§ 8.25 p.m.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I beg to move, in page 73, line 11, to leave out Sub-section (1).
This first Amendment goes with the other long and rather formidable-looking Amendment to insert three new Subsections which stands on the Order Paper in the name of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and which I will explain in a moment. The Clause, which deals with professional and technical qualifications, was discussed at some length in Committee. Hon. Members opposite pointed out that in so far as it protects people already in India the Clause is too rigid, because it might be that among them there are people who for one reason or another, possibly because they were practising some form of quackery which was deleterious to the public, ought not to be given the benefit of this protection. That point we thought was a good one, and we have sought to meet it in the new Sub-section (2) by giving the Governor-General or the Governor power to make an exception to the protection which it is intended to give to these people if some exception is, in his view, in the public interest. We feel that will meet that point, which I think was raised by the hen. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones). So far as the general intention of the Clause is 871 concerned, namely, that there should be control over professional and technical qualifications, so that they should not be used to discriminate unfairly against anyone, it was pointed out that the Clause as drafted applied to Acts of the Legislature, but that the effective instrument which debarred some people from practising or laid down the actual conditions for practising and which could, therefore, be used for a discriminatory purpose, was to be found in the rules or regulations made under an Act. It is proper in these cases that the Act should be in general terms and should set up some body and give them power to make rules. Therefore, if we desire to carry out the general idea, laid down in the first instance by the Joint Select Committee, of preventing discrimination, we really should deal with the rules as well as with Acts of Parliament, because otherwise the Clause might easily become inoperative.
If the House will look at the further Amendment to which I have referred they will see that regulations made under the provisions of any Federal or Provincial law which prescribe professional or technical qualifications or impose by reference to any professional or technical qualifications any disability, liability or condition shall, not less than four months before they are to come Into operation, be published in such manner as may be required by general or special direction of the Governor-General or the Governor, and if within two months of such publication complaint is made to the Governor-General or the Governor that the regulations will operate unfairly against any class of persons affected the Governor-General or Governor, if he is of opinion that the complaint is well-founded, may disallow the regulations. By dealing with the matter in that way one produces this result, that neither the Governor-General nor the Governor will be troubled if there is nothing discriminatory or of which anybody has any right to complain in the regulations. Minor alterations will be made frequently and probably no such complaints as I have indicated will then arise. The Amendment does not extend the intention of the Clause, but makes it operative by making it apply to the instruments in which those evil intents against which the Clause is directed, if any, will be found. Then it was pointed 872 out that the Clause as originally drafted applied only to future Acts and not to rules which might be made under existing Acts, and that point also has been met. The last Sub-section provides for the division of functions as between the Governor-General and the Governor and enables the powers to be split up between them. There, are a lot of words on the Order Paper, but I think that I have substantially explained the effect of this and the following Amendments.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made In page 73, line 29, after "any," insert "disability.".
§ In line 31, alter the first "any," insert "occupation, trade, or.".
In line 37, at the end, insert:
(2) The Governor-General or a Governor shall not give his sanction for the purposes of the preceding Sub-section unless he is satisfied that the proposed legislation is so framed as to secure that no person who, immediately before the coming into operation of any disability, liability, restriction, or condition to be imposed by or under that legislation, was lawfully practising any profession, carrying on any occupation, trade, or business, or holding any office in British India shall, except in so far as may be necessary in the interests of the public, be debarred from continuing to practise that profession, carry on that occupation, trade, or business or hold that office, or from doing anything in the course of that profession, occupation, trade, or business or in the discharge of the duties of that office which he could lawfully have done if that disability, liability, restriction, or condition had not come into operation.
(3) All regulations made under the provisions of any Federal or Provincial law winch prescribe the professional or technical qualifications which are to be requisite for any purpose in British India, or impose by reference to any professional or technical qualification, any disability, liability, restriction, or condition in regard to the practising of any profession, the carrying on of any occupation, trade, or business, or the holding of any office in British India, shall, not less than four months before they are expressed to come into operation, be published in such manner as may be required by general or special directions of the Governor-General or, as the case may be, the Governor, and, if within two months from the date of the publication complaint is made to the Governor-General or, as the case may be, the Governor that the regulations or any of them will operate unfairly as against any class of persons affected thereby, the Governor-General or Governor, if he is of opinion that the complaint is well founded, may, at any time before the regulations are expressed to come into operation,
by public notification disallow the regulations or any of them.
In this Sub-section the expression 'regulations' includes rules, by-laws, orders and ordinances.
In the discharge of his functions under this Sub-section the Governor-General or a Governor shall exercise his individual judgment.
(4) If the Governor-General exercising his individual judgment by public notification directs that the provisions of the last preceding Sub-section shall apply in relation to any existing Indian law, those provisions shall apply in relation to that law accordingly, and the functions which under those provisions are to be performed in relation to a Federal law by the Governor-General and in relation to a Provincial law by the Governor shall, in relation to that existing Indian law, be performed, according as may be directed by the notification, by the Governor-General exercising his individual judgment, the Governor exercising his individual judgment or partly by the one and partly by the other of them."—[The Solicitor-General.]