HC Deb 26 November 1931 vol 260 cc549-51

"Nothing in this Act shall affect the provisions contained in Section 104 of the Government of India Act."—[Mr. Entwistle.]

Brought up, and read the First time.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

This is only in pursuance of the speech which I made on the Second Reading of the Bill yesterday, in reply to which the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department promised that the matter would be looked into. The real point is merely that the Judiciary and the High Court Judges in India should not be subject to the provisions of the Bill. Their position is different from that of the Indian Civil Service, in that the, Section which affects their pay and allowances is a part of the Government of India Act and that is Section 104, which provides that any alteration made by the Secretary of State in Council in their pay and allowances shall not affect the salary of any Judge appointed before the date thereof. I made the point yesterday, and do not want to repeat my arguments now, that although the members of the Indian Civil Service had expressed their preference for a compulsory rather than a voluntary cut, so far as my information goes that does not apply to the High Court of India; and there are reasons of high policy why it is very undesirable that there should be any modification in the statutory guarantee of the Judiciary in India contained in Section 104. It must be a very tiny matter so far as the amount involved is concerned, but it is one of high policy that Section 104, which preserves the Judiciary and the High Court of India from interference by the Executive, should not be in any way modified or weakened. The proposed new Clause is quite simple.


My hon. Friend has raised an important point. At the same time, I am not in a position to accept the new Clause which he has proposed. I do not think it will be found to be necessary. What I understand has happened is that the Judges have been asked to make a voluntary cut. Many of the higher officials in India have already made voluntary cuts, but I have not yet heard from the Government of India what is the answer to this request. I would suggest to my hon. Friend—I cannot give him any pledge upon the subject—that he should not press this Clause to a Division, but between now and the time when the Bill returns to this House from another place, I shall probably be receiving information from the Government of India and can then let him know what it is, in case he wishes to take further action at a later stage or in another place.


I am much obliged to my right hon. Friend for his statement, and in view of that statement I beg to ask leave to withdraw my Clause.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

Bill reported; as amended, considered; read the Third time, and passed.