§ 4.6 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Shepherd.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly:
§ [The LORD MERTHYR in the Chair]
§ Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to.
§ The Preamble:
§ Whereas the Reverend James Godfrey MacManaway was declared elected on the eleventh day of February, nineteen hundred and forty-nine, as a member of the House of Commons of Northern Ireland, and on the twenty-fourth day of February, nineteen hundred and fifty, as a member of the Commons House of the Parliament of the United Kingdom:
§ And whereas on the seventeenth day of October, nineteen hundred and fifty, the Judicial Committee of His Majesty's Privy Council, upon a reference made by Order in Council pursuant to an Address presented by the Commons House of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, advised His Majesty that the said James Godfrey MacManaway, having been ordained as a priest according to the use of the Church of Ireland, was disabled by the House of Commons (Clergy Disqualification) Act, 1801, from sitting and voting in that House:
§ And whereas by virtue of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, the said Act of 1801 applies in relation to the House of Commons of Northern Ireland as it applies in relation to the Commons House of the Parliament of the United Kingdom:
§ Be it therefore enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same. as follows: —
LORD SHEPHERD had given notice of two Amendments in the Preamble, the first being to add to the second recital:
and a resolution to that effect was agreed to by that House on the nineteenth day of October nineteen hundred and fifty:
§ The noble Lord said: On the Second Reading of this Bill I informed the House that there would be one or two Amendments to be proposed during the Committee stage, to carry out a promise made by the Attorney-General in another place as a result of representations from the Opposition Benches about the recitals that appear in this Preamble. The Opposition case seemed to be that as the matter of law had been remitted to the Privy Council, and as the Privy Council had tendered advice, there would be danger of it being assumed that membership of the House of Commons could no longer be determined by the House of Commons itself, but must be determined by court of law. We have examined the position put before us, and we have found ourselves able to produce words which we think will meet the point raised.
In the first Amendment we propose to add to the second recital the words set out in the Marshalled List. If this Amendment is added to the Bill, it becomes clear that all that was received from the Privy Council was advice, and that, having received that advice, the House of Commons itself reached the decision to declare the seat vacant. It may be desirable, for the purpose of record in your Lordships' House, if I read the Resolution passed in another place, so that if we have recourse to the Report at a later stage the Resolution will be in front of us. The Resolution was as follows:
That this House having taken into consideration the Report of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in the case of the Reverend James Godfrey MacManaway, elected a Member to serve in this present Parliament for the constituency of Belfast, West, declares that he was at the time of his election and is disabled from sitting and voting in the House of Commons by reason of the fact that, having been ordained a Priest according to the use of the Church of Ireland, he has received episcopal ordination.
§ The second Amendment, which is to add words to the third recital, covers the case of the House of Commons for the Northern Ireland Parliament. In the present case it is unnecessary for the House of Commons of the Northern Ireland Parliament to make a declaration, because Mr. MacManaway gave notice of his retirement from the Seat. The fact is noted here to make it plain that in both cases Parliament has been called upon to deal with the matter after advice has been 697 given. With those few words, I beg to move the first Amendment.
Page 1, line 15, at end insert the said words.—(Lord Shepherd.)
§ LORD LLEWELLIN
The noble Lord said on Second Reading that he was going to move some Amendment of this sort, and we on this side of the Committee certainly have no objection to what he has now moved. In regard to the second Amendment, I wondered why it was necessary to insert words to say that Mr. MacManaway had resigned from the House of Commons of Northern Ireland, and not to put in a similar recital as to what happened to him in the House of Commons here. The noble Lord has said that this is put in only to show that the Northern Ireland Parliament dealt with it in a different way from the House of Commons here, and I think that is probably a satisfactory explanation.
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
Page 1, line 19, at end insert ("and the said James Godfrey MacManaway gave notice of resignation from the House of Commons of Northern Ireland as from the twenty-second day of January nineteen hundred and fifty-one:").—(Lord Shepherd.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Preamble, as amended, agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Then, Standing Order No. XXXIX having been suspended (pursuant to the Resolution of May 2), the Amendments reported; Bill read 3a, with the Amendments, and passed, and returned to the Commons.