asked the Home Secretary whether he has come to any decision on the question of the prolongation of the duration of the House of Commons of Northern Ireland; and whether he is aware that, owing to the absence of many Ulstermen on active service and the staleness of the register, a general election held under present conditions would of necessity fail to express the mind of the electorate?
To continue the duration of the United Kingdom Parliament for another year beyond November next legislation will be required, and the Government propose to include in this Measure a provision enabling the duration of the House of Commons of Northern Ireland to be prolonged for a year from next March provided such prolongation is approved by a resolution of the Northern Ireland House of Commons.
Can the Home Secretary say whether, in view of the fact that in Northern Ireland there are a Government and an Opposition, and that the coalition principle, as in our own case, has not been accepted, there is in fact a substantial case for prolongation, and ought they not to be permitted to have an election?
Are these questions not out of Order because they are all in the exclusive domain of the Government and Parliament of Northern Ireland, and especially does not the question raised in this House as to the composition of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, which comes exclusively under the Act of 1920, fall within the power of the Parliament of Northern Ireland itself?
While recognising the very strong case against an election in these circumstances, would it not be a reasonable thing to suggest that some endeavour should be made to formulate a National Government on the lines of this Parliament in order to prolong its life?