HL Deb 18 July 1935 vol 98 cc633-6

Qualifications dependent on Property, &c.

3. Subject as aforesaid, a person shall also be qualified to be included in the electoral roll for any territorial constituency if he either—

(e) has throughout the twelve months immediately preceding the prescribed date owned immovable property in the Province of the value of not less than two thousand rupees or of an annual rental value of not less than sixty rupees, not being land assessed to land revenue; or

VISCOUNT MERSEY moved, in paragraph 3 (e), after the first "rupees," to insert "or in rural areas of one thousand rupees." The noble Viscount said: My Lords, my noble friend the Marquess of Lothian has left me very inadequately to represent him. The object of the Amendment standing in his name is to reduce the property qualification of rural voters in the Punjab, the suggestion being that it will increase the number of rural voters as against the urban voters. I am afraid I cannot support it by any further words, but I am sure the noble Marquess in charge of the Bill is thoroughly conversant with all the arguments in respect of it, and no doubt with an answer to them.

Amendment moved— Page 359, line 19, after ("rupees") insert ("or in rural areas of one thousand rupees").—(Viscount Mersey.)


My Lords, I quite appreciate the intention of the Amendment, but it seems to me to be a matter which really ought to be considered primarily by the people of the Punjab. We have had some consultation with the Government of the Punjab and they are against the charge being made. I am told that as a matter of fact the Amendment would have very little effect. There has not been discrimination hitherto between rural and urban voters and the Government do not wish to see discrimination introduced. As the Amendment would probably have very little effect in the direction intended I hope that the noble Viscount will be disposed to accept the views of the Punjab.


My Lords, I am quite ready to accept the arguments of the noble Marquess, though I cannot answer for my noble friend.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Seventh Schedule [Legislative Lists]:

THE MARQUESS OF ZETLAND moved, in List II, at the end of paragraph 49 ["Cesses on the entry of goods into a local area"] to insert "for consumption, use or sale therein." The noble Marquess said: My Lords, this is an Amendment for the addition of certain words to the Provincial entry. It is proposed in order to prevent the possibility of the powers conferred under this entry on a Provincial Government, or municipality or other local body with the approval of a Provincial Government, from being used to impose anything of the nature of a transit duty, which was, of course, never intended. These words will safeguard that.

Amendment moved— Page 395, line 26, at end, insert ("for consumption or sale therein").—(The Marquess of Zetland.)

Ninth Schedule [Provisions of Government of India Act continued in force with Amendments until the establishment of the Federation]:

LORD RANKEILLOUR moved to insert:

"41.—(1) The Governor-General and each of the members of the Governor-General's Executive Council shall not—

  1. (a) be subject to the original jurisdiction of any High Court by reason of anything counselled, ordered, done by any of them in his public capacity only; nor
  2. (b) be liable to be arrested or imprisoned in any suit or proceeding in any High Court acting in the exercise of its original jurisdiction; nor
  3. (c) be subject to the original criminal jurisdiction of any High Court in respect of any offence not being treason or felony.

(2) The exemption under this section from liability to arrest and imprisonment shall extend also to the Chief Justices and other Judges of the several High Courts.

The order in writing of the Governor-General in Council for any act shall, in any proceeding, civil or criminal, in any High Court acting in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, be a full justification of the act, except so far as the order extends to any European British subject; but nothing in this section shall exempt the Governor-General, or any member of his Executive Council, or any person acting under their orders, from any proceedings in respect of any such act before any competent Court in England."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I should like, in moving this Amendment, to emulate the modesty of the noble Lord opposite by saying that this is a matter with which I am not directly acquainted; but I am advised on substantial legal authority that during the interim period those words are required for the protection of the Governor-General and his Executive Council. I therefore bring the matter up and trust that it will be elucidated by some representative of the Government.

Amendment moved— Page 401, line 8, at end Insert the said paragraph.—(Lord Rankeillour.)


My Lords, I have been asked to reply to this Amendment. The object of it is to preserve the provisions of two Sections, 110 and 111, of the existing Act, which are reproduced in the Amendment textually. It has been thought unnecessary to preserve these sections during the transitional period. They are very limited in scope, applying as they do only to the original jurisdiction of the High Court; that is to say, jurisdiction in relation to causes of action arising in the Presidency areas themselves. Similar provisions have been inserted in the Bill, with a much wider scope; in Clause 304, which applies to the Governor-General, the Governors and the Secretaries of State. The Government of India and His Majesty's Government do not think that any useful purpose would be served by reserving this very limited protection during this transitional period, and there has been agreement both on the other side and here that there is no need to retain them in their present form. For that reason they were designedly omitted from the Bill.


With that explanation, I beg leave to withdraw.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Twelfth Schedule [Composition of the Burma Legislature]:


My Lords, these are consequential Amendments.

Amendments moved— Page 418, line 30, leave out ("as defined in Section six of the Government of India Act, 1870") and insert ("or Burma") Page 418, line 36, leave out ("as defined in the said Section six") and insert ("or Burma").—(The Marquess of Zetland.)


My Lords, the next Amendment is consequential.

Amendment moved—

Page 419, leave out lines 14 to 16, and insert: ("(3) In this paragraph the expression native of India or Burma' has the same meaning as the expression 'native of India' had for the purposes of Section six of the Government of India Act, 1870, and accordingly it includes any person born and domiciled within the dominions of His Majesty in India or Burma of parents habitually resident in India or Burma and not established there for temporary purposes only").—(The Marquess of Zetland.)

Sixteenth Schedule: