HC Deb 21 April 1936 vol 311 cc23-4
45. Mr. TINKER

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the prevailing opinion is that all Secretaries of State should be in the House of Commons; and will he consider amending the statute that at present limits the number to six, so that in future all can occupy places in the House of Commons, where they will be able to answer for their Departments?


No, Sir. I am not aware of any disadvantage to the public service which arises from the existing law, and in my opinion there is ample representation of His Majesty's Government in this House.


Will the right hon. Gentleman be present when the Estimates or Bills of these Departments are being discussed, and then he can judge for himself the dissatisfaction in the House with the Junior Ministers replying?


Will the Prime Minister bear in mind that he said that he fully realised the importance of having the chiefs of the spending Departments present in the House, and in view of the importance of the prospective Debates on Supplementary Estimates for national defence, will he see that the chiefs of the spending Departments who are going to spend these vast sums of money come to the House? Will he also see that Members of this House are appointed as heads of those Departments? Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the question, because he said the other day that he realised the importance of this matter?