§ 3.18 p.m.
§ THE EARL OF LISTOWEL rose to move, That this House approves the continuance in force of the Proclamation issued under Section 139 of the Government of Burma Act, 1935, by the Governor of Burma on 10th December, 1942, a copy of which was presented to this House on the 9th of February, 1943.
§ The noble Earl said: My Lords, Section 139 of the Government of Burma Act provides that if a situation has arisen in which the Government of Burma cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Act which, of course, included the operation of a Burmese Legislature, the Governor may, by Proclamation, take over the legislative and executive powers vested under the Act in any other authority, and exercise these functions himself. As a result of the occupation of the greater part of Burma by the Japanese, it became impossible to govern the country in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the Governor of Burma assumed all the functions of Government from December 9, 1942.
§ Section 139 also provides that a Proclamation issued by the Governor shall continue in force for a period of six months. After that, the Resolution of both Houses of Parliament is required to 229 approve its continuation in operation for further periods of twelve months, subject to a total period of three years. As war conditions still do not permit a resumption of Parliamentary government in Burma, a further Resolution is now necessary to prolong the validity of the existing Proclamation. I should like to add, for the information of the House, that a statement of policy in Burma will be laid before Parliament as a White Paper by His Majesty's Government before the Whitsun Recess. In order to carry this policy into effect, legislation to make certain temporary provisions with regard to the future Government of Burma will be required, and a Bill will be introduced in due course.
§ Moved, That this House approves the continuance in force of the Proclamation issued under Section 139 of the Government of Burma Act, 1935, by the Governor of Burma on l0th December, 1942, a copy of which was presented to this House on the 9th of February, 1943.—(The Earl of Listowel.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.