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 Pierse Loftus Mr Pierse Loftus , Lowestoft

I am afraid that I was not present during the Second Reading of this Bill, but I have listened to the Debate on this new Clause, and I must confess that I found the remarks of the Attorney-General quite unconvincing. If I understood the right hon. and learned Gentleman aright, the argument he used was that the decision whether a Member should retain his seat in the House should not be embodied in the certificate issued by the Prime Minister, because it is essentially a matter for the Member him self to decide. That seems to me a most dangerous argument, because it is making a man adjudge in his own case, a case which may involve very delicate considerations and a case where an outside individual should obviously be the judge. To leave the onus entirely on the Member himself is wrong, and there should be some outside person or authority to decide. It might conceivably be unfair in some cases to ask the individual to make the decision.