HC Deb 31 July 1941 vol 373 cc1529-30
46. Earl Winterton

asked the Prime Minister whether he will give an assurance that whenever the Minister of State be recalled to this country for consultation this House, if it is sitting, will be afforded an opportunity of hearing a statement from him?

Mr. Attlee

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister could not at this stage give such an undertaking as suggested by my noble Friend. Any proposal of the kind will have to depend upon circumstances at the time.

Earl Winterton

Will my right hon. Friend give assurance that so far as is possible the old constitutional rule will be observed, that a Minister, especially a Cabinet Minister, is answerable for his official actions in this House or in another place? That is a very important constitutional point.

Mr. Attlee

Certainly the constitutional principle remains the same, but the noble Lord, in his Question, is rather tying us down to a particular date which it might not be possible to give.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Is the Minister aware that if many more Cabinet Ministers are sent abroad it will be necessary to bring some of them back to fill up the places on the Front Bench?