HL Deb 09 January 1974 vol 348 cc598-9

3.28 p.m.


My Lords, I have it in command from Her Majesty the Queen to deliver to your Lordships a Message regarding the Declaration of a State of Emergency. 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 twelfth day of December, 1973, made, in pursuance thereof, a Proclamation declaring that the industrial disputes then affecting (among others) 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: and the continuance of the industrial disputes affecting those persons, and the continued reduction in those oil supplies having, in Her Majesty's opinion, constituted such a state of emergency as aforesaid:

"Her Majesty has deemed it proper, by Proclamation dated the ninth day of January, 1974 and made in pursuance of the said Act of 1920, as so amended, to declare that a state of emergency exists."