raised in another place, and the decision of the Government will then be taken.
§ Mr. SWIFT MacNEILL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, so far from declining to accept the resignation of Sir Edgar Speyer as a member of the Privy Council, the present Government employed both the Law Officers of the Crown to defend Sir Edgar Speyer's status in the Court, and if the right hon. Gentleman will look in the "Times" of the 25th July, 1916, he will see it?
§ Mr. MacNEILL
It is the same thing; one Coalition Government is the same as another. Both these Law Officers, including the Attorney-General, who is a member of the present Government, appeared before the Court, and received fees out of the public funds adequate to his dignity?
§ Mr. P. MEEHAN
Is it the intention of the Government to remove the Irish Privy Councillors who were members of the Ulster Provisional Government?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
So far as I can gather the hon. Member has given us a recital of history, but I would not like to say offhand whether it is accurate or not.