HC Deb 06 April 1925 vol 182 cc1834-5
98. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the Departments in which the Permanent Under-Secretary ranks above the Parliamentary Under-Secretary and in the absence of the Secretary of State or Minister acts as his deputy; in which Departments a contrary practice prevails; and what are the reasons for the difference?


I am not sure that I fully appreciate what the right hon. and gallant Member has in mind. In no circumstances are the responsibilities of Ministers of the Crown to Parliament susceptible of delegation to an official; in the absence of a Secretary of State or other principal Minister, provision would invariably be made for the discharge of his Ministerial duties by some other Minister, who might be, as occasion required, either the Parliamentary Under-Secretary or some other Minister.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether there is a difference of practice in any of the chief Departments of State as to the position of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary relative to the Permanent Under-Secretary?


After considerable research by the officials I have not been able to trace any such difference. If the right hon. Gentleman can send me any particulars, I shall be glad to look into them.