HC Deb 27 May 1935 vol 302 cc852-3

7.20 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 55, line 12, at the end, to insert:

Provided that, if it appears to the Governor that it is impracticable to obtain in time the concurrence of the Governor-General, he may promulgate an ordinance without the concurrence of the Governor-General, but in that case the Governor-General in his discretion may direct the Governor to withdraw the ordinance and the ordinance shall be withdrawn accordingly. This is a point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for the English Universities (Sir R. Craddock) during the Committee stage. It relates to the issuing of ordinances. The Committee agreed that the Governor-General should give his approval to the issue of ordinances issued in the discretion of the Governor of a Province. It was then pointed out that there might be emergencies in which it was not possible to obtain the Governor-General's approval in time. I do not believe that with the telegraph and the telephone those emergencies are likely to occur. None the less to meet a possible gap in our machinery I move the Amendment.

7.21 p.m.


This seems a sensible provision but I think it is slightly incomplete. There are many provisions in. Acts of Parliament whereby an order is made which requires either an affirmative resolution by this House or it can be annulled through a Prayer, but it almost invariably provides that if the order is annulled there shall be an indemnity against any proceedings being taken because the thing was temporarily in force and subsequently ceased to be in force. When an ordinance is made it seems to me that certain things may be done under it. Assume that later on the Governor-General instructs a Governor to withdraw the ordinance. What is to happen with regard to the action taken during the period when the ordinance was in temporary force? In our Acts we invariably provide for that state of affairs. There ought to be some protection against any action taken by persons during the period when the ordinance is temporarily in force.

7.22 p.m.


My hon. Friend is thinking 'of a case where some interference arises, where an order was said to be ultra vires from the beginning or it might be suggested that it was ultra vires from the beginning. Then it is riot an. unusual provision for anything done under the order before it was got rid of to be treated as having been done with authority. But there is no such case in this provision. It merely provides that the ordinance shall be withdrawn. There is no statement that the ordinance shall be treated as if it was ultra vires or that anything shall be done to make it ultra vires The ordinance is valid while it is in existence, but when withdrawn it will cease to be valid, and there is no necessity for giving any indemnity.

Amendment agreed to.