HC Deb 03 July 1940 vol 362 cc834-5
44. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Prime Minister whether he will give an assurance that, in future, whenever important announcements are to be made by Ministers they shall be first made on the Floor of the House of Commons?

Mr. Attlee

His Majesty's Government are of opinion that important statements should whenever possible be made by Ministers in Parliament. The House will realise, however, that there may be special occasions on which it is necessary to depart from this practice. This was the case in connection with the statement on agricultural prices which, as my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture explained, it was originally intended to make to the House last Thursday. Unfortunately it proved impossible to do this, and in view of the fact that some of the new price schedules came into operation on 1st July it was considered desirable to make the statement at the week-end.

Mr. De la Bère

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the continuation of this practice will forfeit any idea of confidence which the public may have in Ministers and in the House of Commons? It is an undesirable practice and one which should not be allowed to continue.