§ LORD SELBORNE,
who had given Notice to call attention to the terms of the Proclamation issued under the Royal Titles Act; and to ask for explanations from Her Majesty's Government as to its operation and effect, rose, and said:—My Lords, it will be in the recollection of your Lordships that when the Royal Titles Bill was passing through the House of Commons declarations were on several occasions made by Her Majesty's Ministers as to their intention to advise Her Majesty, if she should think fit under the Bill to assume the title of Empress of India, to restrict the use of that title within the limits defined in those declarations. Those declarations were referred to again when the Bill was passing through your Lordships' House, and were reiterated, if not by every one, certainly by almost every one of the Members of the Government who addressed your Lordships on the different stages of the Bill. It was felt—and I think not unnaturally—by many Members of both Houses who desired, to see effect given to the declarations so made, that it would be well that security should be taken by the insertion of words in the Bill itself for the satisfactory accomplishment of that object; and in your Lordships' House it was suggested by certain persons, including myself, that doubt might be entertained as to the legal power of Her Majesty to give effect to the declarations to which I have referred if no alteration were made in the Bill. But on all those occasions, and in both 1954 Houses, any such alteration of the Bill for that purpose was objected to and resisted; and both Houses were repeatedly assured that Her Majesty's Government saw their way to the full accomplishment, by the form of the Proclamation which might be issued under the Bill, of those restrictions to which they had pledged themselves. They desired that confidence might be placed in the Government, and confidence was placed in them by both Houses of Parliament, not only as to the sincerity of their desire to give effect to this arrangement, but as to their power to do so; and Parliament was referred to the Proclamation as a document which, as soon as seen, would satisfy your Lordships, and satisfy the other House of Parliament, that the means existed and had been properly and effectively used to give effect to the proposed restrictions. My Lords, the Act passed—the Proclamation has been issued, and is now before your Lordships. For my own part, my Lords, I am very sorry to be under the necessity of saying that I, for one, am unable to see how those engagements have been fulfilled by the form of the Proclamation; and it is partly in the hope of eliciting from Her Majesty's Government an explanation of the way in which they have arrived at a contrary conclusion—which I must assume they have—that now at the earliest possible moment I rise to bring this matter under your Lordships' notice. My Lords, the question whether those engagements have been duly fulfilled depends on two things. First, what were the engagements? secondly, what is the true effect of the form of Proclamation which has been issued? My Lords, as to the first of those considerations—what those engagements were—I do not think it is possible that I can deceive myself. I have referred to the declarations themselves as recorded to have been made originally in the other House of Parliament. They were made first, I think, when the Bill was in Committee, on the 20th of March, and they were repeated afterwards on the third reading of the Bill, and I find them perfectly unequivocal. I find them reiterated by more than one Minister—the First Minister of the Crown especially;—and the sense in which they were understood was unequivocally expressed by those who took a leading part in the discus- 1955 sion from the opposite side of the House. I also find that when the Bill was under discussion in your Lordships' House, both on the second reading and on the occasion of the Motion of the noble Earl sitting near me (the Earl of Shaftesbury),—I am not sure that I may not add on a later occasion also—declarations in the same sense and not less unequivocal, were made by several Members of Her Majesty's Government—and those not the least in importance—who addressed your Lordships. I will state at once what I understood and still understand those engagements to have been; and, having stated that, I will then put your Lordships in possession of the proofs of the accuracy of my statements. I understand the engagements taken by Her Majesty's Government to have been two—negatively, that this style and title of "Empress of India" should not, where it could possibly be avoided, be used in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; and positively, my Lords, that it should, as far as possible, be limited in its use to and localized in India. My Lords, as the question of the fulfilment of the promise depends entirely upon the accuracy of the understanding which I have expressed of the promise itself, your Lordships will permit me to put you in possession of those statements which, as it appears to me, bear out my interpretation of the engagement, and are, as I venture to think, entirely inconsistent with any other view of its purport. It is true that when the intention of Ministers to impose a restriction on the use of the title of Empress was first announced in the House of Commons, at the beginning of the sitting of the 20th of March, the Prime Minister limited himself to the negative part of the engagement, as far as the words then used went. He said—I am sure that under no circumstances would Her Majesty assume by the advice of her Ministers the title of Empress in England.But, my Lords, the sense in which that was understood—or rather the further meaning involved—was sure to be, and was, in fact, elicited by the sequel of the debate. The noble Lord who is the recognized Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons referred shortly afterwards to certain 1956 Notices which had been placed on the Paper by two Members of the House of Commons for the purpose of limiting the new title, if possible, to a local application; and after referring to those Notices he said—I cannot conclude without urging upon the Government as strongly as I can the necessity of leaving, if possible, some record upon our proceedings that it is intended that this title which they have advised Her Majesty to assume shall be used in India and for Indian purposes only.No doubt those were only the words of the noble Lord the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons; but on the same evening one of those Amendments to which the noble Lord referred as then upon the Paper, that moved by Mr. Pease, the Member for Durham, came under discussion. That Amendment was in these words—Provided that nothing in this Act contained shall be taken to authorize the use in the United Kingdom of any style or title of Her Majesty other than those at present in use as appertaining to the Imperial Crown.Your Lordships will see that though that Amendment referred negatively and by prohibition only to the use of any new title in the United Kingdom, yet it did so in a manner so stringent that, if it had been adopted, not even in documents referring to India and intended to operate in India, which originated in the United Kingdom, could the new title have been used here. My Lords, in opposition to that Motion, and in order to put the House in possession of reasons why it should not be acted upon, an eminent Member of Her Majesty's Government, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said—Really, after what had been stated by the Prime Minister at the beginning of the evening, that it was not at all the intention of Her Majesty's advisers to advise Her Majesty to take the title of Empress to be borne in this country, but that it should be a title of a local character to be borne in India, this Amendment would be simply in the nature of an expression of want of confidence in the promise or statement of his right hon. Friend. This Bill was to enable Her Majesty—of course with the advice of her Ministers—to make proclamation stating her style and title. The nature of that advice had been already stated, and of course the Proclamation, if at variance with the promise given, would be subject to comment in Parliament, though, the Proclamation would stand. There was, therefore, no necessity for such a clause. Its only effect would be to encumber the Bill if they were to adopt it.1957 My Lords, the debate was continued, and a Member for a great manufacturing constituency, Mr. Muntz, said—The House had been informed by the Prime Minister that this new title was to apply to India only and not to this country.He was followed by the noble Lord the Leader of the Opposition, who said—From the expressions which had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman, and also from the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Attorney General, he gathered that it was the intention of the Government that there should be a local limitation of the title of Empress, and that the Bill was not to make any difference in the ordinary style by which Her Majesty was known. If that were so, the Committee ought to be told the fact in the most distinct language that the Minister could use, and in what way an object in which all were agreed could be permanently secured.….If, then, both sides were agreed that there should be a limitation to India of the use of this title, it should be placed in the Bill as an authoritative expression of the opinion and wish of that House and of the country.Mark, my Lords, the words. Both sides were assumed to be agreed that there should be a limitation to India of the use of the title. What said the Prime Minister who spoke immediately afterwards? A large portion of the passage which I am about to read was read in your Lordships' House on the 3rd of April by my noble and learned Friend now sitting on the Woolsack, as containing the most authoritative declaration of the intention of Her Majesty's Government. The part of Mr. Disraeli's speech so read in this House is in these words—The noble Lord who has just addressed us has put the case very fairly before us. He gives myself and my Colleagues credit for being sincere in the statements we have made and feels that we have given honest advice to the Sovereign, and that advice, I am bound to say, has been received with the utmost sympathy—namely, that the title which Her Majesty has been advised for great reasons of State to assume shall be exercised absolutely and solely in India, when it is required"—mark the words, absolutely and solely in India—"and that in becoming Empress of India she does not seek to be in any way Empress of England, but will be content with the old style and title of Queen of the United Kingdom.The passage read to your Lordships by my noble and learned Friend on the Woolsack ended there. But it is my duty not to omit what the Prime Minister added, as a necessary qualification of that statement— 1958At the same time, I cannot agree that we are to interfere with the prerogative of the Queen, and that under no circumstances shall she acknowledge herself in this country or be acknowledged by others upon the necessary business of the State as Empress of India. Take, for example, a most important State incident that occurred a month ago. The Queen of England appointed a new Viceroy of India. In issuing that commission, was the Queen of England not to act also as Empress of India? In diplomacy it was the constant practice—he might say the invariable rule—to cite the full titles of the Sovereign. Surely it would not be contended that to do so at St. James's would be a violation of the engagement that the title of Empress was to be applied to India only?My Lords, Mr. Disraeli was followed in that debate by Mr. Gladstone, who suggested that the word "local" should be inserted before "addition." He said—The right hon. Gentleman had refused to be absolutely bound to exclude the recital of the proposed Imperial title from every document not relating specifically to the business of India, and he referred to such cases as those of Treaties, wherein it was customary for all the titles of the Sovereign to be recited. But he wished to know whether, when the right hon. Gentleman referred to such cases as those of Treaties, in which it might be necessary to recite the Imperial title, he referred to them as exceptions, and meant them to understand that the local use of that title in India, and in documents relating to India, was to be the general rule?It does not appear that the question, so put, received on that occasion a distinct answer. The answer, if given at all, had been given by anticipation, in the declaration I have already read. The Bill came on for a third reading on the 24th of March; and Mr. Gladstone, in an early part of the debate on that day, referred to the same subject. He said—With regard to the measure itself, I apprehend we have gained by the discussion, at any rate in point of knowledge, on two points. In the first place, we understand from the Government that it is their intention that this title shall be, as far as possible, only employed as a local title." "There are very great disadvantages in such a use of any title belonging to Her Majesty; at the same time, it is a gain, as far as it goes.Then Mr. Gladstone went on to observe upon the difficulty of so circumscribing the title without some express provision; and he referred to the case of diplomatic instruments, which had been mentioned before, and the case of Appeals from India. He was followed by the Prime Minister, whose words on that occasion were as clear, 1959 unequivocal, and explicit as any words which the English language can supply—I thought," said Mr. Disraeli, "that, upon the second point, the right hon. Gentleman was satisfied—namely, that it had from the first been announced that the assumption of the title of Empress was to be limited to India, and to be a local title.He added that it would not be used in Indian appeals.
My Lords, there was an end of the matter in the House of Commons; and I put it to your Lordships whether I am not borne out entirely in the understanding which I have expressed, as one shared by the head of the Government, by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, by the leading Members of the Opposition, and by the House and the country generally. The engagement was not only a negative engagement—that this title should not, without absolute necessity, or some reason relating to India, or reasons of State relating to foreign countries, be used in England; it was also an affirmative engagement that it should be, as far as possible, localized in India, limited to use in India, and in this country for Indian purposes. It was natural, under these circumstances, when the question came before your Lordships' House, that it should have been made apparent that this was the understanding of the Members of your Lordships' House also. On the second reading of the Bill, my noble Friend behind me (Earl Granville) addressed your Lordships in what I, for one, thought a very powerful and a very interesting speech; and in the course of that speech he expressed his understanding thus—The Prime Minister stated that there was not the slightest intention to substitute this new title of Empress for the Supreme and Superior title of Queen, and that it was to be localized in India."With regard to this limitation of the use of the title to India, my noble Friend also referred to a question which a noble Duke (the Duke of Somerset) had put in his speech, to be answered by the Lord Chancellor—The noble Duke referred to the assurance given by the Prime Minister as to the limitation of this new title to India. A question hitherto left unanswered in this debate, and which deserves the attention of the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack, is, what will be the effect 1960 of this Bill, and whether, if it is acted upon, it will be possible to localize this title?And then my noble Friend referred to a great number of writs, commissions, charters, and other documents which in this country were usually supposed to require the full style and title of the Queen, and pressed the Lord Chancellor to say whether it would be possible, consistently with law, to give effect to the intention of localizing the title, so as not to use it in that class of documents in this country. My noble and learned Friend on the Woolsack answered that appeal. He excused himself for not having done so earlier because, he said, he thought it unnecessary. He said that—In another place, a very remarkable and complete declaration had been made upon the subject to which the noble Duke referred. It was said elsewhere, in most distinct language, that, although the advice to be offered to the Crown would, be that the use of the Imperial title—the ordinary and general use of that title—would be confined to India, yet still, at the same time, whenever a legal or formal document had to be employed in which the full style and titles of the Crown had to be rehearsed, that style and those titles must be rehearsed at length, as they stood for the time being.Your Lordships will remember that, at a later stage of the Bill, it occurred to my noble and learned Friend that this difficulty might be surmounted, and that even in this class of documents the full style and title of the Crown need not be used. The point, however, to which I now call the attention of your Lordships is that my noble and learned Friend, referring to the distinct declaration made elsewhere, stated that the effect of it was that the advice to be offered to the Crown would be that the ordinary and general use of the Imperial title would be confined to India. My Lords, on a later day the noble Earl on my right (the Earl of Shaftesbury) moved his Resolution. Your Lordships will remember that that Resolution was simply for an Address praying that Her Majesty would—assume a title more in accordance than that of Empress with the history of the nation and with the loyalty and feelings of Her Majesty's most faithful subjects.I merely mention the terms of the noble Earl's Motion to point out that nothing was said on the face of that Motion as to localizing or not localizing the use of the title. But when, in a very 1961 powerful speech, my noble and learned Friend on the Woolsack answered the noble Earl, he made use of expressions in several parts of that speech which to my mind convey, as clearly as words can do, that at that time his understanding of the engagement entered into in the House of Commons was precisely the same as my own—namely, that it was a double engagement; that the title of Empress should not, without necessity, be used in England; and also that, as far as possible, it should be limited in its use to India and for Indian purposes. The passages in that speech which appear to me unequivocally to prove my noble and learned Friend's understanding of the engagement are these. In the first place, he said—The noble Earl proposes, in effect, that the title of Empress, even if assumed for India—even if used for India alone—is a title which will not be in accordance with the loyal feelings of Her Majesty's subjects.My noble and learned Friend never uses words without meaning. "Why did he use the words "even if assumed for India—even if used for India alone?" Because he understood the Government to have declared that the title of Empress should be assumed for India, and should be used in India alone—that is, as far as was reasonably possible. A little later my noble and learned Friend read the passage of Mr. Disraeli's speech on March 20, already quoted by me, in which he said that Ministers would advise the Queen that the title should be exercised absolutely and solely in India, when it was required. Then my noble and learned Friend referred to the difficulty about writs and charters in this country, which had been supposed to require, for their legal validity, the full statement of the style and titles of the Crown; and he said, in effect, that his answer, given a few days before, was given without the full consideration which had afterwards been bestowed upon the subject. He continued thus—Well, my Lords, I have to state that it is the intention of the Government that the Proclamation to be issued by Her Majesty under this Bill shall comply literally with the engagements which have been given to the House of Commons; and that it will provide, in a manner analogous to the Proclamation of 1801, that upon all writs, commissions, patents, and charters intended to operate within the United Kingdom the Royal style shall continue as it is, without any addition. Again, it is said that the 1962 new title of Empress will overshadow the title of Queen of England. Well, my Lords, that appears to me to be not an argument, but a mere figure of speech, and I am at a loss to conceive how the great title of Queen of England, unchanged and unaltered, and sacred in this country and beloved by every subject of the Crown, can possibly be overshadowed by the addition of a title apposite and appropriate to and only to be used in India.My Lords, the debate did not end with that speech. My own impression was unequivocally conveyed in the speech which I addressed to your Lordships on that occasion. I will not read much of it; one or two lines are enough. I said—Her Majesty's Government have pledged themselves that the title of Empress shall be used only in reference to India….It is by the promise to localize this title in India that Her Majesty's Government have distinctly admitted their knowledge that the name is unpopular in this country.At a later period of the evening the noble Earl (the Earl of Carnarvon) also addressed your Lordships in an able speech. My noble Friend's words were these—As to England, it has been asserted throughout the debate that the title of Empress is not to apply to India alone, but to this country. But your Lordships have heard Members of the Government, over and over again, emphatically deny that statement. I am at a loss to know how they can do so in terms more explicit. It has been contended that this title of Empress cannot be localized; but I should be very sorry if my noble and learned Friend on the Woolsack and the Law Officers of the Crown were unable to find some means of effectually securing that object. My noble and learned Friend told us how the Proclamation was to be issued, and that the title would be confined to the measures which run only in India, and I should be very loath indeed to doubt his capability to give effect to that intention.This brings us to the last stage but one of the Bill in this House. It will be recollected by your Lordships that on that same evening I repeated the expression of my doubt whether, consistently with what had been laid down as law, the Bill without amendment would admit of the intended limitation of the use of the title of Empress, as far as related to those writs, charters, commissions, and other documents which in this country have usually been expressed in the full style and titles of the Crown. My noble and learned Friend promised to consider that question; and on a later day he stated that the Government saw no difficulty and thought no amendment necessary. After I, on the very last occasion when 1963 the Bill was before your Lordships, had endeavoured to state the grounds of the opinion which I entertained, that if the law was as had been laid down, the limitation could not be made under the Bill as it stood, nay noble and learned Friend on the Woolsack said this—The attention of the Government had been called to this point—that there were a great many formal official documents operating in this country, such as writs, &c., in which the title of the Crown was recited, and the Government were asked whether it was their intention, after what had been stated in the other House of Parliament, that the style of the Queen in these documents should in future include the title to be assumed for India. Well, the Government gave an undertaking on that point to which they were pledged, and which they were bound to fulfil, and that was that there should be no change in the Royal style and title in such documents as those which he had just mentioned.And later on my noble and learned Friend added—It was quite possible—and that was sufficient for his purpose—to say, that in the Proclamation issued under the present Bill…such addition should be confined to all documents other than those to which he had referred as operating in the United Kingdom. If that were done, the Proclamation could not operate beyond the words of it, and the difficulty suggested by his noble and learned Friend would not arise.There alone was language used which, taken according to the letter, would be found to correspond with the language of the Proclamation afterwards issued. But I need not say that no man in your Lordships' House could then suppose, or could now or at any time suppose, that my noble and learned Friend, in using that language at that time and for that purpose, himself thought that he was retracting any part of the engagements previously given by himself and by others in this and the other House of Parliament, or that he was emancipating Her Majesty's Government by the form of words he then used from the complete fulfilment of all those engagements. My noble and learned Friend, of all men in the world, is not one who would "keep the word of promise to the ear and break it to the hope;" and nothing in the world therefore can be more certain than that he had no intention, by using those particular words on that particular occasion, to cut down or reverse the effect of previous engagements. Now, my Lords, I come to the Proclamation itself which has been issued. I find that the Proclamation, after reciting the Act of Parliament, proceeds thus— 1964We have thought fit, by and with the advice of Our Privy Council, to appoint and declare, and We do hereby, by and with the said advice, appoint and declare that henceforth, so far as conveniently may be, on all occasions and in all instruments wherein Our Style and Titles are used, save and except all Charters, Commissions, Letters Patent, Grants, Writs, Appointments, and other like instruments, not extending in their operation beyond the United Kingdom, the following addition shall be made to the Style and Titles at present appertaining to the Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom and its Dependencies; that is to say, in the Latin tongue in these words, 'Indiæ Imperatrix.' And in the English tongue in these words, 'Empress of India.'And Our will and pleasure further is, that the said addition shall not be made in the Commissions, Charters, Letters Patent, Grants, Writs, Appointments, and other like instruments hereinbefore specially excepted.The rest of the Proclamation, my Lords, is immaterial. Now, what is the effect of that? This is one of the points on which we very much wish to hear the explanations of Her Majesty's Government. But using my own ordinary intelligence, I will endeavour to construe this composition by the rules of the English language, and I will state what appears to me to be its effect. In the first place, your Lordships will observe that it is as general and as universal with regard to occasions not requiring the execution of a particular class of instruments as any words can be. Under the Proclamation, if, for instance, there were a new reign and a proclamation of a new Sovereign, beyond all doubt it must be made in this country with the full style and titles. Now I can quite imagine that to be reasonable and proper under the circumstances; but I would go on to say that on every occasion whatsoever not requiring a particular class of instruments emanating from the Crown Office, and in the nature of Crown grants, this title is not only permitted, but directed to be used "so far as conveniently may be." What is the force of these latter words? Why, they put the onus probandi on those who do not use the title of Empress. Some particular inconvenience must be alleged to justify any exception from the use of it. A remarkable illustration of this has, I believe, occurred already. I have heard, or rather I have read in the newspapers, that the Corporation of Dublin are desirous of presenting an Address to Her Majesty, and that Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King-at-Arms, is of opinion, and 1965 has so advised the Corporation, that this is an occasion on which under the Proclamation the title of Empress of India ought to be used. I do not know whether Sir Bernard Burke is right or wrong; but it will occur to all your Lordships, that nothing can be a more direct encouragement and invitation to Her Majesty's subjects in this country to use the title of Empress of India on all occasions whatsoever when Crown Office writs and so forth are not used, but on which it may be proper, or thought desirable, to set forth solemnly the style of the Sovereign. I now come to the negative clause of the Proclamation. This only says that the addition of "Empress of India" is not to be made in the "Commissions, Charters, Letters Patent, Grants, Writs, Appointments, and other like instruments hereinbefore specially excepted." I will not puzzle your Lordships with a number of ambiguous cases, but it is quite plain that many doubtful questions may arise; and I have reason to believe, from what has passed elsewhere this evening, that even in the view of Her Majesty's Government all commissions in the Army and Navy are instruments the operation of which extends beyond the United Kingdom, and in which therefore the title of Empress must be used. Passing, however, from those ambiguous instruments of double operation, which are executed in the United Kingdom and operate beyond it—this, at least, is quite certain—that throughout the Colonies, in Australia, in Canada, in the West Indian Islands, in South Africa, and in every Dominion and Dependency of the Crown, this Proclamation directs the style of Empress of India to be used, on all occasions and in all instruments wherein Her Majesty's style and titles are used, without any exception whatever. Let us see how this will operate. I have here authoritative books containing the forms of Proclamations, and writs for the Convocation of the Dominion Parliament in Canada and the Provincial Parliaments, and of a variety of commissions and judicial writs issuing out of the Courts of Canada and in New Zealand, in all of which documents the style and titles of the Crown are used. In all these cases, in Canada and New Zealand, and wherever else the same rule applies, the title of Empress will have to 1966 be used. Talk of localizing the title in India! Why, as has been most truly said, the effect of this is to localize the title of "Queen" without "Empress" in the United Kingdom, and to make the title of Empress general and universal throughout all the rest of the Dominions of the Crown. Was that what was intended? Your Lordships can hardly have forgotten what passed in the other House of Parliament with reference to the Colonies. It was there urged by some hon. Members that if special recognition were given to India in the style and title of the Crown, that recognition should be extended to the Colonies. Against the adoption of that course various arguments were used. One was that the Colonies wished for no change; another, that they were in substance and in reality identified with the United Kingdom. Who, then, would have imagined that when the Proclamation appeared you were going to alter the style and title of the Crown in all documents of this kind throughout the Colonies, and that while making no special recognition of the Colonies themselves? Is it really possible that this can be done, and that at the same time we can in the long run keep out this addition to the Royal title from the United Kingdom? The bonds which unite the various parts of this Empire are so close that it is inconceivable that a title which is to be universal except in the United Kingdom can practically be kept out of the United Kingdom. The result of the whole matter is, that the only class of instruments in which, by this Proclamation, the title of Empress is directed not to be used, is that very class which, down to a very late stage of the Bill in this House, had been assumed and stated by the Government to constitute exceptions, unavoidable by law, to the performance of the engagement into which they had entered. The Government cannot possibly have meant this when they entered into that engagement: because, if they had, no occasion whatever, and no instrument whatever, in which the Royal style and titles were proper to be used, and in which nevertheless the style of Empress should not be used, could have been then in their contemplation. The present question is, Will or will not the operation of the Proclamation be such as I have endeavoured to describe? 1967 If it will, was that the intention of Her Majesty's Government? If it was—which I am unwilling to believe—when, I should like to know, was that intention first conceived? If it was not their intention, what, then, I would ask, is to be done? Can this Proclamation be withdrawn or amended? and, if it cannot, is it to remain operative in the way I have mentioned? I will not weary your Lordships by dwelling again at any length on the difficulty which I originally stated—as to the power of Her Majesty to give such directions, as to documents which by law require in this country that the full style and title of the Crown should be used, as are given by the Proclamation. It appears to me with regard to that point that the Government are still on the horns of a dilemma, from which they have not shown that they possess the means of extricating themselves. Either they have or have not executed the power given to Her Majesty by Act of Parliament to make an addition to the style and titles of the Imperial Crown, and the dependencies thereof. If they have so qualified and entangled that addition with savings and exceptions that it cannot be used without making them, then they have not executed the power which is given by the Act; but if they have made an addition to the style and titles of the Crown at all—if there be any documents in this country requiring by law the full expression of the style and titles of the Crown—the Act of Parliament gives them no warrant to say by this Proclamation that the full style and titles shall not be expressed in those documents. On all these points we are, I think, entitled to some explanation from the Government; but, above all, upon this point—how far they have carried out their engagement that the addition to the Royal style and title should be localized in India and confined to documents to be used for Indian purposes. I think I have proved to your Lordships that they entered into that engagement, and I wish to hear from them whether it was not of the character which I have described, and if it was, how they reconcile it with the terms of this Proclamation.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, knowing as I do the opinions held by my noble and learned Friend on this subject, I am not surprised that he should have taken the earliest opportu- 1968 nity of calling your Lordships' attention to it. My noble and learned Friend has made a charge against the Government—to which from his point of view I believe he sincerely thinks they are open—of having committed a breach—which cannot be otherwise than wilful, if what he has sought to make out be correct—of a solemn and deliberate engagement entered into by them. My Lords, I feel the gravity of that charge. I feel the gravity of it as regards the Government, and I feel the gravity of it as regards myself; for if there is any Member of the Government who more than another is responsible to your Lordships for the engagement entered into with respect to the addition to the Royal title, it is myself. I will take, then, the charge of my noble and learned Friend, which he has stated clearly and distinctly, and I am greatly mistaken if I do not convince your Lordships that every engagement which has been made by the Government on this subject has been observed, both in its letter and in its spirit.
I will ask your Lordships to consider first the effect of the wording of the Proclamation itself; and here I wish to correct a slight error into which my noble and learned Friend fell in referring to the words "on all occasions and in all instruments wherein." My noble and learned Friend seemed to think that the mention of the word "occasions" was without limit. But that is by no means the case—there is a limit, and a distinct limit, imposed with regard both to "occasions" and "instruments;" and it is important that this should be borne in mind. The Proclamation is made to apply to occasions and instruments "wherein our Style and Titles are used," which, of course, means those occasions and instruments where the full use of the style and title of the Crown is proper. The words which follow are exactly the words of the Proclamation of 1801; and although it is not so customary now as then to use the word "wherein" as applicable to occasions, it was the word used in 1801; and when I recollect who were the framers of the Proclamation which was then issued, I am quite willing to adopt their language. This, then, is a Proclamation which applies only to occasions and instruments where, as I have said, the use of the full and com- 1969 plete titles of the Crown is proper. I dwell on that for the purpose of pointing out that this Proclamation has nothing to say to the Corporation of Dublin—the Proclamation is not meant to direct them how to frame their addresses. This is a Proclamation which applies to occasions where the full statutory title of the Queen ought to be used, and only to occasions of that kind. What the Proclamation further does is this:—It takes up every case in which, as far as I am aware, the full statutory title of the Sovereign ought to be used, because in this country there is no such use of the full style and title of the Crown except in documents emanating from the Crown. There is no such thing in this country as a verbal use of the full style and title of the Crown—except, perhaps, on that single occasion to which my noble and learned Friend referred, for I believe at the Coronation of the Sovereign—though I have never witnessed that ceremony—the Herald proclaims verbally the full style and titles of the Crown. But with that exception the use in this country of the full style and titles of the Sovereign by custom or law is usually confined to documents, and this Proclamation takes up and enumerates all those documents—charters, commissions, writs, appointments, and other like instruments. It would be difficult for any one to mention an instrument of authority coming from those offices from which such instruments usually proceed, which is not included in some one or other of the documents named in the Proclamation. I may observe, in passing, that Returns have been moved for, and I think furnished, from every Department of the State, of the occasions when the full style and titles of the Crown are used, and there is not one of those occasions which is not, in my opinion, comprised in the words set forth in the Proclamation. I therefore commence with this—that with regard to the United Kingdom there is in this Proclamation a complete and perfect exclusion of every single case in which the full style and titles of the Crown ought to be used, provided always that the documents in question operate only within the United Kingdom.
My Lords, there are, also, in the United Kingdom certain documents which have their origin here, but which do not spend their force here; but which 1970 have force and efficiency outside the United Kingdom. My noble and learned Friend (Lord Selborne) referred to the case of Treaties and diplomatic engagements in which the full style and titles of the Crown were set forth; but these do not operate merely within the United Kingdom. There is also the case of the appointment of the Governors of Colonies and the Governor General of India. The Governor General of India is appointed in this country by an instrument reciting the full style and titles of the Sovereign; and so would be the Governor of an adjacent colony—the Straits Settlements, the Governor of Ceylon or Hongkong, or any other of the Colonial possessions of the Crown. But with the exception of documents of that kind, I repeat that, so far as I understand it, I am prepared to state that every other document that I am aware of requiring the use of the statutory style and title of the Crown is included under these general words.
My Lords, that being the effect of the Proclamation—I put aside the subsequent portions, for they merely follow the Proclamation of 1801—I come now to ask what is the engagement which the Government gave upon the subject. Now, my Lords, I heard my noble and learned Friend pursue a course which I must venture to say, if I understand anything about the Orders and Rules of Parliament, was the most irregular course which could be pursued. There are occasions on which the declarations of a Minister in one House which have not been made in another must, of necessity, be referred to in the House in which they have not been made. There may be no information before the one House, and therefore it may be fit to refer to the statement made by a Minister in the other House in general terms. But I apprehend that where a measure that has come from the House of Commons has passed into your Lordships' House, and has been discussed here, and where declarations from Members of the Government have been elicited at full length and in great detail, it is utterly irregular to go back and read at length from columns of newspapers the speeches, not merely of Members of the Government but of other Members of the House of Commons, for the purpose of asking your Lordships to form an opinion of the effect of every sentence uttered in the other House. I 1971 do not know whether the reports read are correct or incorrect. I have no means of knowing it. We know, notwithstanding the great general correctness of the reports, how frequently errors arise. But what I do know is this—that we have got among the formal proceedings of the House of Commons a document which I will refer to, and we have the elaborate statements and declarations of the Government in this House upon this very subject. On three occasions—the noble and learned Lord referred to only two of them—I, as the organ of the Government, stated to your Lordships exactly what were the engagements of the Government. My noble and learned Friend rightly said that he did not expect me to say, on the third and last occasion on which I referred to this matter, that I had changed my mind, or that I retracted anything that I had stated on a former occasion. I wish to refer to the three statements I made as being identical, and as showing that,—not once or twice, but three times, and on three occasions—there was a distinct statement made by me in this House of what the engagements of the Government were, and as to the form in which the Proclamation would be. That was the time for my noble and learned Friend, or any one else, to challenge what was said here, and say that it was different from the engagements given "elsewhere." Before I read these engagements I may state what I understand the engagements of the Government to have been, and what the Government meant to be their engagement. What I understand the engagement of the Government to have been and what the Government meant was this—There was a great apprehension expressed that if the title of Empress was used commonly in the United Kingdom, this would happen—It was said round the Sovereign in this country there is a Court; there are persons in the Court who may fancy that the title of Empress is a greater and a more sonorous title than that of Queen; and they may imagine that it is a title more palatable to the Sovereign; and therefore it was said—"If you allow that title to pass into common use in England, or use it in public documents, it will pass from documents into conversation and social use; it will be used in Court, and it will become habituated, and overshadow the 1972 great and ancient title of Queen." In answer to that it was said, "But we, the Government, will endeavour to prevent the use of the title in the United Kingdom. We mean it to be localized in India, and to be used for India; and the way in which that can be best effected, so as to avoid a different result, is by taking security that the title shall not be used in this country. This will be the security that it will be used in and for India." I will read exactly what was said on the subject, and your Lordships will judge if my statement is not correct. The first suggestion came from the noble Earl who is Leader of the Opposition (Earl Granville). On the Second Reading of the Bill on the 30th of March, he said—I have in my hand a list, not of all, but of some, of the public documents, in which it would seem that it will be necessary that the title of Empress should appear. The list includes all writs of summons to Peers, all writs for election of members of the House of Commons, all writs of patents for the erection of dignities, the creation of peers, baronets, or knights by patent; all patents for places under the Crown, including the First Lord of the Treasury, the Commander-in-Chief, the First Lord of the Admiralty, the Law Officers of the Crown, and others. It includes also proclamations with reference to the meeting and the prorogation of Parliament, patents, charters, and commissions of gaol delivery. The title of Her Majesty is used also in the statutes of every Session of Parliament, in every commission of an officer in the Army, and in the commission of a justice of the peace. Now, if I am right in my construction of the Bill before us, if necessarily and legally this new title of Empress will appear in documents which relate to both Houses of Parliament, which relate to the creation of every sort of dignity, which relate not only to the highest Courts of Justice, but to every petty session in the country, which relate to the army, and to all sorts of questions which may arise in municipal boroughs for instance, and which relate to inventions by which this new title will find its way to all our manufacturing towns—I ask, if this new title is to appear in official declarations in all these places, how is it possible to exclude the use of this new title from the conversational language of the people of this country?Not a word of the Colonies was heard at that time. The Colonies had, indeed, been mentioned in the other House; but they had been mentioned for the purpose of suggesting that they should be included expressly in the Royal Titles. Not a word was said in this House by any of your Lordships on that point. Attention was directed to the danger of the use in the United Kingdom, in those formal documents to which I have referred, of the now title of Empress. That was the 1973 evil that was to be guarded against—that the Government was to provide against. On that night I did not address your Lordships; but on a subsequent occasion, on the 3rd of April, when the noble Earl (the Earl of Shaftesbury), on the Motion to go into Committee, moved his Resolution, I stated then distinctly and advisedly and on behalf of the Government what was the undertaking that the Government proposed to give. I said—My Lords, I have to state that it is the intention of the Government that the Proclamation to be issued by Her Majesty under this Bill shall comply literally with the engagements which have been given to the House of Commons, and that it will provide in a manner analogous to the Proclamation of 1801—that upon all writs, commissions, patents, and charters intended to operate within the United Kingdom, the Royal style shall continue as it is, without any addition.That is exactly the words of the Proclamation, and that was the engagement and the only engagement we gave with regard to the Proclamation. I then said—Again, it is said that the new title of Empress of India will overshadow the title of Queen of England. Well, my Lords, that appears to me to be, not an argument, but a mere figure of speech, and I am at a loss to conceive how the great title of Queen of England, unchanged and unaltered and sacred in this country, and beloved by every subject of the Crown can possibly be overshadowed by the addition of a title apposite and appropriate to and only to be used in India.We meant it to be used nowhere but in India. Being an Indian title we considered that if not used here, it would be used nowhere but in India—a title apposite and appropriate to India. No one suggested that it would be used elsewhere—no one desired to bring it into use elsewhere. I will ask my noble and learned Friend this, which he may answer if he can—If it had been intended, as he has now persuaded himself, that there was to be a positive and affirmative provision in the Proclamation, that the title should be localized in, which, of course, means confined to, India, I ask what would have been the object of using all these excluding words—these words so carefully stipulated for—that the title should not be used in the United Kingdom? If you declared that this title was to be used only in India, what would be the use of saying that it was not to be used in the United Kingdom? It would be absurd, if my 1974 noble and learned Friend will excuse me saying so, to declare that it could not be used in the United Kingdom after it was declared that it should be used only in India. Here I think I may very fairly refer to a declaration which I made on the occasion between the Committee and the Third Reading of the Bill. In answer to the noble Earl the Leader of the Opposition I said—We have considered whether any Amendment was, according to our judgment, necessary in the Royal Titles Bill, and, after considering that question with the greatest care, the Government are quite of opinion that there is no difficulty whatever in giving effect to the intention of the Government to except from the operation of the Bill all commissions, writs, or similar documents operating in this country. It is not, therefore, our intention to propose any Amendment in the Bill.That was the second occasion on which I stated what the Government, intended to do. Well, my Lords, on the Third Reading I again made the same declaration; and I entirely repudiate the notion that anything was said on that occasion with the view of changing the nature of the engagement given by the Government. I said—The intention of the Government had already been called to the fact that there were a great many formal official documents operating in this country, such as writs, commissions to magistrates and officers in the Army, charters and documents of that kind in which the title of the Crown was recited, and the Government were asked whether it was their intention, after what had been stated in the other House of Parliament, that the style of the Crown in those documents should in future include the title to be assumed for India. The Government gave an undertaking on that point, to which they were pledged, and which they were bound to fulfil, and that was that there should he no change in the Royal style and title in such documents as those just mentioned.Again, further on I said—It was quite possible that in the Proclamation issued under the present Bill, which authorized Her Majesty to make 'such addition to the style and titles at present appertaining to the Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom and its Dependencies as to Her Majesty might seem meet,' such addition should be confined to all documents other than those to which I had referred as operating in the United Kingdom. If that were done, the Proclamation could not operate beyond the words of it, and the difficulty suggested by my noble and learned Friend would not arise.My Lords, in the face of these statements, in which I expressed the engagement of the Government with regard 1975 to the limitation of the title in words almost identical with those of the Proclamation, I am at a loss to understand on what principle my noble and learned Friend has persuaded himself that the Government have broken faith with Parliament.
But, my Lords, the matter does not rest here. To show what was done in the House of Commons on this subject I shall refer, not to reports of speeches, which may be correct or not, but to the official records of the other House which lie on your Lordships' Table. It was not left to be gathered from speeches what the intentions of the Government were. A Motion was distinctly put before the House of Commons by an eminent Member of that House to insert in the Bill a provision which those who were opposing the Bill in that House desired to have—a security which they wished to be taken with regard to the limit to be put on the use of the new title of the Crown. My Lords, can anything be fairer than to refer to that? Can anything be more conclusive than that? Can all the speeches which have been made in Parliament on the subject weigh for a momenst against a formal engagement presented to the House of Commons—which I think took the form, not of a request to the Government, but a command; but which was not adopted, because the Government gave an undertaking which was supposed to meet the end in view? I refer to what my noble and learned Friend referred to, and I wish he had referred to it with more point and emphasis—I mean the proposition brought forward in the other House by Mr. Pease.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
Yes—and I repeat, I wish my noble and learned Friend had given it with more point and emphasis. Here is Mr. Pease's clause—Provided that nothing in this Act contained shall be taken to authorize the use in the United Kingdom of any style or titles of Her Majesty other than those at present in use as appertaining to the Imperial Grown.And what was said with regard to the proposal? The Prime Minister said—You must not tie us down not to use the new title in the United Kingdom, because it may have to be used in exceptional documents, such as treaties;1976 and the House felt the force of that observation. The proposition was not put to the vote, but it was the issue presented to the House, and supposing it had been introduced into the Bill you would have had in the Bill exactly what you have in the Proclamation. The Proclamation has done exactly what Mr. Pease asked the House of Commons to do in the Act of Parliament, and the Government, forsooth, is accused by my noble and learned Friend of a breach of engagement. Breach of engagement! Why, if I had committed any such breach of engagement I should have been unworthy to stand here to address your Lordships, and should have rendered the other Members of the Government unworthy to occupy a place on that bench. If my noble and learned Friend is convinced of the truth of his charges, he ought to propose a Vote of Censure on the Government. I repudiate with indignation the idea that there has been any breach of engagement in this case. It was the understanding of every person in the House of Commons, and I believe it was the understanding in your Lordships' House that the localization of the title in India would be secured by the exclusion of the use of the title from the United Kingdom.
But my noble and learned Friend says—"What about the Colonies?" Well, I cannot imagine that there is the least chance of the new title coming into use in the Colonies. Why should it? How could it be the interest of any person in the Colonies to adopt this title, and by what means could it possibly be introduced there? My noble and learned Friend says the Proclamation will force the Colonies to use it. There I differ entirely from my noble and learned Friend. This Proclamation has not been made or issued in any Colony, and even if it were to be made or issued in a Colony, there are very few instruments indeed in the Colonies in which the full titles of the Crown are used; and where there are instruments of that kind it will before those who regulate the framing of them to judge whether the new title may be conveniently used in accordance with the terms of the Proclamation. If they think it may not be conveniently used, they will not be obliged to use it. But, however that may be, it was not a matter on which any engagement was given 1977 by or asked from the Government. The question of the Colonies never entered into the discussion.
My Lords, my noble and learned Friend went on to repeat an objection which he raised on a former occasion—namely, that although we profess in the Proclamation to limit the use of the title, we have no power given us by the Act of Parliament to do so. Now, I think I understand exactly what my noble and learned Friend's view is on that subject. It is not very consistent; for he first objects to the Proclamation because we have not limited the use of the title sufficiently; and then he objects to the Proclamation because, as he asserts, we have no right to limit the use of the title at all. Now, my Lords, I am anxious, as far as I am concerned, that no doubt with respect to the scope of the Proclamation should be allowed to exist. My noble and learned Friend's view is this—that the Royal style and titles of the Crown is a thing so complete and entire that once you have in any case made any addition to it, it cannot afterwards be modified or moulded in any way, and that you cannot provide for its use in different forms under different circumstances. The observations of my noble and learned Friend were founded on what I took the liberty of calling on a former occasion a "disinterred authority" of the year 1678. My Lords, I thought my noble and learned Friend would have abandoned that authority. It is a somewhat remarkable authority. It is a decision of Chief Justice Scroggs during the three years of that infamous life when he presided over the Court of Queen's Bench, and the records of which, as his biographer says, present such a combination of ignorance, arrogance, and brutality as fully to justify the censure almost universally pronounced on the judicial appointments of the latter part of the reign. My Lords, it was before that notorious Judge that some unfortunate criminal in litigation with the Crown took out a Writ of Error, and had it quashed by the Chief Justice and his Colleagues—and, no doubt, if it had not been quashed on the ground of the title of the Crown, it would have been quashed on some other ground. But we have got two clear and distinct precedents on this subject, about which there can be no manner of doubt. As far as 1978 I know, there are only two Proclamations as to the Royal style and titles. My noble and learned Friend's view is that the entire Royal style and title must be used wherever the title is used at all; but that equally applies to the style and title whether arising under a statute or under a Prerogative; and if the style is entire in the one case it is entire in the other. Now, we have the Proclamation of 1801, which is entitled to the highest respect, because it had the approval of such high legal authorities as Lord Loughborough, Sir William Grant, and Sir John Mitford. That Proclamation declared that—The style and titles aforesaid shall be used henceforth as far as conveniently may be on all occasions wherein our Royal style and titles ought to be used.And yet, even there the case of the coinage and of stamps is provided for in the same way as it is provided for under the present Proclamation. Now, the coinage has the style and titles of the Crown upon it, and there is just as much authority for the style and titles of the Crown being on the coinage as there is for their being on a writ. It rests on custom, and nothing else but custom, in both instances. There is no law which requires the style and titles of the Crown to be placed either in a writ or on the coinage; but it is the custom that it should be there. Well, in the Proclamation of 1801 it was provided that, although the style upon other occasions was to be that which was prescribed in that Proclamation, the old and other style was to continue upon the coinage. That was a tolerably clear indication on the part of those who framed that Proclamation that that which we have done in the present case was entirely within the competence of a Royal Proclamation. But the matter does not stop there. We have a Proclamation with no less an authority than that of Lord Coke, in the reign of James I.—a Proclamation issued with regard to the title of the Crown when Lord Coke was Attorney General. It was a very interesting document. It arose in this way—When James I. came to the Throne of England he was King of England and King of Scotland, and that was the style of the Crown—King of England, King of Scotland, and King of France and Navarre, But James I. 1979 wished to change the style and to introduce the style of Great Britain, which had never been assumed before; and he accordingly issued a long and formal Proclamation giving his reasons for the alteration. He changed it from King of England and King of Scotland to King of Great Britain, and this is what he said—Upon all wch consideracons we do-by these presents by force of or kinglie power and prerogative assume to ore self by the cleernes of or right the name and stile of King of great Brittaine Fraunce and Ireland Defender of the Faith &c. as followeth in our just and lawfull stile. And doe hereby publishe promulge and declare the same to thend that in all Proclamacons Missives fforeing and Domesticall Treaties Leagues Dedicatories impressions and in all other cases of like nature the same may be used and observed.Then observe, my Lords, what follows—florbearing only for the present that anything herein conteyned doe extend to any legall proceeding instrument or assurance untill further order be taken in that behalf.That is the very thing that has been done on this occasion. An exception is made from the general description of documents first specified of certain other documents, in law, until further order be taken. And what happened? For nearly a century the legal instruments ran on in the old form. My noble and learned Friend's case which came before Chief Justice Scroggs in 1678 was an instance of it. The authority which finds so much favour with my noble and learned Friend went upon this—that the style should be King of England and of Scotland, and not of Great Britain. I prefer, my Lords, to be in error with Lord Coke rather than to rely on the only other authority which has been adduced against us. We have the authority of the Proclamation of James I., and also that of the only other Proclamation on this subject which I am acquainted with—namely, that of 1801. I am sorry to have occupied your Lordships so long; and I trust that I have proved to you that the idea that there has been any breach of faith on the part of the Government is wholly without foundation, and that the present Proclamation is entirely within the competence of the Crown.
§ LORD HATHERLEY
said, that his noble and learned Friend (Lord Selborne), in order to introduce in an in- 1980 telligible manner his statement of the alleged undertaking given by the Prime Minister in the other House, had necessarily to quote those questions and interrogatories put from the other side in answer to which that undertaking was said to have been given. The noble and learned Lord on the "Woolsack had, however, complained of that course being taken; and yet, strange to say, he had himself thought it right and just to cite the words used in the other House by the Prime Minister as those on which the Members of the Government in their Lordships' House were prepared to stand. Was it possible, then, for the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack to contend that his noble and learned Friend was wrong in stating the question which had led up to the declaration of the head of the Government, and made it clear? It would not have been deemed fair on the part of his noble and learned Friend if he had not done that. The argument, however, which the noble and learned. Lord on the Woolsack was now called upon to answer was this—The engagement of the Prime Minister was two-fold; it had both a negative and a positive aspect. Its negative aspect was that there should not be in documents issued in this country requiring the title of the Crown to be set out, the user of the title which the Queen might be advised to assume in addition to her existing title; and on the other hand, there was a positive statement that that title should be localized in India. Did the promise to localize the title and confine it to India mean spreading it over every part of the Empire? He contended that what the Government had done was a plain breach of the engagement which they had given, and it was of that which his noble and learned Friend and those who agreed with him complained. It should be observed that the question of commissions, charters, patents, and the like was introduced in this way. The Government said—"You cannot tie us down in this strict manner, because there are documents, charters, and the like which require to have the Queen's full title set forth, and we must set it forth in these cases." But it was now said—"It shall not be used in those documents which are confined strictly to England." How did that answer the public desires on the subject? The new 1981 title was to be put prominently forward in all commissions of officers of the Army. Well, if there were one way more than another which would spread it over the length and breadth of the land it was its use in the commissions of officers of the Army—because these were things which young officers desired to bring home with them, and which all the members of their families desired to see. How was that adhering to the promise which had been made, in deference to the feeling of the people of this country, who disliked the merging of the noble and time-honoured title of Queen in the new title of Empress? The noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack had rather singularly claimed Lord Coke as showing how a change in the Royal title might be made exactly in the same way as had been done by Her Majesty's Government in making this addition to it. But Lord Coke felt it was not right that the style and title in a single document should be altered, and he said to King James—"Your Majesty may call yourself King of Great Britain if you please, but you cannot dispense in a single document with that which has become part and parcel of the law of the land." He would be glad to see the Act forgotten as soon as anybody could forget it; but instead of saying that this Proclamation satisfied the engagement which had been given, he felt it would be a breach of duty if some one in their Lordships' House had not stood up and protested against what had been done. The noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack had been asked two Questions. To one he had given an insufficient answer, and to the other no answer at all.