Proclamation of State of Emergency

Part of Message on Behalf of the Queen – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th February 1972.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet 12:00 am, 9th February 1972

With permission, Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a statement.

Faced with the disruption of coal and electricity supplies caused by industrial action in the coal industry, the Government must take steps to discharge their responsibility to maintain essential services and to minimise the threat to the life of the community. They have therefore thought it right to advise the proclamation of an emergency under Section 1 of the Emergency Powers Act, 1920, as amended, followed by the making of regulations under Section 2.

The regulations will come into operation at midnight tonight. Copies will be available this afternoon. My right hon. Friend will be making an announcement tomorrow about the arrangements for debating these regulations next week. They are based on those made in 1970, with some modifications, and confer on Ministers enabling powers which they will use only to the extent that necessity requires.