HC Deb 28 June 1920 vol 131 cc131-3

The powers conferred by Section sixteen of the Act passed by the Irish Parliament in the Session held in the twenty-first and twenty-second years of the reign of His Majesty King George the Third, chapter eleven, intituled, An Act for the better securing the liberty of the subject, shall not be exercised by a resolution passed by both Houses and that Section shall be repealed.


I beg to move, to leave out the words "by a Resolution passed by both Houses."

This is purely a drafting Amendment.


What is the Act here referred to?


It is a most interesting Act. I think I have particulars here, if hon. Members will excuse me for a moment.

Captain BENN

Hear, hear.


Does not my hon. and gallant Friend want the particulars?

Captain BENN

As the right hon. Gentleman has asked me a question, I will tell him why I said "hear, hear." It is because this is an illustration of what I meant when I said the proceedings were a farce. Here we have passed four Clauses sub silentio, and when somebody ventures to get up and ask for an explanation of another Clause, we find Ministers have not even the explanation ready.


I think we had better move to report Progress.


The Act referred to is an old Act passed rather more than a hundred years ago Under it the Lord Lieutenant has power by Order in Council to repeal Section 16 of the Habeas Corpus Act of 1781. That is a power which we do not propose to entrust to either of the two subordinate Parliaments. Consequently by this Bill we are repealing a power which now exists on the Statute Book. The words now proposed to be omitted were left in by accident It was a printer's error simply, and if they are left out as we ask, the Clause will have the effect of repealing the power to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act. We do not think it would be right to leave such a power in the hands of the subordinate Parliaments.


It appears to me that this Amendment is a purely drafting Amendment, and any discussion should come on the Clause itself.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill"


May I suggest that the end aimed at might easily have been secured by simply saying that Section 16 of 21 and 22 Geo. 3, Chapter 11 is hereby repealed.

Question put, and agreed to.