Clause 3. — (Power of Parliament of Dominion to legislate extra-territorially.)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 24th November 1931.

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Photo of Mr John Withers Mr John Withers , Cambridge University

I regret the attitude of mind of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sparkbrook (Mr. Amery). This is one of the most important matters that has come before Parliament for many years, and it is destined to regulate the British Empire for centuries. It is the duty of every Member to put before the Committee his views, if he thinks he ought to do so. Although I did not put my name to this Amendment, I thoroughly appreciate the reasons of the hon. Members who have done so. The Solicitor-General says there may be absurd anomalies created in theory but that in practice they will not occur; but here we are making a Statute which is to last for years, and surely it is our duty, if we can, to remove such anomalies. We may be told that there is no time to do it, and that may be so, owing to this Statute of Westminster having been brought be- fore the House at a time of unexampled trouble and anxiety, and after a General Election in which the matter was never mentioned. Personally, I feel that it is very wrong of right hon. Gentlemen, however learned they may be, to impute motives and reasons to hon. Members who are trying to do their duty.