HC Deb 30 July 1935 vol 304 cc2550-1

" .—(1) If on an application made in accordance with the provisions of this section a High Court is satisfied that a case pending in an inferior court, being a case which the High Court has power to transfer to itself for trial, involves or is likely to involve the question of the validity of any Federal or Provincial Act, it shall exercise that power.

(2) An application for the purposes of this section shall not be made except in relation to a Federal Act, by the Advocate-General for the Federation and, in relation to a Provincial Act, by the Advocate-General for the Federation or the Advocate-General for the Province."

6.39 p.m.


I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

It is well known to all who have followed this Bill that it will be possible for the validity of any Act purporting to be passed under the powers conferred by this Bill, to be open to question. That is the inevitable result of the establishment of provincial autonomy, which necessitates the delimitation of the powers of the Federal and Provincial Legislatures. The new Clause is to enable the High Court to obtain seising of any case raising such an issue upon the application of the Advocate-General of the Federal Government or of the Provincial Government as the case may be. It is obviously a convenient practice that when disputes may arise in other courts other than the High Court raising the question of the validity of an Act that the High Court shall be in a position to remove that debate to the place where it must be authoritatively discussed and decided.