HC Deb 12 February 1951 vol 484 cc21-2
39. Mr. Black

asked the Attorney-General whether a decision has yet been reached as to the nature of the body to be established to inquire into the issues raised by the case of the Reverend J. G. MacManaway and its terms of reference.

The Attorney-General

No, Sir. We have been examining the general question of Parliamentary disqualifications, although with special reference to those which most frequently arise in practice, namely, disqualifications owing to the holding of an office of profit or a contract with the Crown. We have not yet decided what would be the most appropriate body for considering the question of clerical disqualification.

Mr. Black

Could the learned Attorney say when it is likely that a decision will be reached on this matter?

The Attorney-General

I should not like to tie myself down. It is a subject of quite unusual complexity and a good deal of controversy.

Sir Ronald Ross

Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman recognise the rather ridiculous distinction between clergymen of the Church of Ireland and clergymen of the Church of Wales, and the urgency of correcting an error which came from an archaic Act passed over 100 years ago?

The Attorney-General

We realise that there is an anomaly under the existing law—not of our making—but the question is how best to remedy it.