Oral Answers to Questions — Statute of Westminster (Anniversary Commemoration)

– in the House of Commons on 10th November 1942.

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Photo of Sir Henry Morris-Jones Sir Henry Morris-Jones , Denbigh

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether, in view of the fact that nth December will be the 10th anniversary of the Royal Assent to the Statute of Westminster and the significance of this Act to our country and the Commonwealth, he will consider, in association with the Governments of the Dominions, such suitable celebration of this date as would be feasible in time of war, with a view to its permanent commemoration after the close of hostilities?

Photo of Mr Paul Emrys-Evans Mr Paul Emrys-Evans , Derbyshire Southern

I have seen the suggestion made in the Press that nth December should be specially commemorated as the anniversary of the enactment of the Statute of Westminster, but I have no evidence that there is any widely-felt desire throughout the countries of the British Commonwealth for such a commemoration at the present time.

Photo of Sir Henry Morris-Jones Sir Henry Morris-Jones , Denbigh

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this day also coincides with the accession of his present Majesty to the Throne and that there is a general feeling throughout the Dominions that it would be very appropriate to celebrate it? Will the Government at all events not give consideration to it?

Photo of Professor Douglas Savory Professor Douglas Savory , Queen's University of Belfast

Is my hon. Friend not aware that the Statute of Westminster is regarded with abhorrence by His Majesty's loyal subjects in Ireland, as this was the instrument under which all the important clauses in the Treaty of 1921 have been abrogated, so many pledges have been dishonoured, and so many promises have been broken?