HC Deb 20 May 1957 vol 570 cc926-7

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.

Mr. Marquand

There is a considerable number of hon. Gentlemen who sit for Northern Ireland in the House, not one of whom do I see in his place in this Committee at the point at which the Clause dealing with Northern Ireland arises. As far as I am aware, we have had no contribution at all from those hon. Members during the Committee stage. I hope I am not doing them an injustice; no doubt I shall be corrected if I am wrong.

It is noteworthy that, whereas my hon. Friends who represent Scottish constituencies have taken an active part in the discussion, there has been no voice whatever raised from Northern Ireland. Although the Bill will presumably, according to the provisions of the Clause, apply to Northern Ireland and involve the workpeople of Northern Ireland in the payment of increased contributions, there has been no one present to speak on their behalf.

6.45 p.m.

I ask the right hon. Gentleman to say whether all we are doing in this Clause is to permit the Parliament of Northern Ireland to pass such legislation, if it is pleased to do so. Does he understand that the Government of Northern Ireland intend to introduce a similar Measure in Northern Ireland? If all I do is to elicit an answer to that question, I shall have done something to help the workpeople of Northern Ireland to get that answer, which is something their own Members of Parliament have not bothered to come and do.

Mr. Vosper

The reason that my hon. Friends are not here in support, I think, is that the Bill does not, in fact, cover Northern Ireland. Separate legislation by the Northern Ireland Parliament is required.

All that this Clause does is to give the permission of the House of Commons, which is required for the Northern Ireland Parliament to legislate in respect of the Crown, since it is otherwise prevented from doing so. I understand that it is the intention of Northern Ireland to enact similar legislation as soon as the permission of the House has been given through Clause 5 of the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.