HC Deb 13 May 1925 vol 183 cc1990-2

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the House do now adjourn."—[Commander Eyres Monsenll.


I rise to speak on this Motion, in order to draw the attention to the reluctance of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies to cause inquiries to be made into the manner in which permanent officials in Malta are giving effect to the constitution which has been his great work, and for which I am sure that not only I, but this House and the Empire, will be most grateful to him. In dealing with this question, I am fully conscious of the necessity of keeping entirely clear of the responsibility of permanent officials to the Secretary of State, as distinguished from the responsibility for local affairs of Ministers in the Colonies. But if this constitution is to be a success, and to emerge from the difficulties under which it is labouring, it is necessary that the right of any hon. Member of this House to call for an inquiry should be emphasised. Perhaps the most brilliant of the provisions which my right hon. Friend inserted in the constitution has reference to the composition of the Upper House. My friends of the Labour party have this evening been making a reference to the House of Lords. They will be interested to hear that my right hon. Friend has been so careful in balancing in the constitution of Malta, the various interests, sentiments, difficulties about language, religion and interests in Malta, that he has devised a new method under which there are representatives of the Trade Unions Council in the Upper House in Malta. But what has happened with reference to this representation? For nearly a year the representatives of the trade unions in the Upper House have been eliminated. The elimination of the balance of power has had the result of keeping in office a Ministry that has not a majority either in the Upper House or in the Lower House or in the country. In an Upper House of 16, by eliminating two

Notice taken that 40 Members were not present; House counted; and 40 Members not being present,

The House was adjourned at Eighteen Minutes after Eleven of the Clock until Tomorrow