HC Deb 06 March 1940 vol 358 cc386-7
66. Mr. Paling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can give the House any information about the disagreement between the Governor of Ceylon and the Ministers in the State Council which led to the mass resignations of the Ministers?

Mr. M. MacDonald

I understand that the Board of Ministers in Ceylon have resigned in consequence of a disagreement with the Governor following the issue of directions by the Minister and the Executive Committee for Home Affairs to the Police Department for the postponement of criminal proceedings arising out of are cent riot on an estate in which the police had to intervene. I have asked for a detailed report on the situation from the Governor, and pending its receipt am not in a position to make a fuller statement.

Mr. Paling

Can the Minister say whether any legislation or agreement exists suspending the possibility of general elections in Ceylon during the war, and if not, has the Governor power himself to suspend elections?

Mr. MacDonald

I do not think there is any such legislation, nor that it would be open to the Governor under his existing powers to do what the hon. Member suggests.

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