Constitutional Crisis

Including: Serious Constitutional Crisis, Biggest Constitutional Crisis, Recent Constitutional Crisis, Great Constitutional Crisis, This Grave Constitutional Crisis, This Constitutional Crisis, Any Constitutional Crisis, Possible Constitutional Crisis, Our Present Constitutional Crisis, Grave Constitutional Crisis, This Major Constitutional Crisis, Major Constitutional Crisis, Similar Constitutional Crisis, Our Current Constitutional Crisis, This Great Constitutional Crisis, Real Constitutional Crisis, Another Constitutional Crisis, Acute Constitutional Crisis, Present Constitutional Crisis

389 mentions.

1857 - 2016

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1857 to 1882

three mentions

over 25 years

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Now, in the first instance, I view with the greatest apprehension, mistrust, and dislike any proceedings in regard to this question which are likely to have the effect of bringing about a Constitutional Crisis.

But at the same time he recognized, and properly recognized, the facts then before him as constituting what we in our peaceful way looked upon as a Constitutional Crisis, The right hon. Gentleman, though he did not say so at the moment, stated afterwards that the votes of Parliament did not justly represent the opinions of the country.

There was a Constitutional Crisis before the House just now, and there were other important Constitutional matters which it was desirable that they should discuss with their constituents.


four mentions

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As the matter stands at the present moment, the Constitutional Crisis is evidently not in this House.

He said—"Are we not in the midst of a Constitutional Crisis"?

They were told to avoid questions of this kind, and to avoid a Great Constitutional Crisis, and yet the way in which that was to be avoided was by lowering their own dignity, by consenting to degrade themselves, and by condescending to become the mere subservient tools of the Government and the majority of the day.

It is a speech which introduced with great ability every combative element and consideration into this debate which could tend to render it impossible that anything but a Great Constitutional Crisis should ensue.

1888 to 1894

three mentions

over six years

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(2) that the importance of the Colony entitles it to a Governor of proved ability and discretion in the administration of responsible government; (3) that his experience in responsible government is considered to be one year's service in Newfoundland; (4) that his previous experience is, in their opinion, a disqualification for the office of Governor of Queensland; (5) that the expressed disapproval of his appointment, when announced, was spontaneous, immediate, and general; (6) that this disapproval was more strongly accentuated because the appointment followed closely upon a Constitutional Crisis, where the rigid adherence to the exercise of prerogative came in direct antagonism with responsible government, when the former had to give way; (7) that it is impossible to make the appointment from an Imperial point of 1387 view alone.

whether a Serious Constitutional Crisis has arisen in consequence of the resignation of all the unofficial members of the Legislative Council, such resignation having been caused by the proceedings of the Governor; whether the Secretary of State for the Colonies will cause inquiries to be instituted into the correctness of these statements, either by sending out to the colony a Commissioner at the cost of the taxpayers or otherwise; and, whether he will lay upon the Table of the House the whole of the correspondence which has passed between the 'Colonial Office and the Governor of the colony relating to the Hunter Contract case, both before and after the last arbitration held in London?

With reference to the Constitutional Crisis which unfortunately is now going on in Newfoundland, it is quite impossible for me to give an answer to a hypothetical question.

1895 to 1907

three mentions

over 12 years

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We were approaching a Grave Constitutional Crisis, and hon. Members opposite had not shown any appreciation of the gravity of the situation.

He would just say one word more with respect to the Constitutional Crisis that had arisen between the two Houses of Parliament.

He appreciated the services of Serjeant Dodd and how unselfish he was, and perhaps he was wrong in saying that it was too late to repair the damage which had caused This Great Constitutional Crisis.

1908 to 1909

three mentions

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Either the Bills would be passed or they would be faced with a Constitutional Crisis that he wanted 247 to avert.

I have been told that at a time when Russia was passing through a Constitutional Crisis, at a time when events were happening internally in Russia which did not meet with the approval of those who addressed me on the subject, that that was not a time to enter into diplomatic negotiations or to make an Agreement with Russia.

Under these circumstances, and looking at this from the Irish point of view, bad and all as the Whisky Tax is for Ireland, bad and all as the increased taxes on the stamps and Death Duties are for Ireland, they would sink into insignificance and disappear if in a Great Constitutional Crisis we were able to take sides effectively against the power of the House of Lords which permanently blocks every good measure proposed for Ireland, and which at this moment is engaged, and has been for the last few days, in tearing up what I regard as a treaty of peace for Ireland.


eight mentions

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That brings me to what I consider a most important matter as regards This Constitutional Crisis.

The electors of the country, when they consider the position which has been created, will lay the blame upon the Government, and the attempt of Ministers to hide their misdeeds under a Constitutional Crisis will fail.

As a matter of fact, Lancashire has spoken, and given an emphatic, unmistakable, and very large majority in favour of dealing with the Constitutional Crisis practically in the manner provided by the Government Resolutions.

In making that the first move in This Grave Constitutional Crisis, they are doing so obviously at the instigation of a group, and a very urgent group, and it is a course which is very deplorable from the national point of view.

Once again the hon. and learned Member for "Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) pronounced This Constitutional Crisis to be utterly trivial to him except for the supreme stake of Home Rule, to which he invited his audience to subordinate everything.

But these Resolutions when they are smuggled into the House of Lords are to be used there, of course, after that for the purpose of agitation in the country, and they may lead up to a Constitutional Crisis —this is at present rather a concocted crisis—of the first magnitude.

By reason of the real character of the Present Constitutional Crisis, and because no-reasonable case has been made out why this particular Amendment should receive exceptional treatment, I oppose it, and I 1271 shall have the greatest pleasure in giving my vote in favour of the Resolution being carried in its entirety, because while this Resolution alone would be inadequate to deal with the constitutional crisis it is a first and necessary step, and I hope the Government will use every effort to carry it into law as soon as possible.

It is of far more importance to my mind than the Constitutional Crisis which we were discussing at the beginning of the year, for then we were contemplating the alteration of our Constitution, and now we are asked to sanction a vast change in the very bases upon which that Constitution rests.


17 mentions

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The hon. and learned Member said in September, at Limerick:— "Our policy is full Home Rule, and with common prudence we can extract it— Not on its merits, but—— "from the Present Constitutional Crisis".

I confess I do not think that is a particularly appropriate moment for bringing a Constitutional Crisis to a head, and I should have thought the Government, if they had any regard for the loyal feelings of the nation or for the comfort of the Crown, would have done everything in their power to avoid producing a crisis at or about that time, instead of deliberately aiming at bringing it about.

Our powers are being taken away day by day, and we are gradually being reduced to a position of absolute impotence, and I want first of all in their name, so far as I can speak for private Members, to put before the Prime Minister this argument, which, I think, is the argument which tells most in the country in connection with This Constitutional Crisis.

We will be able to rejoice then with minds free from disturbance on the Great Constitutional Crisis.

We are in for a Constitutional Crisis, but we have had this constitutional crisis hanging over us for a long period of years.

I say this because I hold very strongly that the chief and great determining factor of the whole of this controversy in which we have been engaged has been the question of granting Home Rule to Ireland, and the unbending purpose of the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford (Mr. John Redmond) to wring that concession from the hands of this Government in the Constitutional Crisis with which we are now confronted.

In the case of the 1860 Bill it was the repeal of a tax which was rejected by the House of Lords, and a Constitutional Crisis arose, and later on Resolutions were passed laying down the practice.

I will go back to the case of the Constitutional Crisis of 1784.

Does he agree that Our Present Constitutional Crisis has been brought about by the inability to arrange difficulties and differences between 1648 the two Houses of Parliament?

He had a chance of showing in This Great Constitutional Crisis that he was prepared to consider some sounder method, and not simply to attempt to introduce the crude form of destruction which has been attempted in this Bill.

947 So we have here actually two instances of this particular solution of the Constitutional Crisis applied in Queensland by a people who are as progressive as we are, and absolutely as democratic as we are, and possibly more so.

We are face to face with a Great Constitutional Crisis which, absorbs the whole attention of the public, and this is a question which will take up the whole time of a single Session because it is one of enormous magnitude, whatever the remedy.

Was it worth while to promote a Constitutional Crisis merely to get £700,000?

The Bill, if it passes this House, will certainly not tend to accentuate the Constitutional Crisis, for it is obviously a measure that would be welcomed in and passed by the House of Lords.

Mr. C. BATHURST asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the heat of the weather and also of political feeling in all quarters of the House, consequent upon the Constitutional Crisis, he will, immediately after the passing of the Parliament Bill and with a view to the exercise of a more sound and sober judgment upon other important legislation, adjourn its further consideration for two or three months, until a cooler atmosphere prevails?

I said there had never been a Constitutional Crisis, but that it was political, and that can easily be described in two sentences.

They may not have used their party majority ruthlessly, but still I am perfectly prepared to 971 admit they have done so in a spirit too partisan, and it is the conflict of these partisan bodies that has brought about the Present Constitutional Crisis.


three mentions

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The milk was spilt at the time of the Constitutional Crisis.

The Parliament Act has not been a solution, on the contrary, it has precipitated a Great Constitutional Crisis.

Let me put that to the test by asking the right hon. Gentleman whether he has read a pamphlet published by one of those who are supposed to be giving unswerving support to this measure pamphlet on the Constitutional Crisis, by a Liberal Member of Parliament.

1927 to 1928

two mentions

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They have taken 40 or 50 years of perfect organisation and very skilful propaganda, and hon. Members opposite have taken 80 years, and they are going to have a Second Chamber to prevent the conservative people of this country, who move slowly, who hate moving at all—it is one of the difficulties of unemployment—they are going to manipulate the Second Chamber, raise a Great Constitutional Crisis, in addition to others which will be 1328 manufactured, in order to prevent this people, this headlong, impetuous people, from rushing into unconsidered changes.

We have to remember that the Colony is based on the terms of the Capitulation of 1803; in 1843 a Similar Constitutional Crisis arose, and the then Secretary of State said that he had no legal authority to interfere in any way.


three mentions

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Constitutional Crisis, settlement, and no official information, 76.

Austria, Constitutional Crisis, settlement, no official information, 76.

Austria, Constitutional Crisis, statement as to settlement, 76.


one mention

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If a small duty is imposed, and certain people say that it is a penal duty, while the Government of India say that it is not, how can the Governor-General run the risk of a Constitutional Crisis for the sake of a 2 or 3 per cent.


five mentions

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It is only when there is a Constitutional Crisis that that opportunity arises.

There is an increase of £3,000 for telegraphing, which is almost entirely due to the enormous mass of additional telegraphing that we had to do during the Constitutional Crisis here last October, in keeping Governors informed of what was going on in regard to the Abdication of King Edward VIII, and in telegraphing our instruction with regard to the Accession of King George VI.

It was a somewhat alarming thing in the months preceding the Recent Constitutional Crisis that the mass of the people could, by some collaboration between the Government and the Press, be kept in complete ignorance of the things that were happening and were known in every other nation in Europe.

Constitutional Crisis, additional telegraphing owing to (S), [320] 1704–5.

The hon. and learned Gentleman seems to think that if his party took this action it would have remarkable results, for he forecasts a most acute form of Constitutional Crisis as a result of his suggestion.


one mention

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He led his party successfully through a Grave Constitutional Crisis, when he successfully asserted the supremacy of the elected over the hereditary Chamber.


18 mentions

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This relatively minor measure of restitution created a Constitutional Crisis, which resulted in the passing of the Parliament Act, but the duty was repealed in 1920, under the Government of Mr. Lloyd George, and the great battle was fought in vain.

It is very unlikely that any responsible person there would provoke a Constitutional Crisis for the sake of voting against such a Resolution.

If our Amendment had come back in the form we would have liked, I should not have indulged in Any Constitutional Crisis, but my right hon. Friend is apparently prepared to accept, quite willingly, on the suggestion of another place, what he would not accord to any of us here.

It was suggested ingenuously from the Front Bench that what the Minister of Fuel and Power would call a Great Constitutional Crisis is likely to be promoted by something of that kind.

If the Amendment is accepted, or if the Attorney-General or the Lord President - as I appeal to them to do - get up and say, "The purpose of this Bill is merely to remove doubt," then the Great Constitutional Crisis which will arise on this point can be avoided.

This may lead to a Constitutional Crisis because anything within the mandate of the Labour Party is something which will no doubt come into effect.

There is no question here of precipitating a Constitutional Crisis.

If that happens, then we immediately drift into a Constitutional Crisis.

it is a Bill to prevent a Constitutional Crisis arising.

all I wish to point out is that there was no reason for promoting a Constitutional Crisis at this time.

What we are doing is necessary to ensure that the work of Parliamentary Government is carried on without unnecessary interruption and Constitutional Crisis.

I am not concerned, however, with the motives which prevented them from doing that; all I wish to point out is that there was no reason for promoting a Constitutional Crisis at this time.

Can the hon. Member give his authority for the constitutional doctrine he is advancing, namely, that it is within the power of the Government to recommend the creation of as many peers as would be necessary, except to solve a Constitutional Crisis?

We propose to limit their veto by reducing the period from two years to one in order to avoid a Constitutional Crisis".

We believe that it will enable a Constitutional Crisis not to be created but to be averted.

Some hon. Members have said that this Bill will not present a Constitutional Crisis.

His particular argument about this Bill was the need he felt, and I am sure he felt it or he would not have said so, to prevent a Constitutional Crisis.

The truth is that the Opposition entirely misjudged the temper of the people when they thought that this Bill would provoke a Constitutional Crisis, or that, it would detract the attention of the people from the urgent economic crisis.


three mentions

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We are faced today with nothing less than a Constitutional Crisis.

The Opposition feel that so deeply and feel so profoundly that the Government are guilty of this that at the present time I can count 10 of them on the Opposition side of the Committee, so great is the Constitutional Crisis which is being gerrymandered by the Government.

The third argument was that the Bill is designed to avoid a clash between the two Houses in order to avoid the use of the powers of the House of Lords in such a way as to provoke a Constitutional Crisis.

1949 to 1952

four mentions

over three years

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I ask the House, therefore, to vote against the Motion, and if there should be any Member who may fear that this will precipitate a Constitutional Crisis with the House of Lords, I venture to suggest that the rather cautious words with which the Lord Chancellor dealt with this matter in another place lead one to suppose that there will be no great resistance to this House reversing their decision.

I anticipated that the introduction of this Bill might provoke a Constitutional Crisis of some magnitude, because in 1931, when His Majesty's Government announced that the salaries of the High Court judges were to be submitted to the same cuts as high officers and civil servants, the judges announced that Parliament had no right to interfere with their terms of employment.

Mr. A. Henderson asked the Prime Minister whether he will instruct the Minister of Defence to express to President Syngman Rhee personally the concern of Her Majesty's Government over the Constitutional Crisis which has arisen in South Korea.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will instruct the Minister of Defence to express to President Syngman Rhee personally the concern of Her Majesty's Government over the Constitutional Crisis which has arisen in South Korea.


four mentions

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Mr. Brockway asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what action he proposes to take to meet the Constitutional Crisis arising from the united declaration of Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, President of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons, and of Mr. Obafemi Awolowo, leader of the Action Group, in favour of Nigerian self-government by 1956.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what action he proposes to take to meet the Constitutional Crisis arising from the united declaration of Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, President of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons, and of Mr. Obafemi Awolowo, leader of the Action Group, in favour of Nigerian self-government by 1956.

It would have been wrong to provoke an Acute Constitutional Crisis over the first act of the new Government.

I suggest that this Commission should be allowed to look at the economic problems which in part lie behind the Constitutional Crisis.


four mentions

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I would hope that we have reached a stage in our Parliamentary conventions similar to the convention which had grown up for about 150 years before the House of Lords threw out Mr. Lloyd George's Finance Bill of 1909 and produced the Constitutional Crisis of 1910 and 1911.

Indeed, after the Act of 1911 Mr. Speaker Lowther said that he would not have given his certificate if he had been called upon to do so under the operation of the Finance Act of 1909, which was followed by two years of Constitutional Crisis.

Therefore, we are entitled to refer to the present constitution of the Tynwald, to the powers of the Executive Council and to the resolution which they passed approving the duties, which is an essential preliminary to the Bill and which would involve the whole House in a Grave Constitutional Crisis if it were not passed.

Secondly, we have to bear in mind that this is perhaps the most Serious Constitutional Crisis which has occurred since the reign of Queen Anne.

1958 to 1959

four mentions

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In support of what has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway), may I ask the Lord Privy Seal whether he is aware that not only is there a Constitutional Crisis in Kenya, but that one is also developing in Uganda, where the elections arranged under the 1955 Agreement are not to be held?

It is a measure of the shock which we had last Tuesday when the Colonial Secretary said that during the Parliamentary Recess he was going to start implementing profound constitutional changes in Northern Rhodesia that we have, in fact, abandoned a number of the points which we wanted to raise and have instead concentrated, quite narrowly and specifically, on this one point of the Constitutional Crisis that may face us in Northern Rhodesia unless the Colonial Secretary changes his mind.

The first is that in view of the Constitutional Crisis which the French had suffered so recently, they were not prepared to continue with the negotiations untilthey had further time to make up their minds exactly what they wanted.

Had we allowed it to drag there would have been serious mass unemployment and hunger, and, in spite of the Constitutional Crisis, we simply could not allow this crisis to drag on.

1961 to 1964

four mentions

over three years

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MacManaway's vote might have caused a Constitutional Crisis but, on the advice of the right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill), he continued to sit and to vote.

If the Parliament of Northern Ireland decided that it wanted greater powers and passed a resolution to that effect, on being consulted by the Northern Ireland Government, and then the Parliament here refused to give those powers, a Serious Constitutional Crisis would be created.

Is it appropriate to take a controversy of that kind involving, indeed, a Constitutional Crisis, at ten o'clock at night?

As I see it, the Present Constitutional Crisis is a struggle for power between, as the hon. Gentleman would put it, democratic Aden and the reactionary Federation.


one mention

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It appears that we have stumbled on a Constitutional Crisis by accident, as it were.


five mentions

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Would not my hon. Friend agree, having referred, as he very properly has done, to the Constitutional Crisis of nearly 300 years ago, that that was at a time when there was a conflict between Parliament and the Crown which was won by Parliament?

If it does, and if this Government wish to cause a Constitutional Crisis and bring about legislation to change these rules and remove the delaying powers of the House of Lords, they will have to explain to the people of this country what it was that another place delayed in this Bill.

In the fierce controversy between the Lords and the Commons in 1910, there was a Serious Constitutional Crisis.

I do not see that the passing of the Bill would create a Constitutional Crisis.

Leading Opposition spokesmen in another place, conscious of the voting power which they could no doubt summon up in large matters and small, have had an unwelcome restraint forced on them by their legitimate and honourable desire to avoid precipitating a Constitutional Crisis.


15 mentions

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If it did, there would be a Constitutional Crisis.

In paragraph 18 they say:…the composition of the House - that is, the Upper House - is such that the Lords cannot persist in their opposition to a measure upon which the Commons are determined without the risk of producing a Constitutional Crisis.

They were more anxious to avoid a Constitutional Crisis and to get agreement with the Conservative Party and Liberal Party leaders than with their own back benchers.

That attitude has been instrumental in producing a situation in which what few powers now remain to their Lordships they dare not now exercise for fear of causing a Constitutional Crisis.

The reason, clearly, is that the Government want to do the minimum possible to change the constitution for fear of provoking a Constitutional Crisis.

Indeed, as everybody knows, the fuss about the Rhodesia Order was a completely "phoney" Constitutional Crisis cooked up by the Prime Minister.

It is said that on this occasion we are carrying out the reform very kindly, that there is no great feeling, because there is no Constitutional Crisis.

I think that these powers will be used very, very rarely indeed and - this is a point of answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Torquay (Sir F. Bennett) - they will be used on the merits of the case and without the overwhelming consideration, "Will this action or will it not precipitate a Constitutional Crisis between the two Houses"?

Yesterday my right hon. Friend spoke about trying to avoid a Constitutional Crisis.

On the whole, I prefer to move forward in constitutional reforms by agreement if possible rather than by creating a Constitutional Crisis.

] I agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) that it frequently happens that we need a Great Constitutional Crisis to precipitate this House into action on constitutonal reform, but I do not see anything logical in waiting for a crisis in order to do a sensible measure of constitutional reform.

I thought that I was trying to say much the same in different words, although I do not see the likelihood of provoking a Constitutional Crisis, and certainly the issue is hardly being decided on party lines.

Therefore, I do not think that we are either in danger of two parties lining up against each other or of provoking a Great Constitutional Crisis.

Part of the Constitutional Crisis referred to by the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Eldon Griffiths) is that too many hon. Members, particularly those opposite, speak in hysterical, excitable terms, and a little background reading for them would improve the situation.

However, I cannot accept that there is, as the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds said, a Constitutional Crisis.


seven mentions

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If the right hon. and learned Gentleman will study what I said, he will find that the rest of my answer was entirely in terms of a tribute to Captain O'Neill for the progress made in dealing with these problems and in seeking, through his Commission and through other ways, to avert the situation that might lead to the last thing any of us want - a Constitutional Crisis.

It is far more difficult for it to express a view contrary to that of the Government of the day, because, in present circumstances, if that is done, immediately a Constitutional Crisis arises, and the merits of the issue in dispute are lost in the constitutional argument that takes place.

However, as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Social Services said in the earlier debate, there is virtue in saying that if we have agreement we can go forward without a Constitutional Crisis.

A Government who, as this Government do now, solemnly confer these powers, limited as they are, on the new House cannot, if that House uses them, then pretend that it is promoting a Constitutional Crisis.

The new House will be able with a clear conscience to oppose the Government of the day, and will not, or should not, be accused of causing a Constitutional Crisis if it does.

But hon. Members opposite should consider, before the end of this debate, whether a Constitutional Crisis between the two Houses is advisable on the implementation of a law which deals with men's lives and the State's right to take men's lives.

My hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) pointed out with his usual clarity that, if we were to wait for the final figures, not only would there be an inconclusive argument in which probably no one would vote in the slighest way differently from the way they will vote tomorrow, but there might well be a Constitutional Crisis as a result of the other place taking a different decision.


five mentions

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] In other words, I maintain that this House has some direct responsibility for the Present Constitutional Crisis, because it derives to some extent from the determination of the King to secure more than the constitutional power awarded him in the constitution passed by this House.

The root of the Constitutional Crisis, the latest manifestation of which took place on 30th January this year when a state of emergency was declared and the constitution was unconstitutionally suspended, lies in the past.

I think I am right in saying it would be wholly agreed that in the Present Constitutional Crisis South Africa has played a completely neutral part, has not interfered in any way at all and has acted thoroughly correctly.

It occurs to me that This Constitutional Crisis has occurred because the Paramount Chief who became King has a feudal and tribal background.

It occurs to me that this Constitutional Crisis has occurred because the Paramount Chief who became King has a feudal and tribal background.


four mentions

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And the worst time to change our constitution would be a time of Constitutional Crisis.

We know that more than one Grave Constitutional Crisis has arisen over the misuse of money granted for one purpose and used for an altogether different purpose.

In the Constitutional Crisis of 1910, there was virtually nobody who argued, least of all among the Conservatives, that even the powers of the House of Lords should be curtailed without electoral consent, and two General Elections were held for that reason.

He said that the principle of necessity was for the preservation of the citizen, for keeping law and order rebus sic stantibus, regardless of whose fault it was that the Constitutional Crisis had been created.


one mention

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] We would be unrealistic if we did not realise that was the case, that whatever be the merits or demerits of a local Parliament, whatever be the meritsor demerits of direct rule, about which people can argue, the bringing about of a Constitutional Crisis and the imposition of direct rule against the wishes of the majority can only be described as an act of folly.


three mentions

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Most disturbing of all was an expression of opinion I heard from one senior civil servant who took part in that lobby - an official who for obvious reasons was unwilling to reveal his name - who saw the present situation as one which could lead to a Constitutional Crisis.

Far from our only problems being problems of success, this country faces, after three years of this Government and eight different policies on inflation, serious economic and political crises and something of a Constitutional Crisis.

The position that we are in today and the reason for This Constitutional Crisis stem from acts of violence.


one mention

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The pundits suggest that there would have been a Constitutional Crisis.


eight mentions

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We are witnessing a deliberate attempt to kill the Bill and possibly an attempt to create a Constitutional Crisis over the Finance Bill, something we suspected during the Committee.

If the Government feel it is essential to break up what the hon. Member for Luton, West referred to as a Constitutional Crisis there is no reason why they should not bring in a further Bill to amend the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act to give them five months instead of four.

That is the only way by which we can avert a Possible Constitutional Crisis, which was referred to in some speeches at the weekend.

We are not seeking a Constitutional Crisis, but they seem to want one.

Some hon. Members have sought to portray the argument between this House and another place as a Constitutional Crisis.

He surely cannot be massing his forces on a three-line Whip and talking about a Constitutional Crisis merely because he believes that another place has put in words that were not totally necessary.

In view of the Grave Constitutional Crisis which now faces Parliament, Mr. Speaker, could you endeavour during the period of the Prorogation to consult my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House about examining the serious constitutional nature of the position whereby the Lords has defied the Commons yet again, with a view to introducing into this Chamber as soon as possible after 19th November a short, sharp Bill by which we can abolish the House of Lords?

I do not believe that I would want to advocate a Major Constitutional Crisis.


five mentions

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Unfortunately Scottish politics is veering towards being caught up in a Constitutional Crisis and that is why this problem must be solved.

When we have a situation in which a Constitutional Crisis arises from difference between this House and another place - some of us regard the intervention of the House of Lords in the repeated decisions of the House of Commons as a constitutional crisis - the onus is on the official Opposition to take account of that situation and produce their own remedy.

Is the hon. Gentleman contending that the measures to combat terrorism and to meet a Constitutional Crisis are to be compared with a Bill deriving from a report which took 18 months in the making and which has languished for years waiting for the Government to take action?

Do they want a Constitutional Crisis?

It is clear that we are moving towards a Constitutional Crisis.


11 mentions

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The reason why I believe that this subject is so grave is that none of us can be at all sure of the way out of the Constitutional Crisis that could occur where the party, with the minority of votes but with a clear majority of Assembly seats, was in direct conflict with Her Majesty's Government in London on the issue of Scottish independence.

I believe that there is a fundamental difference between a political system which leads to unfairness, on the one hand, and a political system which leads not merely to unfairness, but to the probability of a Grave Constitutional Crisis, on the other hand.

If it were the Scottish National Party, a Grave Constitutional Crisis would develop from not merely a minority controlling the Assembly, but a minority that would use its position to disrupt the constitutional framework of the United Kingdom.

of the vote seeking to use that minority support to break up the United Kingdom, that is the sort of Constitutional Crisis that would develop.

However, given that we are in the process of legislating for a new Assembly and that we have it within our power to determine the most sensible electoral system for that Assembly, and given what has happened in Quebec on the first past the post system and that a Grave Constitutional Crisis has developed as a result, it would be sensible for the Committee to take all this into account in determining the appropriate system for the Assembly.

I am concerned about whether the electoral system as such is likely to encourage the emergence of a Grave Constitutional Crisis.

But if Parliament has judged the matter before hand, as we are attempting to do now, and has concluded that there is an overriding interest which should be enshrined in law, that argument may be acrimonious but it will not be prolonged and will not provoke a Constitutional Crisis because the constitution and its interpretation should be clear.

There is no doubt that there will be a Grave Constitutional Crisis every year when the block grant is negotiated.

The Commission reported in 1910, but its recommendations were not considered because of the Major Constitutional Crisis which then arose over the House of Lords and also because of the Irish question.

That would precipitate a Grave Constitutional Crisis.

Would it not be better simply to say in advance that this is not an insult to the Assembly but we are making provision for such a situation without waiting for a Constitutional Crisis and without making amendments to legislation on an ad hoc basis?


nine mentions

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The political will, which will prevent the series of political crises which will arise from time to time from spilling over into a Constitutional Crisis, will have to be brought to bear to make the situation work.

It is beyond doubt that such action would cause a Constitutional Crisis between Britain and the Isle of Man.

provision, we should be inviting a very Serious Constitutional Crisis.

requirement, a Constitutional Crisis could emerge, but surely that crisis would emerge if there were a small "Yes" majority on a low poll and the House refused to accept the decision.

We rejected it not only because that was the experience of all who examined the possibilities of devolution in the Irish context but because we believed that it would lead to a Constitutional Crisis that would become insoluble.

If that is so, I cannot understand how I and my hon. Friends could have caused This Major Constitutional Crisis and debate today.

That may have been because the Bill went through the House at the time of a Constitutional Crisis over the Parliament Bill and attention was distracted more by that than by what appeared to be a slight tightening up of the legislation of the previous century.

I believe that the situation arose more because of Agadir than because of the Constitutional Crisis which was raging in Britain.

Recognising that it is not essential to do it, rather than have a Constitutional Crisis with the Lords at this stage, though we might choose another time, I believe that this amendment should be accepted.


four mentions

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We would have heard about Constitutional Crisis, dictatorship, failure to accept the will of Parliament and demands for the Government to go to the country.

We are concerned with the future of the budget and with the current situation as regards the budget, and here the major development is, of course, the Constitutional Crisis which has arisen between the competing claims of the European Assembly and those of the Council of Ministers.

That is the extent of the Constitutional Crisis that the Government have created.

There was a Constitutional Crisis over the right of the other place.

1981 to 1982

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The price of electricity in Northern Ireland has been so disabling for so many thousands of people, not only in industry, but on the domestic scene, that it did not need a Constitutional Crisis or someone going on the Carson trail to make the Government change their mind.

I am sure that they remember vividly their grave concern about the Constitutional Crisis that arose when the Labour Government introduced section 4 of the Housing Finance (Special Provisions) Act to make retrospective provision for the Clay Cross councillors.

I found it hard to take the right hon. Gentleman seriously when he talked about the Constitutional Crisis that was being precipitated by the Bill.

It would have precipitated a Major Constitutional Crisis between two friendly countries had we ultimately decided to make an amendment after that reasonable consensus had been obtained.


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The election of a second Thatcher Government has created a Constitutional Crisis for Scotland.

The Constitutional Crisis would be solved if the Government would concede that the Scots want self-government and have voted for it.

Is the Secretary of State aware that, by his hysterical attempts to control the expenditure of a few local authorities, he has brought us to the threshold of Constitutional Crisis, which is deeply worrying to many hon. Members on his own side?

The argument about a Constitutional Crisis is absurd because for years all authorities have followed the convention that spending should remain within the total approved by the House.

1984 to 1985

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As he seems determined to have a confrontation with the upper House, will he consider the precedent 80 years ago when a Liberal Government with a mandate for the social policies that they were introducing found themselves in conflict with the other place and determined the Constitutional Crisis by putting the matter to the people?

I have deduced from the reports that I have seen from local authorities that they are facing a financial as well as a Constitutional Crisis.

I am one of those who believe that few people realise either the scale or the nature of the Constitutional Crisis on which we are about to embark.

I believe that we should be debating today the nature of that emergency legislation before the Constitutional Crisis hits us.


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The right hon. Member for Henley said the other day that there was a Constitutional Crisis - a breach in the constitution - although he seems to have got over that pretty quickly.

When the briefing gets a bit touchy, they appear on television or write in the papers about a Grave Constitutional Crisis.

There is plainly a grave imbalance, if not a Constitutional Crisis, which the Government must face.

The Commonwealth Secretary made a speech yesterday that I hope that all hon. Members will take the opportunity to read, because sneering at the Commonwealth will not save us from a Constitutional Crisis if the Prime Minister destroys the Commonwealth.

Who can deny that there is a Constitutional Crisis looming, and that the Commonwealth is in danger of breaking up unless there are major moves on the part of the Government?

Is she aware that many of us hope that the Prime Minister will not be forced to resign over a Constitutional Crisis, because we think that she is one of the best vote-winners the Labour party has got?

In that letter I congratulated the Prime Minister on turning an industrial relations problem into a Constitutional Crisis.

The hon. Gentleman must take into account the fact that I suggested that there might be a Constitutional Crisis because of the Tories winning on English votes.


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The sustained attack that has been made on the autonomy and independence of local government is rapidly becoming a Constitutional Crisis.

It is up to the Government and this House to respond, otherwise the Government will be heading for trouble in this place and for the possibility of a Constitutional Crisis inside and outside of this place.

When I heard earlier that apology for a speech from the right hon. and learned Member who graces the office of Secretary of State for my country - it made no concession or genuflexion of any kind to the fact that there was a Constitutional Crisis in my country and his - I thought that I was listening to the wrong man making the wrong speech in the wrong debate.

If this kind of legislation is brought before us, and Scottish hon. Members and, more importantly, the Scottish public, our voters in Scotland, are, I am afraid to say, to be insulted in this way by the House of Commons, a Constitutional Crisis will be created in Scotland.

It would inevitably lead to a Constitutional Crisis for the United Kingdom and the House.


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I for one will do all that I can in this place, and outside this place, to provoke, and indeed encourage, a Constitutional Crisis, because I believe that my loyalty and the loyalty of any Member of Parliament ought to be not to this place - an institution of the British state - but to the people whom we represent.

There is a danger that if we were to resist the Lords amendment and returned the clause to their Lordships, they might amend it once more, and we would embark upon the kind of parliamentary ping pong that could eventually lead to a Constitutional Crisis.

I accept everything that the hon. Gentleman has said about the Constitutional Crisis that is being provoked by the Secretary of State for Scotland, but does he seriously believe that the majority of the people of Scotland or even of Govan really want independence and to break away from our partners south of the border?

This potential for Constitutional Crisis has been on the Scottish scene for a long time.


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One reason why there must be an early by-election is the Constitutional Crisis that is now part and parcel of the political system inside Scotland, and, I am told, in England and Wales as well.

I said earlier that few by-elections raise the opportunity to address a range of major issues and I cannot think of any by-election except this which has had the opportunity to address a Major Constitutional Crisis such as the one developing between the judiciary and the Executive in this country.

There is also a Constitutional Crisis.

The random quotes I have given demonstrate that the question of legal reform, the Constitutional Crisis and the separation of powers are relevant and should be decided by the people of Glasgow, Central as soon as possible.

There would be a Constitutional Crisis at the heart of Government that could not be resolved.

They are up in arms threatening a Constitutional Crisis.

Should anyone say that if we do not pass the Measure tonight, we shall have a Great Constitutional Crisis on our hands and the Church will call for disestablishment, I ask hon. Members to pause before they laugh.


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Devolution would inevitably result in a continuing Constitutional Crisis.

If the Leader of the House wants to debate the Constitutional Crisis between the Common Market and the British Parliament it would be relatively easy to find time on Monday by having a word with the Chairman of Ways and Means and getting rid of the three-hour slot on the Associated British Ports (No.

The only way to avert a Major Constitutional Crisis and save both the face of Sharpe Pritchard and the procedures of the House is to vote against this measure.


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Does he accept that there has been a Constitutional Crisis at the heart of the difficulties in Northern Ireland since the agreement was signed, but that that crisis is now over and a time of opportunity now exists?

They also discussed the situation in Yugoslavia, and issued a statement calling for a peaceful and democratic resolution to that country's Constitutional Crisis.

If they seriously believe that in the context of the Present Constitutional Crisis between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom they can introduce what are crude and dangerous league tables into Scottish education - and do so by means of a single clause tacked on at the end of an English and Welsh Bill which is otherwise wholly irrelevant to Scotland - they have taken leave of their collective senses.

That should be regarded as the basis of a Constitutional Crisis by any standards.

We shall then have a Constitutional Crisis, and it will be a question of who the army and the police obey.


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There is a Constitutional Crisis, which it is up to hon. Members in all parts of the House to address seriously.

Our moral authority to govern Wales with a handful of Members of Parliament will be gravely, if not fatally, undermined and we will find ourselves facing a Constitutional Crisis - a crisis of our own making.

The election of the constituent assembly is fundamental to the settlement of Peru's Constitutional Crisis.

There would be a Major Constitutional Crisis.

I hope that the Minister's departure is not the consequence of a Constitutional Crisis, but we shall doubtless hear of that later in the debate.


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Why should we continue with a legislative form of supervision based on the assumption that we cannot say no to measures from the Church without causing a Constitutional Crisis?

There is a danger of a Constitutional Crisis arising if the Government fail to reflect the view of the majority of the Committee.

There is a real worry that, if the Government are prepared to ratify the treaty at any cost, they will create a Constitutional Crisis.

As we have not debated the issue specifically, and we have not been, and will not be, given the opportunity to vote on it in a way that would influence the people of Scotland, it seems that we are heading for a Constitutional Crisis.

If the House of Lords is urged to overthrow that decision, we shall have a Major Constitutional Crisis.

If the House of Lords is urged to overthrow that decision, we shall have a major Constitutional Crisis.

1994 to 1995

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To provide a bonfire of the vanities by sweeping away all that for which we so cautiously and carefully legislated - and, in recent years, so carelessly and incautiously legislated - means a Constitutional Crisis for the working of the Chamber.

Incidentally, I think that the last time that an hon. Member from Islington interfered - if I may use that word - in Scottish affairs - a Constitutional Crisis erupted thereafter which has not been totally resolved.

It is better to do so now than at a moment of Constitutional Crisis.


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Fortunately, we have not had a Constitutional Crisis on this, and I am glad to recognise that the Government have gone some way to making amends.

The people of my native Brecon and Radnorshire want a fair outcome on devolution, and we have now reached something of a Constitutional Crisis, with no Conservative Members in either Wales or Scotland.


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I fully appreciate the position that the Minister now finds himself in - he probably does not have a contingency note for the Constitutional Crisis now engulfing him.

On the subject of friction, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, one of the hon. Gentleman's former - defeated - colleagues, said yesterday that if an English Grand Committee were set up and if the House overruled that Committee, he could see that leading to a Constitutional Crisis.

Malcolm Rifkind argued that were this Parliament to overrule the decisions of an English Grand Committee, it would lead to a Constitutional Crisis.

They did not see Any Constitutional Crisis when they were in government.

It would be to invite yet Another Constitutional Crisis whereby the Government have to consider whether to depart from their usual practice and give extra time to a private Member's Bill.

But I hope that the Minister will not persist in the charade - a charade that is hard to defend - that, because the Government of the day have lost a few votes in another place, that can be spun into a Great Constitutional Crisis.

But I hope that the Minister will not persist in the charade - a charade that is hard to defend - that, because the Government of the day have lost a few votes in another place, that can be spun into a great Constitutional Crisis.

I hope that the Minister will forgive a Member of Parliament who has been in the House for quite a long time for not falling prey to the excitement about This Great Constitutional Crisis that Ministers - with, I must say, a conspicuous lack of success - are trying to generate.


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Can it be right that at no time in the four weeks following the Constitutional Crisis that hit the European Union on Monday will the House of Commons debate that subject?

It would not result in a Constitutional Crisis.

All the other proposals would lead, unfortunately and inevitably, to a Constitutional Crisis of one sort or another.

Straight away we would have a Major Constitutional Crisis.

Straight away we would have a major Constitutional Crisis.

The inevitable consequence of the present circumstances is that on the next economic downturn it will be controlled by the Scottish Nationalists and the United Kingdom will face a Major Constitutional Crisis.

2000 to 2001

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The second has not taken place, in part as a result of the Constitutional Crisis and in part because of financial constraint.

That vote was seen to create a Constitutional Crisis.

It will be misrepresented by the media and by some politicians as a Major Constitutional Crisis.


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Your Lordships' House was memorably dubbed, "Mr Balfour's poodle" in the Constitutional Crisis which led to the Parliament Act 1911.

Perhaps we can look at that when we are sipping champagne and eating caviar on our away day; I hope that that away day does not come before the PAC, as we would have a bit of a Constitutional Crisis if it did.

Does the Minister agree that we all want to achieve legislation that has the respect and support of the rural communities to which it will apply; legislation which, it is to be hoped, will not create a Constitutional Crisis between the two Houses; and which will not result, as that in Scotland has, in damage to animal welfare?

No wonder my noble friend Lord Norton says that we possibly have the makings of a Constitutional Crisis.


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I do not believe that that would represent a Constitutional Crisis.

They might prevent the odd tasteless remark or bad joke, which most of us make from time to time, turning into a Constitutional Crisis.

They brought the whole edifice down, unjustly and perversely punishing the innocent with the guilty, and plunging Northern Ireland into the Constitutional Crisis and political impasse in which it remains embedded.

What we are seeing now is a policy put forward by the Government, and supported by a majority in this House, being contested and rejected by the Lords, creating not a Constitutional Crisis but a constitutional difficulty.


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One can imagine the Constitutional Crisis that would have ensued if English and Welsh Members had sought to change that decision.

And if they had somehow forced the clause through, there would have been a Constitutional Crisis, a clash between the principle of parliamentary sovereignty and the sovereignty of the Queen's courts.

The hon. Member for Crewe and Nantwich (Mrs. Dunwoody) went to the heart of this debate with a question about the national health service, to which the Foreign Secretary replied that there would be a Constitutional Crisis.

I find it extraordinary that a Government - and, indeed, a Minister - who are prepared to risk a Constitutional Crisis over foxhunting can be so blind on such a burning and immediate issue of animal welfare.

I can assure the House that this will not give rise to a Serious Constitutional Crisis.

It came forward with solutions, and it produced a Constitutional Crisis between this House and the other House.

It was enormous fun because, as most of us realised, the Government were bound to give in; otherwise, they would have provoked the Biggest Constitutional Crisis for 300 years.

It is for him to say to the Cabinet, "Look, you are about to embark on something so contrary to the rule of law that you will provoke a Constitutional Crisis like in the ouster clauses".

It does not in any sense mean that we enter a Constitutional Crisis, as some have alleged.


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I recall the Lord Chief Justice saying that, given the Constitutional Crisis that the Government precipitated by announcing their back-of-the-envelope changes in summer 2003 without any consultation, certain aspects of the Government's proposals - in particular, the concordat, on which the Lord Chief Justice insisted - make the best of a bad job.

It would have been awful had we suddenly seen some kind of Constitutional Crisis develop, so I am content that we have had that more positive response.

On this occasion, we are opening up an interesting area of Constitutional Crisis.

If that did happen, we would effectively have a Constitutional Crisis, and in those circumstances it would be right for Parliament to know how and why the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor had such diametrically opposite views on the subject.

I say that because a Bill about terrorism has now been elevated into what has the signs of being a Serious Constitutional Crisis, which should not have been allowed to happen.

I say that because a Bill about terrorism has now been elevated into what has the signs of being a serious Constitutional Crisis, which should not have been allowed to happen.

That has been established as a result of the changes made to the Bill, and it is not the basis for a Constitutional Crisis between this House and the other place.

Add to that the fact that the electoral system this time around has hardly produced justice for England and I reckon that failure to address the West Lothian question will create a grievance too far, which could in time provoke a Major Constitutional Crisis.

For that reason, although you may want a Constitutional Crisis about something else, it would be the nonsense of all time to have one about this Bill.

We can relax because my experience was merely an inconvenience for me and my constituents, but it could have precipitated a Constitutional Crisis, especially if the result of the election had been much closer than it was.

However, we can relax because my experience was merely an inconvenience for me and my constituents, but it could have precipitated a Constitutional Crisis, especially if the result of the election had been much closer than it was.

My hon. Friend eloquently explained how such a situation could precipitate a Constitutional Crisis.


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When there are Governments of different colours in Westminster and Cardiff, as will certainly happen one day, it would be virtually impossible for Westminster - for the Secretary of State for Wales - to refuse a request without triggering a Constitutional Crisis.

That caused something of a Constitutional Crisis at the time.

If the House of Lords ever frustrates the democratic wishes of the Welsh people, it would certainly lead to a Constitutional Crisis, and I am sure that the Secretary of State would not want that to happen.

It is perfectly appropriate to cope with anomalies; the question is whether this Bill, instead of dealing with anomalies, in fact creates a Constitutional Crisis.

Theoretically they are able to legislate on, say, road speeds in Scotland but, if they did not get a Sewel Motion, there would be a Major Constitutional Crisis because the Scottish Parliament would say, "That is for us to decide, not Westminster".

They dismiss the idea of finding a way of dealing with the anomaly but are intent instead to create a Major Constitutional Crisis.

A number of noble Lords have said that my Bill would create a Constitutional Crisis - but we are heading towards a constitutional crisis.

I will tell the noble Baroness that if she likes to wait until that time, the Constitutional Crisis between this House and the other House will have been nothing compared to what happened before 1688.

It would be a complete farce and a Constitutional Crisis, so I do not believe that that will actually happen.

Indeed, it was suggested last week that we are in some sort of Constitutional Crisis.

This morning, the Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee said: "There is a Constitutional Crisis emerging here".

That early-day motion argues that to ban Members of Parliament from Scotland from voting on English matters could lead to a Constitutional Crisis or to the break-up of the United Kingdom.

It seems reasonable to have a provision requiring the Secretary of State to give reasons for doing that, because I agree that it would be an extraordinary situation and something of a Constitutional Crisis, given that the United Kingdom Government would be overriding the request and the clear wish of the Welsh Assembly.

I draw my right hon. Friend's attention to early-day motion 2519: [That this House believes plans by the right hon. Member for Witney to ban hon. Members representing constituencies in Scotland from voting on matters relating exclusively to England would precipitate a Constitutional Crisis which would threaten the future of the United Kingdom; and further believes that everyone elected to this House should have the same rights of participation, irrespective of which part of the United Kingdom they represent.

However, that would create not just the Constitutional Crisis that I described, but a political crisis for the Conservative party that would be extremely damaging to its future prospects in Wales.


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It is, of course, worth remembering that I used the phrase "relatively benign", because of the Constitutional Crisis that occurred in Australia in 1975, when the Governor-General had to move in and remove the Prime Minister because of disagreement between the two Houses.

That is why I believe that what is proposed is likely to lead at worst to a Major Constitutional Crisis, and at best to debilitating and protracted friction between the two Houses, which will add further delay to the workings of Government.

That is not just my view but that of the Constitution Unit at UCL, which says that the policy of English votes for English MPs "would cause a Constitutional Crisis far greater than the West Lothian question itself".

Moreover, the first time that a vote in this House turns on the 20 per cent appointed votes, there will be a Constitutional Crisis.

The Opposition have repeatedly said that to put prisons and the courts into a single person's hands is potentially a recipe for Constitutional Crisis.


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If the point came when a case was removed from the jurisdiction of the Scottish courts without the consent of the Lord Advocate, it would be not only a Constitutional Crisis, as one hon. Member said, but too late, because there would be absolutely nothing to stop it happening.


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It would then be suggested that the Government might precipitate what is potentially a Constitutional Crisis by adopting root and branch reform of this place, when that Government would have no majority in Parliament and every party is divided about the issue.

This is a Constitutional Crisis, and we now have to hear a statement about the future.

We are in the middle of a Constitutional Crisis, but this debate touches on another constitutional crisis of a somewhat different kind.

We are in a Constitutional Crisis, I believe, but on the doorsteps people are more interested in health and education than in the constitution.

May I therefore offer the co-operation of the official Opposition in proceeding constructively and responsibly to try to sort out this near Constitutional Crisis thoroughly and as soon as possible?

May I therefore offer the co-operation of the official Opposition in proceeding constructively and responsibly to try to sort this near Constitutional Crisis thoroughly and as soon as possible?

As the hon. Gentleman will know very well, 100 or so years ago California was beset by a Similar Constitutional Crisis when the people of that state began to lose trust in their political processes.

People would become all the more vitriolic if, as I suspect would happen and a number of Members have implied would happen, introducing such a Bill precipitated a Constitutional Crisis.

As the hon. Member for Harwich will know very well, 100 or so years ago California was beset by a Similar Constitutional Crisis when the people of that state began to lose trust in their political processes.

They are particularly important now, in what many commentators have described as a Constitutional Crisis.

The system should be looked at as part of the Constitutional Crisis that we face.


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The previous time when I ran into this business of trying to block statutory instruments, which was over the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act when we forced through an amendment that meant that the Government would have to come back within a year with a better statutory instrument, there were mutterings off that this was a Constitutional Crisis, this was not the way that things should be done, it was going against the whole way that Parliament worked and so on.

An early Bill to introduce democracy for the second Chamber would lead us straight into a Constitutional Crisis that the public would not understand, even though two thirds or three quarters of them support such a measure.

The second argument put forward by the hon. Member for Chichester for his amendments was that there would be a Constitutional Crisis-I think that that was the term that he used-if reform were to be driven through in short order.

However, the recommendation became caught up in the Constitutional Crisis when the unelected Conservative majority in the House of Lords decided to disrupt Lloyd George's excellent "People's Budget".

I signed the Cunningham committee in the end, not, as the noble Lord, Lord Wright, implied, on the basis that at the point of reform there would be a Great Constitutional Crisis; I signed it on the basis that it would apply to a new House, but that at the point of reform it would have to be looked at again.

Now is the time to change this, before the young princes have children-just in case they were to have a daughter before they had a son, whereupon there would suddenly be a Constitutional Crisis.

But the truth about timing is that if Prince William were to have a daughter first and then a son, in realms other than this, where people wanted to assert that they thought it was unfair to have an unequal system that disfranchised or shoved the daughter further down the list, there would be a Constitutional Crisis.

What practical help can we give the Maldives at this time of Constitutional Crisis?

There is a Constitutional Crisis that requires the Prime Minister, in honour, to put an issue to the electorate for a general election.


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That would set the monarch directly against the Prime Minister, and in such a contest there would be a Real Constitutional Crisis, which some would want to take to the courts because the provisions would by then have been placed in statute law.

30 yesterday afternoon, it became apparent to me that your Lordships' House had entered a Serious Constitutional Crisis, and I have decided to make that the centre of my speech today.

The noble Lord, Lord Goodhart, went further than anyone else in this House by saying that he believed that we were in a Serious Constitutional Crisis.

They have not concluded that this would presage a Constitutional Crisis.

It is constantly said that the problem with all these approaches is that if a Government were denied the use of all the votes of their supporters that would usually give them a majority, the whole business of government would become unworkable and the Government would be unable to get their programme through, which would create some sort of Constitutional Crisis.

He noted that in last year's general election, the Conservative party had a majority of seats in England and that if our right hon. Friend the Prime Minister had not led in such a bold fashion to put together this coalition, an alternative might well have caused a Constitutional Crisis.

My Lords, I believe that we are heading for a Real Constitutional Crisis.

If it did so, there would be a Constitutional Crisis.

It would be much better if this were done at a time of constitutional peace rather than at a time of Constitutional Crisis.

It is important to deal with it before it gives rise to a Constitutional Crisis - in fact, that would be a very bad idea.

At that time, when there would be a Government but not a Parliament, we would end up with something of a Constitutional Crisis if the Government chose to delay having a Queen's Speech to invoke the power, notwithstanding the other elements to which the Minister referred.


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As the noble Lord, Lord Kerr, pointed out at a meeting that I attended only last week-and I made the point in my own evidence to the committee-if you have a situation where the non-elected 20 per cent carry the day, you have the makings of a Constitutional Crisis if the Bill is important.

Does the nation face a Constitutional Crisis?

My Lords, I wish to speak about what I believe is the Biggest Constitutional Crisis facing this country, and it is related to the eurozone.

Secondly, I am convinced that a Constitutional Crisis arising out of gridlock will abate to meet public expectation and market movements as Parliament backs off from sustained open conflict between the two Houses.

The House is going to vote potentially to enshrine in our national political life the recipe for a permanent Constitutional Crisis.

The 1911 Act solved a Constitutional Crisis.

I would have an non-monetary bet with anybody in this House that, if the Bill is passed, within five years we will have a Constitutional Crisis on our hands along American lines, with gridlock between the two Houses.

This is precisely what led to the kind of Constitutional Crisis that we have seen in our own history when Governments from the Stuarts onwards claimed a divine right to rule but then broke the common law.


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In my view, we will then have a Serious Constitutional Crisis.

Right now the monarch can marry a Muslim, a Jew, a Hindu or an atheist, yet no one is alleging today that we are teetering on the edge of a Constitutional Crisis.

Some feared that that could lead to a Constitutional Crisis, and I want to reassure them.

There is no more need for a Constitutional Crisis now than there was before, as I said to my hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot.

I do not understand the Minister's point - that if the two amendments were passed, it could result in a Constitutional Crisis or somebody supplanting somebody else.

For good measure, he added: "Should a Catholic spouse of a future sovereign wish to bring up their children as Catholics, a Constitutional Crisis would surely ensue", so having a word with your local bishop might not get the right result.


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I have no wish to cause a Constitutional Crisis by inadvertently taking over responsibilities for which I have no responsibility.

If the result of the referendum in Scotland is a vote for independence, that agreement, which effectively guaranteed that the Scots would be able to have their will, as reflected in their referendum, implemented without question by this UK Parliament, could be the makings of a Constitutional Crisis.

Also, to find such an uncommonly well-attended debate while we face a looming Constitutional Crisis demonstrates how important this issue is to Members from all parties in the House.

Those are all time-consuming tasks and I am not sure that they can be carried out by a constitutional expert living through a Constitutional Crisis, who needs to be up to speed with everything that happens in this Chamber and with the long history of our traditions, our law codes and our constitution, written and unwritten as it is.

We need greater openness and engagement in the joint ministerial Committees, and quicker resolution of disputes before they are elevated to Constitutional Crisis level.

The Constitutional Crisis that is in the making - for that is what it is - has to be addressed.

I am quite convinced that, unless we have it, we will be facing one Constitutional Crisis after another.


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Is that not a recipe for Constitutional Crisis?

The Present Constitutional Crisis would defy a modern Walter Bagehot to describe it and make proposals to repair the situation.

Even in the Constitutional Crisis a century ago that led to the Parliament Act and others, there was no referendum in any one part of the union to secede from another.

I think that it would be something short of a Constitutional Crisis if someone suggested that one more provost should have a bus pass.

As I said to her before, I would much rather know early on whether there are potential difficulties and problems so that they can be dealt with and addressed, rather than, two or three years down the line, having a Constitutional Crisis that nobody has thought how to address.

Could they not see that such an event might inadvertently trigger a Constitutional Crisis the like of which we have not seen for 100 years?

It is not a Constitutional Crisis.

My Lords, there seem to be two strands to this emotive phrase “Constitutional Crisis”, which is what I would like to address.

That to me is the substantive issue, and the smoke and mirrors produced by the hon. Gentleman and other hon. Members about the Constitutional Crisis or the offsetting mitigating prospects for other changes elsewhere in the Government's finances do not answer the central question: is it right or fair to ask hard-working families to take such a cut to their incomes?

This is not a Constitutional Crisis; it is a crisis for 3 million families in this country who are very worried about what is going to happen next April.

There is a real danger that if Parliament as a whole lets the Government of the day dismantle every check and balance, they will no longer be governing by consent - and that really would be a Constitutional Crisis.

The Lords were right and entitled to table the fatal motion and it has not created a Constitutional Crisis.

First, I congratulate the House of Lords not on causing a Constitutional Crisis, but on giving the Government a well-earned opportunity to think twice about their proposals.

As my hon. Friendthe Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) said: “This is not a Constitutional Crisis; it is a crisis for 3 million families”.

This is not a Constitutional Crisis, it is a humanitarian crisis, for which the savage and shameful policy of the Government is solely responsible.

” Professor Douglas-Scott's argument is that “Therefore, any UK exit of the EU against Scotland's wishes will create a Constitutional Crisis rather than save the UK's sovereignty.

According to the evidence of witnesses, there is concern that the Bill could lead to a Constitutional Crisis if the devolved Administrations refuse to implement the content of the Bill.

I first predicted that the Government would do a U-turn on working tax credits on15 October, and the Leader yet again went all pompous and Grayling on us and started moaning about a Great Constitutional Crisis that was stalking the land.

The good thing is that Sinn Féin did face up to the reality that we could not go along a route where we did not have a sustainable budget and could not deliver services in Northern Ireland, we were going to hit a Constitutional Crisis and the devolution settlement was going to be under threat if we did not deal with this issue.

My Lords, surely the Minister would agree that this was in no sense a Constitutional Crisis merely because the House of Lords did what it was supposed to and should do, which is to scrutinise and, where appropriate, ask the Commons to think again.

I say to the noble Lord, Lord Cormack, that if the people of Scotland voted to abolish the Scottish Parliament, primary legislation in this Parliament would be required for that to happen, but of course if this Parliament chose to ignore what the people of Scotland said, that would bring about a Constitutional Crisis because political reality would kick in.

Let us not make a Constitutional Crisis over a small amount of money or use an argument about what is, in the end, a straightforward policy choice in the Government's wider campaign to neuter the House of Lords.

Noble Lords may have a brief moment of euphoria if the Government are defeated tonight, but it will be followed by the danger of a Real Constitutional Crisis arising between our two Chambers that could do enormous damage to the standing of Parliament in general, and of this House in particular.

If that were to happen in the modern day, we would legitimately face a Constitutional Crisis.


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There were no cries of a Constitutional Crisis then.

The noble Lord, Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, pointed out that a fit of pique by the Prime Minister and an outbreak of anger at the top of the Government does not amount to a Constitutional Crisis.

My Lords, we do not have a Constitutional Crisis on our hands.

Unless it is amended, the National Assembly will unanimously - this will include Tory AMs - oppose the Bill during the legislative consent motion process, sparking a Constitutional Crisis.

Does the Minister appreciate that the impact on the devolved Administrations of an attempt to repeal the Human Rights Act would likely provoke a Constitutional Crisis?

Does the Home Secretary not realise that if Britain were to attempt to withdraw from the EHCR, it would cause a Constitutional Crisis within these islands?

Indeed, if the Government press ahead with their plans, they risk eliciting a Constitutional Crisis.

The Constitutional Crisis is that it would pitch referendum democracy against parliamentary democracy - a very unhappy clash.

We should reflect on one point above all: Our Current Constitutional Crisis is built on Britain's inequality.

Wherever all the moving parts of This Constitutional Crisis end up, we must ensure that the UK continues on the right path.

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