§ 2.35 p.m.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (LORD WALSTON)
My Lords, with your Lordships' permission, I should like to repeat a Statement made by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies in another place on November 4, about the Cayman Islands (Constitution) Order in Council 1965, and the Turks and Caicos Islands (Constitution) Order in Council 1965, which have been laid before the House.
These Orders revoke the Cayman Islands (Constitution) Order in Council 1962 and the Turks and Caicos Islands (Constitution) Order in Council 1962, and in each case reproduce the provisions of the Order revoked, with retrospective effect from August 6, 1962; and incidentally in the case of the Turks and Caicos Islands the Order amends the Constitution in certain respects with effect from the commencement of the Order. The 1962 Orders were made by Her Majesty in Council on July 30, 1962, and came into operation on August 6, 1962. They were made under Section 5 of the West Indies Act 1962 and, by virtue of Section 7 (3) of that Act read in conjunction with Section 4 (1) of the Statutory Instruments Act 1946, they should have been laid before both Houses of Parliament after they were made and before they came into operation. It has recently been discovered that, through inadvertence, the requirement to lay the Orders in that way was overlooked at the time. I am advised that the failure to lay the 1962 Orders did not prevent them from coming into operation and having full legal effect from the date from which they purported to do so. However it is pos- 28 sible that the contrary might be argued, and for that reason it has been considered prudent to make these new Orders. I ask the House to accept the apologies of all concerned for the failure to lay the 1962 Orders.
§ LORD CARRINGTON
My Lords, I am much obliged to the noble Lord for making that Statement. The noble Lord is a most courteous Member of this House. I noticed that in this Statement he did not even once hint to your Lordships that it was really we on this side of the House who were to blame.
§ LORD WALSTON
My Lords, I do not think it amounts to retrospective legislation. I think it amounts to the retrospective putting right of an oversight.