Oral Answers to Questions — Contracts for War Duration (Definition).

– in the House of Commons on 18th February 1942.

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Photo of Sir Frank Sanderson Sir Frank Sanderson , Ealing

asked the Attorney-General whether, as many contracts have been, and are being, entered into for the duration of the war, including Government agreements, he will, by legislative action or otherwise, produce a legal definition of the term "For the duration of the war"?

Photo of Mr Donald Somervell Mr Donald Somervell , Crewe

So far as private contracts are concerned, different expressions are used, and it is probable that parties have different circumstances in mind. So far as Government contracts are concerned, this matter has been considered with a view to ensuring that words are used which will be free from ambiguity and carry out the intentions of the parties. The Government do not regard it as practicable, at any rate in present circumstances, to produce a legal definition which would satisfactorily dispose of the difficulties. If my hon. Friend has any special points of difficulty in mind, I would be very glad to consider them.

Photo of Sir Frank Sanderson Sir Frank Sanderson , Ealing

Is the Attorney-General aware that a variety of contracts have been entered into for the duration of the war, and that the Government have entered into a contract with the railway companies for the duration of the war and one year after?

Photo of Mr Donald Somervell Mr Donald Somervell , Crewe

I know that that is so. It is not quite clear what the parties intend in regard to all the cases of private contracts. As my hon. Friend and the House know, different views may be taken on when it may be said that the war has come to an end. In some contracts it may be quite clear that it is on the termination of hostilities, but in other contracts it may be plain that it is the legal end of the war by Order in Council.

Photo of Sir Frank Sanderson Sir Frank Sanderson , Ealing

Has any definite decision been arrived at in the case of the railway companies as to what is the end of the war?