HC Deb 11 November 1941 vol 374 cc2066-7W
Mr. David Adams

asked the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies what is the present constitutional position in Ceylon; whether any ordinances or amendments to the Constitution have increased the powers of the Government; whether any portion of the Constitution has been suspended; and what ordinances have been promulgated?

Mr. George Hall

An Order in Council was enacted last year to enable the life of the present State Council to be extended up to a maximum period of two years from January, 1941. This has been the only recent enactment having any important bearing on the Constitution. Its object was to provide further time for consideration of the whole position. The following statement was issued, both in Ceylon and in this country, on 28th October, 1941: His Majesty's Government have had under further consideration the question of constitutional reform in Ceylon. The urgency and importance of the reform of the Constitution are fully recognised by His Majesty's Government, but before taking decisions upon the present proposals for reform, concerning which there has been so little unanimity, but which are of such importance to the well-being of Ceylon, His Majesty's Government would desire that the position should be further examined and made the subject of further consultation by means of a commission or conference. This cannot be arranged under war conditions, but the matter will be taken up with the least possible delay after the war.

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