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Statutory Instrument, 1184

Volume 481: debated on Wednesday 29 November 1950

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27.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he has now reconsidered the retrospective operation of Statutory Instrument, 1950, No. 1184 in view of the uncertainty as to whether the Act under which it is made gives authority for it to be made with retrospective effect.

My right hon. Friend has fully considered this question and is advised that the provision giving the Order in Council retrospective effect is valid. Orders in Council made under the British Settlements Acts are not subordinate legislation of the kind referred to in the Treasury Circular of 21st June, 1946, to which the hon. Member drew attention in his Question of 25th October, but constitute the exercise of what, within the limits laid down in the Acts, are plenary powers of legislation in regard to such Colonies.

Notwithstanding that answer, will the Minister agree that there has been considerable doubt about the validity of this Order and, as the constitution of the Legislative Council of the Falkland Islands is dependent upon it, will he introduce a Bill to put validity beyond doubt?

No, Sir. Validity has, in fact, been put beyond doubt, it is a very useful thing, if I may say so, that the hon. Baronet should have raised the question because, as a result of his original Question, put down recently, he received an answer and validity has been put beyond doubt.