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 Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

I should not have intervened again but for the spirit of the reply of the Solicitor-General. I asked only a simple question, refraining from making a speech because I did not want to hold up business. The question was on a purely technical point, a legal point, and it was put with no desire to try to make out, as the Solicitor-General inferred, that we should get absurd legislation in the Dominions. I repudiate the idea that any Member on the Treasury Bench can ride off in that way from a question which is too difficult. I know that the hon. and learned Gentleman did not intend that, hut, after all, he said it, and that being so the least I can do is to get up and tell him that I have no intention of casting any reflection on Dominion legislation. May I remind the hon. and learned Gentleman, also, that perhaps the Dominions have better lawyers than we have here. At any rate we have passed innumerable silly and stupid laws, such as the legislation dealing with the sale of sweets, and the like. I will not take up the time of the Committee any longer, except to express the hope that the ordinary private Member who puts a question will not be treated as though he wished to cast reflections on the Dominions, although I am sure that was not intended.