The object of the local Common Law Councils are: 1. To influence their local M.P., of whatever party, to support the P.C.L.P. and the Referendum Bloc in the House of Commons j to bring their candidates to accept the principles; to give an unequivocal public pledge not to support or vote for any measure which is in conflict with them 5 and to advocate that these principles be the basis of Supreme Common Law.
PEOPLE'S COMMON LAW PARLIAMENT 195
2. To make representations to their M.P. on any matter
where he violates or ignores the principles. To communicate to the electorate any refusals on his part.
3. If an election is imminent and no candidate is pre-
pared to accept the principles the constituency will be invited to put up their own candidate, who will be publicly pledged to abide by the principles and to obey the will of his constituency.
4. To provide machinery by which any M.P. may know
at any time the opinion of his constituents on any matter.
5. To set up a Referendum Committee under its control
to raise funds for the Referendum work and to organise the requisite canvassing of all voters in the constituency.
6. To choose a delegate to sit in the P.C.L.P. through
whom communications may be constantly maintained.
7. To debate all matters of local interest in the light of
the principles and, where local conditions or by-laws violate these principles, to make representations to the individual society, firm, school, company, council, or corporation concerned. To direct a local Referendum on the question when opposition is encountered. If still further action is necessary, to communicate the Referendum to the Agenda Committee of the P.C.L.P.
8. To take any further action consistent with what is
herein laid down and likely to be conducive to a Christian democracy.
All organisations pledged to support the principles may appoint representatives empowered to vote. Representatives of the unorganised public are appointed with similar powers and in numbers not less than those representing orgamsationj
Working unitedly in their local Common Law Councils, retomers fnd organisations would create an influence mpre
Each Common Law Council appoints its own President
its own delegate to the P.C.L.P., its own Referendum
Committee, and its own provisional candidate for the
Sovereign Parliament (who shall stand for election if none
of the existing candidates will pledge himself to the principles
or carry out the will of his electors), save that this last
appointment is subject to the approval of the Governing
Council of the P.C.L.P. 6
Common Law Councils are empowered at their own discretion to employ their Referendum organisations to draw attention to local evils, provided that such use does not clash with any national Referendum.
The general public may attend the assemblies of their local Common Law Council, and, though they may not vote, they may speak if business and the chairman allow.
In order to preserve the non-party-political character of Common Law Councils all organisations may be represented on the Council but no political parties. This ruling is necessary to prevent Members of Parliament, or political parties, from judging in their own case, and also to preserve the distinction between legislative bodies and the P.C.L.P. which shall become the moral check and guide upon legislators. Members of Parliament would be allowed to attend these Councils only as witnesses, or to be questioned by the members of their constituency.
THE GOVERNING COUNCIL
The Governing Council of the P.C.L.P. acts as a kind of second chamber in that its members are not members of the P.C.L.P. (although they retain the right of attending its debates and of speaking) but exercise the right of veto in case the members of the P.C.L.P. should themselves violate the principles. No statement prepared by the pnj^p^ can be published, nor any Referendum made
PEOPLE'S COMMON LAW PARLIAMENT 197
thereon without the Governing Council's consent. This power of veto ,s designed to protect the integrity of the Movement from any attempt to betray or side-track it from
It is thus not important that the members of the Governing Council should be well-known public figures but it is imperative that they should be completely trustworthy, incorruptible and disinterested; completely loyal to the principles and unaffected by threats or by considerations of personal profit or advancement.
The members of the Governing Council thus act as guardians of the principles on which the Movement is founded; but their routine work will be in charge of Departmental Committees which have the duty of examining all legislation and social evils and reporting their findings to the P.C.L.P. The entire field of human activity and organisation is divided into convenient departments with an expert committee responsible for each. The Privy Council provides a useful analogy, with its Boards of Trade, Health, Education, and Departments dealing with Civil Services and Representatives of the Royal Family, His Majesty's Government and the Church.
When any business is debated in the P.C.L.P.—e.g.
malnutrition, general insecurity, etc.—it is not the business
of the Assembly to prepare plans to reform these evils, but
first to make the evils known, and secondly to ascertain
the ability of national effort or knowledge to remove them;
thirdly to demand the repeal of the harmful legislation, or new
enactments which will prevent the offending practice or
make the necessary reform obligatory. \
It is constantly coming before the notice of the P.C.L.h\ s Public Welfare and National Health Department that new medical treatments for various diseases have been and are being discovered. It has been proved that many of these can cure certain diseases which have baffled medical^science but for a variety of reasons these discoveries have not been made available to the public.
198 A PEOPLE'S RUNNYMEDE
The following is one of many instances of the public being denied advanced medical treatment. In November 1940 Mr Bevin revealed that a machine which passed shortwave high-frequency currents through the body had cured a thousand people of colds after a few minutes' treatment and had proved invaluable in dealing with catarrh, pneumonia, and chest troubles affecting young children. By a Government ban this instrument is prevented from becoming an asset to counteract war conditions. It might interfere with short-wave transmission or be converted into a wireless transmitting apparatus! Any expert on the subject could immediately discount this excuse.
It is the task of the National Health Department of the P.C.L.P. to examine all new medical treatments and through the public activities of the P.C.L.P. to make them available to the people when warrantable.
By the routine work of the Governing Council, through departmental committees, all legislation, statistics, discoveries, and advanced knowledge will be examined, and the findings placed before the P.C.L.P. and the people. Each department is in charge of a member of the Governing Council, or a member of the P.C.L.P. appointed by him to act as his deputy chairman whenever he is unable to be present. The members of each committee are chosen by the members of the P.C.L.P. from among their number. The chairman of any departmental committee may direct that any expert (even though not a member of the P.C.L.P.) be called to give evidence before the committee in order to assist its investigations of any* matter falling within its province.
The Governing Council appoints from among its number or from the members of the P.C.L.P. a Referendum Committee • this is responsible for ordering a national referendum on a statement whenever the P.C.L.P. so directs. The Referendum Committee communicates with ail local
PEOPLE'S COMMON LAW PARLIAMENT ,„
must be reported to Sr2K,L!^'! " P°f'|e- Re»lK
votes on the matter in auesrinn ^k j i . nt^-
ing to die people he iSS ^ **** VOtm8aeCord"
It will *be noted that the PPfPronj ii Ma •
111<1Lme ■Kererendum organisation i an instrument of tremendous force, capable oHveXwing any government which rejects the principles, and almost certainly of preventing the re-election of any Member of Parliament who speaks or votes against the will of his constituents*
PARLIAMENTARY REFERENDUM BLOC
This bloc will be composed of members of all political
parties, also of Members of Parliament elected under the
auspices of the People's Common Law Parliament. Their
first duty will be to obtain the enactment of Supreme
Common Laws and the establishment of the right of
Referendum in the British Constitution. &m
The P.C.L.P. will use the organisation provided by the local Common Law Councils to take up regular referendums from the electorate. They will deal generally with social evils and reforms, but in particular will aim at securing the establishment of Supreme Common Law and the legal recognition of the use of referendums to obtain the consent of the electorate before any major Bill or reform becomes
Such referendums will be placed before the House of Commons by the Referendum Bloc. Members of this Bloc may apply to the P.C.L.P. to take up a referendum on any matter on which they wish to ascertain the opinion of: their constituents. This suggestion has been received with interest by many members of the House of Commons.
The Referendum organisation and its activities would create an almost perfect election organisation, being mi constant contact with every voter. It would deal with
200 A PEOPLE'S RUNNYMEDE
matters near to the heart of every man and woman, and reveal the honesty or dishonesty of political policies and Members of Parliament, and make known the truth concerning all national problems.
If an M.P. were foolish enough consistently to ignore his constituency and oppose its expressed wishes the electorate would be invited to select their own candidate for the next election. What would most probably happen would be that political parties, recognising the danger, would instruct M.P.s to obey the referendums. As a result, instead of parties working against the electorate for private ends, they would compete with each other to carry out its wishes.
The leader of the Referendum Bloc will be more certain of his ground when he makes a statement in the House than any Prime Minister in history. In a pile of referendums will lie the authority of the people for whom he speaks. His moral authority must become more powerful than the Prime Minister's, for the natural rights of the people must take precedence over all else and must be the outstanding and all-powerful authority in Parliament.
What is suggested here is a practical proposal and not a
theory. $The referendums of the P.C.L.P. will begin in
small trickles from all parts of the country; gradually
gathering momentum they will become an overwhelming