HC Deb 18 December 1916 vol 88 c1119
51. Mr. KING

asked the Prime Minister whether seats will be found in Parliament for the Controller of Shipping, the President of the Board of Education, and other members of the Ministry who are not Members of either House?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Bonar Law)

It is hoped that the Presidents of the Boards of Trade and Education will shortly be Members of this House. In the meantime it is not intended that the Controller of Shipping shall be a Member of either House of Parliament, but his Department will be represented by an Under-Secretary who will be a Member of this House.


Would it not be better for the Controller of Shipping to be in this House?


He does not think so. He thinks he can more usefully employ his time outside.


Is it not a question for the Government to consider, rather than the Controller?


Is the Controller of Shipping to be understood to be a Minister of the Crown? Does the right hon. Gentleman not know that from the Revolution to the present time a Minister of the Crown has been identified as a Member with either the House of Commons or the House of Lords?


I am aware of the constitutional doctrine stated by the hon. Gentleman, but the present is a very exceptional time, and I think the House will agree with the Government that what they have to do is to get the work done in the best way possible.