HC Deb 27 June 1939 vol 349 cc206-7
46. Mr. Dingle Foot

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the extensive law-making powers conferred upon Ministers by recent statutes; and whether the Government will now consider giving effect to the recommendation of the Committee on Ministers' Powers that a small Standing Committee should be set up in each House of Parliament at the beginning of each Session to consider and report on every Bill containing a proposal to confer law-making power on a Minister, and also to consider and report on any regulation and rule made in the exercise of delegated legislative powers and laid before the House in pursuance of statutory requirement?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Member perhaps has in mind the Orders recently made under the Military Training Act and the Reserve and Auxiliary Forces Act. The powers given by the two Acts in question were, of course, entirely exceptional, and the Government have no intention of treating them as a precedent to be followed in ordinary circumstances. As regards the last part of the question, I can add nothing to what has been said in reply to previous questions on this subject, except to repeat the assurances which have already been given that the views expressed in the report are carefully borne in mind in relation to current legislation.

Mr. Foot

Is the Prime Minister aware that the report of the Committee on Ministers' Powers has now been published for seven years; and how much longer do the Government need to make up their mind on these recommendations?