HC Deb 06 December 1945 vol 416 cc2516-7
46. Flight Lieutenant Haire

asked the Prime Minister how far the Northern Ireland Government have indicated that they are prepared to follow their traditional step-by-step policy with the pre sent British Government; and what machinery he proposes to set up to ensure full collaboration between the two Governments.

Mr. H. Morrison

What legislative or administrative policy shall be followed in Northern Ireland under the powers conferred by the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, or by any subsequent Act of the United Kingdom Parliament, is a matter for the Government of Northern Ireland and for the Parliament of Northern Ireland, to which that Government is responsible. There has been at all times and continues to be the fullest consultation between the two Governments on matters of common interest, and I see no necessity to make any additional administrative arrangements for this purpose.

Flight-Lieutenant Haire

In view of the state of politics in Northern Ireland, could my right hon. Friend take steps to see that the pernicious misrepresentation of the policy of His Majesty's Government in Northern Ireland by some of the hon. Members opposite is stopped?

Mr. Morrison

With great respect to my hon. Friend, that doctrine would be, constitutionally, quite improper. This Parliament has conferred powers of self-government, within a wide sphere, on the people of Northern Ireland, and having done so, the Government of the United Kingdom really cannot interfere with them.

Sir Ronald Ross

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the Press today the Vice-Chairman of the Labour Party has held up the Government of Northern Ireland as an example of enlightened government— [Interruption.] Read "The Times."

Earl Winterton

On a point of Order. May I call your attention, Mr. Speaker, to the fact that the original questioner commented upon the Government of Northern Ireland? Is it in Order to do that in this House?

Mr. Speaker

The Lord President of the Council gave the answer to that.

Earl Winterton

But is it in Order, Mr. Speaker, for an hon. Member of this House to comment upon the Government of a Dominion?

Mr. Speaker

No, it is not.

Mr. John Beattie

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that the Government of Northern Ireland have declared that they will not slavishly follow the Socialist Government, and will the right hon. Gentleman use that powerful influence which he has to see that the working classes of Northern Ireland benefit by legislation of this House through the medium of a Socialist Government?

Mr. Morrison

The Socialist Government of Great Britain have no right to compel, or to seek to compel, the Government of Northern Ireland to follow, slavishly or otherwise, the policy of the Government of Great Britain.

Sir R. Ross rose

Mr. Speaker

I think this Question is now at an end.

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