HC Deb 24 February 1938 vol 332 cc646-7

7.27 p.m.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Earl Winterton)

I beg to move, That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, in pursuance of the provisions of Section 309 of the Government of India Act, 1935, praying that the Government of India (Adaptation of Acts of Parliament) (Amendment) Order, 1938, be made in the form of the draft laid before Parliament. On previous occasions when the House has been dealing with these Orders, it has been agreed, with the permission of the Chair, that the Orders should be taken together, and I should like to ask whether, if no objection is raised to that course on the present occasion, the four Orders with which we now have to deal might be discussed together.

Mr. Speaker

That method of dealing with these drafts has seemed to facilitate the Debate on former occasions, and, if the House so desires, I see no reason why it should not be done now.

Earl Winterton

I think I shall be able to make my short explanation of the Orders before half-past seven, when I understand there is Private Business to be taken. The first Order, the Adaptation of Acts of Parliament (Amendment) Order, is merely due to the fact that, while Burma at the present time is separated from India and enjoys fiscal autonomy, there must be some fiscal arrangement in operation between this country and Burma. It is intended by this Order to continue that arrangement for a further period beyond that laid down in the existing Order, for the purpose of enabling a permanent agreement to be reached between the Government of Burma and the Government of this country.

The second Order, the Governors' Allowances and Privileges (Amendment) Order, deals with certain alterations which are proposed in certain grants made to Governors in India, and also to their staffs. The cumulative effect is not considerable, and I may add that any particular application of these Orders made by the Secretary of State is subject to question and answer in this House. The third Order applies some similar provisions to Burma; and the fourth Order relates to the financial settlement between Burma and India. There was a long discussion in the Joint Committee, followed by a discussion in the House in the course of the proceedings on the Bill, with regard to the terms of this financial settlement, and a committee was set up, of which my right hon. Friend the Member for Sparkbrook (Mr. Amery) was chairman, with two other members, to apply the financial settlement. The Order in question represents the recommendations of that committee, which have been accepted both by the Government of Burma and by the Government of India. I ought to explain, before I sit down, that, provided no objection is raised in this House, I shall, at the conclusion of the discussion, move that the Debate be adjourned, and, if that be agreed to, the Orders will go to the House of Lords. It will, however, be open, should any Amendments be made by the House of Lords, for this House to consider them when the Orders are returned here, the procedure being exactly the same as in the case of a Bill.

Ordered, "That the Debate be now adjourned."—[Earl Winterton.]

Debate to be resumed on Monday next.