HC Deb 01 May 1940 vol 360 cc708-9
45. Rear-Admiral Sir Murray Sueter

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the necessity during these times of having Ministers with minds constantly alert for making quick decisions, he will consider appointing three deputy Ministers to relieve the Ministers in charge of the Navy, Army and Air Force of much of the detail of Departmental matters in the same manner as has been done in providing the three Chiefs of Staffs with understudies?

The Prime Minister

I appreciate the object which my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind in making this suggestion, and I have already considered carefully whether means of giving effect to it could be found. The duties of the Chiefs of Staff are not, however, analogous to those of Ministers in charge of Departments, and I am afraid that it would not be practicable for Ministers to delegate their responsibilities. They have, of course, the assistance of their Under-Secretaries who can and do relieve them of a good deal of Departmental work.