HC Deb 05 October 1939 vol 351 cc2074-5
47 and 93. Sir Arnold Wilson

asked (1) the Paymaster-General, as representing the Lord President of the Council, whether the form of prayer set forth by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York for use on 1st October last was authorised by Royal Warrant as required by the Act of Uniformity and by precedent, and if not, in what circumstances is copyright of this form of prayer vested in the Crown; and on what grounds was it printed by the King's printers with the Royal Arms thereon;

(2) the Secretary to the Treasury whether the form of prayer for use on 1st October was printed for and published by His Majesty's Stationery Office and, if so, by order of what Department; and on what Vote the cost of printing and distribution is carried?

The Paymaster - General (Earl Winterton)

The form of prayer to which the hon. Member refers was prepared, on the signification of His Majesty's Pleasure, by Order of the Privy Council, in accordance with long-established precedent. It was printed by Messrs. Eyre and Spottiswoode, His Majesty's Printers of Bibles and Prayer Books, who used the imprint of the Royal Arms in virtue of their patent. The Stationery Office Vote bears the cost of printing and distributing the copies promulgated as directed in the Order-in-Council. Copyright vests in the Crown, under Section 18 of the Copyright Act, 1911.

Sir A. Wilson

Can the Noble Lord state whether the form of prayer will be printed in the London Gazette along with the Order-in-Council, in accordance with previous precedent; and whether he will look at page 12 of the standard order and observe the very inferior, indeed, illiterate, English in which the two sentences are couched?

Earl Winterton

I have endeavoured to answer a delicate question of the Royal Prerogative.

Mr. Ede

Does the Minister think that the prayers are likely to be more efficacious if they are printed by the King's printers with the Royal Arms thereon?

Earl Winterton

No, Sir. I think I ought to point out that this is a very ancient and established form which dates back to Elizabethan times and which can be altered only by His Majesty in Council.

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