§ 2.39 p.m.
My Lords, I beg to ask His Majesty's Government the second question standing in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government whether it is true, as reported in the Press, that it is proposed to apply in the British Colonies and Dependencies the same provisions in regard to the abolition of the death penalty as are contained in the Criminal Justice Bill; and further, if that is so, whether they will defer action in this matter until they have had full consultations with the Governors of these Colonies and Dependencies, and obtained their views; and in any event delay any action until the whole issue has been settled by the decision of both Houses of Parliament.]
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR COLONIAL AFFAIRS (THE EARL OF LISTOWEL)
My Lords, the question whether or not to abolish the death 603 penalty in British Colonies and Dependencies would be a matter for consideration by the local Executives and Legislatures. Any proposals to that end by His Majesty's Government would, therefore, necessarily involve full consultation with the Governments of those territories. It is not contemplated that any such consultations should be initiated by His Majesty's Government before the issue has been settled in this country.
My Lords, I thank the Government for that reply. I am sure that it will be received with heartfelt relief by all those who are in charge of administration, whether legal or otherwise, in the Colonies and Dependencies.