HC Deb 20 January 1949 vol 460 cc316-7
22. Professor Savory

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations whether, in view of the fact that the Republic of Ireland Bill has now been passed into law, he has called the attention of the Government of Eire to the contractual obligations involved in the Treaty of December, 1921, and expressly reserved by the judgment of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council delivered on the 6th June, 1935; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

No, Sir. I think there would be no advantage in taking the course which the hon. Member suggests.

Professor Savory

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that on all previous occasions when an amendment of the Agreement of 1921 was passed it was bilateral, as it was accepted by Acts of Parliament passed by this House, whereas now there is a complete repudiation of the 1921 Treaty, without His Majesty's Government even being informed, as the Lord Chancellor told us in another place?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I am not sure that I followed all the implications of what the hon. Member said, but I think I could accept very few of them.

Wing-Commander Hulbert

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been called to the statement by the ex-Attorney-General in this House to the effect that the Statute of Westminster has no effect on this Treaty?

Mr. Noel-Baker

There was also a decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 1935 which the hon. Member for Queen's University of Belfast (Professor Savory) has quoted many times in this House, which said something rather different.