28 NOVEMBER 1931, Page 2

The Statute of Westminster A sonorous title has been revived

for the Bill which is to enact the conclusions of Imperial Conferences upon Dominion Status (words that we hope will never be defined by law). We are. pledged, but we need not be blind to difficulties which must inevitably arise. Firstly, the Sovereign is to be advised directly by the Ministers of the Dominions. If two Dominions are at variance and their Ministers tender contrary advice, how is the Constitutional Monarch to be saved from rejecting the advice of one set of Ministers ? . Secondly ; questions of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council : if there is a desire to avoid the jurisdiction of what has been the greatest Court in the world and the honour of sending judges to sit in it, what is to be substituted in justiciable disputes between Dominions ? Can we take our differences to foreigners at the Hague ? And is the birthright of every subject of the King, the right to appeal to him in Council, to be taken away by a Government of the moment ? Again, our proSperity may be gravely hurt by the new position of the Merchant Shipping Acts, which coukl be replaced by local Navigation Laws if interested Protectionists brought enough pressure to bear on a Dominion Government. The statute- must be passed, but not blindly.