Volume 21 (1938) / Pages 1945 - 1946
Clause accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.
CLAUSE 9 (Interpretation of Act and of principal Act).
Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
Mr. BROWN: This Clause states that "Statutory period" means a period comprising five days at least on which the Senate or the House of Commons (as the case may require) has sat, but not being in any case shorter in duration than ten days, such days being reckoned without regard to the question whether they are comprised in one or in more than one session of Parliament. I submit to this Committee that that is a bad principle, and one to which the Committee should not give its approval. Whether this has been the practice in the past or not I do not know, and it really does not matter. What does matter is that this Committee should not give its approval to such a principle. The number of days should be reckoned in one session of Parliament and, not two.
The CHAIRMAN: What, the Iron. Member does not seem to realise is that this is simply quoting an Act that is already on the Statute Book.
Mr. BROWN: But I submit that this Parliament has power to alter that Act or any other Act of this Parliament.
The CHAIRMAN: Not on this Clause.
Mr. BROWN: I hold that this House ought to have the power.
The CHAIRMAN: You may convince the House that it ought to have the power by means of a Motion. You cannot do it on this Clause.
Mr. BROWN: I wish to speak on this point now.
The CHAIRMAN: You cannot do it now.
Mr. BEATTIE: I wish to ask a question with reference to sub-clause (2).
References in the principal Act to the Irish Free State shall be construed as references to Eire.
I hope the Minister is aware-I am sure he is aware-that Eire is the whole of Ireland. Is the right hon. Gentleman now making this apply to the whole of Ireland? The principal Act is a Northern Ireland Act, and I want to know is it correct to describe the TwentySix Counties as Eire.
The CHAIRMAN: This means that references in the principal Act to the Irish Free State shall be construed as references to Eire.
Mr. BEATTIE: Eire is not correct.
The CHAIRMAN: Because we know it is not correct for the whole of Ireland is no reason why people in the Irish Free State cannot call, themselves by any name they like.
Mr. BEATTIE: When we are legislating we must do so properly. If people, owing to their stupidity, do not know that the Twenty-Six Counties are not Eire, we must not show our stupidity by permitting a Bill to go through with Eire in it, when what is meant is really the Twenty-Six Counties. I say that Eire is the whole of Ireland, and that in no educated assembly would the word be used as applying to only one part of the country.
The PRIME MINISTER: I think the hon. Member is entirely wrong. We never passed an Act making Eire Ireland, and consequently whatever they pass in other parts of the country does not affect us in the slightest. They might call themselves Germany if they like; it would not affect us.
Mr. BEATTIE: You recognise Eire, whether you like it or not.
The PRIME MINISTER: Not at all. We are only substituting the word.
Mr. BEATTIE: In this Clause you have given it recognition, and whether you like it or not it is there. I say it