HC Deb 04 December 1916 vol 88 cc646-7
74. Mr. YEO

asked the Prime Minister whether he will order all Government notices to be so worded that they can be readily understood by the people; whether the most important Order of the Liquor Control Board is more than 3 feet long by 2 feet wide, and exceeds 3,000 words, although the Order could be expressed in less than 100 words and in such words as would make clear and not obscure the demands of the Board; and whether steps will be taken to compel Government Departments to word their Orders intelligibly, so as to put an end to law-abiding people being subjected to punishment for not obeying Orders which at present tax the skill and patience of even experienced lawyers?


I think Government Departments already have in view the object mentioned by my hon. Friend in the first part of his question. With regard to the second, I am informed that remarkably few cases of disputed interpretation have been taken to the High Court, and that in no case has the Central Control Board found it necessary to amend its Order owing to the interpretation put on it by the Court. The dimensions of the Order when printed in poster form are due not merely to its length, but to the size of the type and spacing used, both of which make for the clarity desired by my hon. Friend. I need hardly add that any concrete suggestion he may put forward to this end will be carefully considered.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman to take the Eighth Commandment as his text for the next issue of orders to the public?

Forward to