HC Deb 17 February 1927 vol 202 cc1116-7W

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he has received a certified copy of the minutes of the Trade Union Council established in Malta by Lord Plumer under powers that were to be exercised within one year of the enactment of the new Constitution; whether he has examined the Clause of the Malta Constitutional Letters Patent that makes that Trade Union Council the sole authority to determine the qualification of candidates and of electors and the mode of holding elections of two senators to represent the council constituted as above; and whether he will give instructions to give effect without further delay to the opinion of the Law Officers, communicated to Parliament, that the council so constituted could not be suppressed or varied otherwise than by an Act passed by the established majority in each House of Parliament?


I have received the copy of the minutes which my hon. Friend recently sent to me. I have examined the section of the Malta Constitution Letters Patent referred to, but have been advised that the Trade Union Council recognised by Lord Plumer no longer exists, and consequently is not the authority for the purposes mentioned. With regard to the last part of the question, Section 7 (4) of the Malta Constitution Letters Patent as added by the Proclamation of the 15th September, 1921, is a permanent provision of the Constitution until the Legislature alters it by an Act passed by the requisite two-thirds majority in each House. Under this provision the Trade Ur ion Council means a council or other boy recognised by the Governor as representing the trade unions of Malta for the purposes of the Constitution. As already indicated above, the council referred to by my hon. Friend is not so recognised.