Volume 2 (1922) / Pages 409 - 410
Mr. M'GUFFIN: I would only like to remark that this Bill is a provision as I understand it to deal with the situation as it has been agreed upon between the representatives of the Southern area and this House here. We have no assurance at the moment that the Southern area authorities will be able to carry out their part of the Agreement, and that is a very serious thing.
Mr. SPEAKER: Might I remind the hon. Member that he cannot on this motion discuss the merits of the Bill. It is simply a motion that all the remaining stages be taken to-day, and, whether the motion is defeated or not, the Bill, of course, still goes on.
Mr. M'GUFFIN: I quite agree. The point I am coming to is that we have heard very grave rumours at the moment and some of us think they have a very substantial basis that we will have a very serious upheaval in the very near future, which may affect the consequences of this Bill very seriously. So at the moment why should we proceed with it? Why should such precipitancy be observed with respect to this matter? Of course, we take into consideration the difficulty suggested by the Minister of Finance that the holidays are about to intervene. I would suggest under the circumstances that it would be better that further consideration of this Bill should be adjourned over the holidays to let us see how the situation is going to develop.
Mr. POLLOCK: The Government cannot agree to the postponement of this measure on the ground if for no other reason that it is necessary that we here should confirm the action of the signatories to that tripartite arrangement which was entered' into by our plenopotentiaries in London on the 30th March. We entered into that arrangement, and I think we must in good faith carry it out. That seems to be the opinion of the Government, and therefore they cannot agree to the postponement of the measure as suggested by my hon. Friend (Mr. M'Guffin).
Question put, and agreed to.
LORD LIEUTENANT'S SPEECH.
(ANSWER TO ADDRESS).
Mr. POLLOCK (at the Bar of tine House) reported the Lord Lieutenant's answer to the Address as followeth: House of Commons, Parliament of Northern Ireland.
I have received with great satisfaction the expression of your thanks for the Speech with which I have opened the present Session of Parliament.
FITZALAN OF DERWENT, Lord Lieutenant-General and General Governor of Ireland. 6th April, 1922.
Mr. POLLOCK (at the Bar of the House) reported to the House that his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant, in the name of, and on behalf of His Majesty the King, has been pleased to give his Assent to the following Act agreed upon by both Houses:
Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act, 1922.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE BILL.
Considered in Committee.
Mr. MOLES in the Chair.
Clause I (Special Court for Serious Crimes), ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Clause 2 (Powers, Procedure, and Rules of Special Court).
(1) The special court shall have all the powers, authorities and jurisdiction which would, apart from this Act, have been vested in a court of assize or other court or commission sitting for the trial of any such crime or offence, and shall have power to determine any question and to find any issue or verdict which would, apart from this Act, be required to be determined or found by a jury.
(2) The special court shall have an office in the City of Belfast and shall sit, for the trial of crimes or offences under the provisions of this Act, in the county of the city of Belfast, or in such other county as the special court in any particular case shall direct, and the special court shall, whether sitting in the county in which the crime or offence was committed ox in which the accused person was returned for trial or elsewhere, have the same powers, authorities and jurisdiction as if sitting in the county in which the offence was committed, or in which the accused person was returned for trial.
The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Mr. Best): I beg to move that in Clause 2, page 2, line 4, leave out "any such" ("any such crime or offence") and insert "the." Amendment agreed to.
Mr. BEST: I beg to move that in Clause 2, page 2, line 17, after "the" (the offence was committed) insert "crime or."
Amendment agreed to.
Clause as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Clause 3 (Duration of Act) ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Mr. BEST: I should explain that Clause 3 was left out, Clauses 4 and 5 were put in instead of Clauses 3 and 4. It was a purely