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Wednesday, 25 March 1942

Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES (Wakefield) . - I agree with some other honorable gentlemen who have expressed th? opinion that the terms of these regulations are unnecessarily wide and that any oral instructions which may be given in order to apply the regulations should be supplemented, whenever possible, by written confirmation. When some people are given a measure of authority they are apt to use it to the full. Certain people who are authorized to use general powers are liable to overrun their authority. 7 consider, therefore, that these regulations might reasonably be amended to provide that oral instructions shall be confirmed in writing, and that there shall be some provision for a court of appeal to persons who may feel aggrieved. I read a few days ago that a somewhat similar situation arose in the time of Charles I. and Cromwell. Views somewhat similar to those I am enunciating were, in fact, voiced as far back as 1647. Cromwell and Ireton had sent a Cornet Joyce to take Charles I. away from the house where he had been living as a captive. [ quote the following passage from Charles I. and Cromwell, by G. M. Young- " And now Mr. Joyce ", said the King, "tell mc where your commission is? Have you anything in writing from Sir Thomas Fairfax?" Joyce hesitated, and Charles persisted. " Pray you deal ingenuously with. me. Where is your commission?" Joyce had an inspiration. "Here", he said, pointing to the troopers. The King ran his eye along the ranks, and turned to the Cornet with the smile which so often served him well. " Indeed, it is one that I can read without spelling: as handsome and proper a company of gentlemen as 1 have seen this many a day ".

Even in those days there was request for a written authority. Joyce, we realize, had with him 500 Buffcoats, troopers in some kind of a uniform, but these regulations may be put into operation by a person, or a company of persons, in mufti. There may be nil evidence whatsoever available at the- moment of the authority of persons to do the things that they propose to do. En my view it is not necessary that such wide powers should be placed in the hands of persons to do the things envisaged by the regulations.

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