HC Deb 10 May 1951 vol 487 cc2146-7
36. Sir H. Williams

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the subject of an Indemnity Bill in respect of the failure to lay properly Statutory Instrument No. 413.

Sir H. Shawcross

The Speaker's Ruling, although in terms only relating to Statutory Instrument No. 413, appeared to concern a great many others since that Instrument was laid in accordance with a practice initiated as long ago as 1943. As a result, legal questions arose which, although largely academic, were of great complexity and doubt. My immediate predecessor was advised by the then Attorney-General that in all the circumstances the proper course was to put them beyond doubt by legislation. I do not feel disposed to differ from the advice so given, and a Bill will be presented in due course.

Sir H. Williams

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman able to say when the Bill is likely to be laid.

Sir H. Shawcross

No, I am afraid I cannot say exactly when the Bill will be laid. Some of the questions are a little complicated, but we hope to have the Bill quite shortly. I shall consult the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Aldershot (Mr. Lyttelton) in regard to its contents before it is introduced.