Kerala Land Bill passed
The Kerala Legislative Assembly adjourned sine die on December 4 after passing the Land Reforms Bill amidst loud thumping of desks by Congress members and cries of “Shame, shame” by Communists. The final attempt of the Communists to block the passage of the Bill by pressing for a division on the final motion ended in the House approving the measure. Earlier the House accepted 34 official amendments to various clauses moved by the Minister during the third reading. They were mostly of a verbal nature. The first major piece of legislation undertaken by the 14-month-old full-fledged Congress Ministry, this Bill has had a rough going since its introduction 11 weeks ago. Covered during the marathon discussion were about 1,800 amendments to the 137-Clause Bill.
Permission to overfly
Prime Minister Nehru informed the Lok Sabha on December 4 that after careful consideration the Government had decided to accede to the request of the Chinese Government for permission for over-flight across India of two foreign aircraft carrying the Chinese Premier, Mr. Chou En-lai, and the Vice-Premier, Marshal Chen-yi, to African countries. The issue was raised in the form of a calling attention notice.
No ceiling on ornaments
A spokesman of the Finance Ministry on December 4 clarified that if and when Government called for declarations from individuals or a class of persons about gold ornaments in their possession beyond a particular limit, they need not surrender the ornaments in excess of the limit. The spokesman said that Government was not at present contemplating placing a ceiling on gold ornaments. Like the ceiling on land, it was possible that Government might place a ceiling on gold ornaments at a future date. But for the present, no ceiling on gold ornaments was under contemplation. The spokesman said that under the Gold Control Bill now before Parliament, Government merely wanted to clothe itself with the power to call for a declaration by general or special order from any person or class of persons in respect of holdings of ornaments in excess of a particular limit.