New Clause. — (Amendment of form of Certificate.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Ministers of the Crown and House of Commons Disquali Fication Bill. – in the House of Commons on 18th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Donald Somervell Mr Donald Somervell , Crewe

As hon. Members will remember I dealt with this matter to some extent when I was moving the Second Reading of the Bill. Having listened to the discussion, I am not sure that the gap between the Government and those hon. Members who spoke on this matter in the Second Reading Debate is as large as some hon. Members represented. I said—and I repeat—that it is, of course, implicit in the granting of the certificate by the Prime Minister that the Prime Minister considers that the case in question is one in which the Member should be free to accept the work without, as a matter of law, disqualifying himself as a Member. That seems to me to cover most of the points that were made about the difficulty of the private Member's position, and so on. I think that the suggestion contained in the new Clause goes beyond what is reasonable and proper. I think we all agree that the Prime Minister, by giving the certificate, implies that the appointment is one which in present circumstances he thinks the Member should be able to take without being forced to resign. The new Clause suggests that the Prime Minister should go further than that, and should certify that it is in the public interest that the Member should remain a Member of the House. I think that goes beyond the realities of the situation.