Nothern Ireland

  • M. Epstein
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Under the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, as amended by the Irish Free State (Consequential Provisions) Act, 1922 (13 Geo. V. Ch. 2, Session 2), a separate parliament and executive government were established for Northern Ireland, which comprises the parliamentary counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, and Tyrone, and the parliamentary boroughs of Belfast and Londonderry. The Parliament consists of a Senate of 2 ex-officio and 24 elected persons and a House of Commons of 52 elected members. An allowance for expenses is made in the case of those members of both Houses who are not in receipt of salaries as members of the Government or as officers of Parliament, amounting to (a) 2l, 5s. a day to members of the Senate for attendance at meetings of the Senate or committees, but the total allowance to each may not exceed 90l. in any one year, unless under a declaration of insufficiency of means when an additional 100l. per annum is paid irrespective of attendance, and to (b) 210l. a year to members of the House of Commons and 2l. 2s. a day for attendance at Committees. The Parliament has power to legislate for its own area except in regard to (1) matters of Imperial concern (the Crown, making of peace or war, military, naval, and air forces, treaties, titles of honour, treason, naturalisation, domicile, external trade, submarine cables, wireless telegraphy, aerial navigation, lighthouses, etc., coinage, etc., trade marks, etc.), and (2) certain matters ‘reserved’ to the Imperial Parliament (postal service, Post Office and Trustee savings banks, designs for stamps, registration of deeds). The executive power is vested in the Governor on behalf of His Majesty the King: he holds office for six years and is advised by ministers responsible to Parliament. Senators hold office for a fixed term of years: the House of Commons is to continue for five years, unless sooner dissolved. The qualifications for membership of the Parliament are similar to those for membership of the Imperial House of Commons. By the Representation of the People Act (Northern Ireland), 1928, the franchise was conferred upon women upon the same terms as it had hitherto been enjoyed by men ; and by the House of Commons (Method of Voting and Redistribution of Seats) Act (Northern Ireland), 1929, the system of Proportional Representation (under which the Parliaments which met in 1921 and in 1925 had been elected) was abolished, and Parliamentary Representation, except for the constituency of Queen’s University of Belfast, was based upon single-member constituencies.


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1939

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  • M. Epstein

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