HL Deb 07 February 1974 vol 349 cc918-9

3.57 p.m.


My Lords, I have the honour to present a Message from the Counsellors of State, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, signed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon.

The Message is as follows:

"The Emergency Powers Act 1920, as amended by the Emergency Powers Act 1964, having enacted that if it appears to Her Majesty that there have occurred or are about to occur events of such a nature as to be calculated, by interfering with the supply and distribution of food, water, fuel or light, or with the means of locomotion, to deprive the community, or any substantial portion of the community, of the essentials of life, Her Majesty may, by Proclamation, declare that a state of emergency exists:

"And Her Majesty having on the ninth day of January, 1974, made, in pursuance thereof, a Proclamation declaring that the industrial disputes affecting persons employed in the coal mines and on the railways and the reduction of oil supplies reaching Great Britain did, in Her opinion, constitute a state of emergency within the meaning of the said Act of 1920 as so amended, which Proclamation does not remain in force for more than one month:

"We, Counsellors of State, to whom have been delegated certain Royal Functions as specified in Letters Patent dated the twenty-fourth day of January, 1974, being of the opinion that the continuance of the said industrial disputes and the continued reduction in those oil supplies constitute a state of emergency within the meaning of the said Act of 1920 as so amended, have, in pursuance thereof, made on Her Majesty's behalf a Proclamation dated the seventh day of February, 1974, declaring that a state of emergency exists."