HC Deb 15 June 1937 vol 325 cc201-2
45. Sir Hugh Seely (for Mr. Mander)

asked the Prime Minister whether he will state the duties to be performed respectively by the Lord President of the Council, the Lord Privy Seal and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain)

The Lord President of the Council is in charge of the work of the Privy Council Office. He is also responsible for the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and for the work of the Medical Research and Agricultural Research Councils, which are independent of the Privy Council Office and take instructions direct from the Lord President. In addition to these administrative duties, the present holder of the office bears the responsibilities which attach to him as a member of the Cabinet, and in his further capacity as Leader of the House of Lords is also responsible for the conduct of Government business in that House.

The Lord Privy Seal has no administrative duties to perform in that capacity, but the present holder of the office, as a member of the Cabinet who is free from departmental ties, will be able to devote himself to the work of Cabinet Committees and to such other Cabinet or Ministerial business as the Prime Minister may find it advisable and convenient to delegate to him.

The duties of the Chancellor of the Duchy, whose salary is paid out of Duchy revenue and is not a charge on public funds, are primarily to control the management of the Duchy estates and revenues, and, within the County Palatine, to perform various duties which in other counties devolve upon the Lord Chancellor and the Home Secretary. In addition, he will perform a considerable variety of pressing and temporary duties which are not assigned to any particular Minister and to which no salary is attached, such as membership of Government Committees and active assistance in the work of this House.