HL Deb 19 April 1875 vol 223 cc1206-7

House in Committee (according to Order).


thought the difficulty which had been mentioned the other night by the noble Viscount opposite (Viscount Halifax) as to dealing with the question whether an Act passed by the Indian Legislature was ultra vires or not, in reference to a pending litigation, might be met by inserting a provision in the Bill that whenever it appeared to the Judges of the High Court that an Act passed by that Legislature was ultra vires, whether in consequence of a case pending before them or not, they might refer to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for their opinion on that question. The noble Marquess accordingly moved an Amendment to that effect.


entirely approved the course taken by the noble Marquess.


said, he was not present the other day when this Bill was before the House. He entirely agreed with the noble Marquess opposite in the object of the Bill. He thought the Bill was of the highest value, and in no respect more valuable than with regard to a matter to which he thought very little attention had been drawn— namely, the power which, it would give for the first time to the Secretary of State to disallow part of a measure. When he (the Duke of Argyll) was in office he had no option between disallowing the whole of a measure and allowing the whole of it. He wished to know what was to become of a case pending a reference to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for their opinion upon a question of ultra vires?


said, the Judges would have power to adjourn a case pending such reference.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: the Report thereof to be received on Friday next, and Bill to be printed, as amended. (No. 59.)