HC Deb 23 October 1941 vol 374 c1911
Sir John Wardlaw-Milne

(by Private Notice)asked the Prime Minister whether he has any further statement to make regarding the attendance of Ministers before Select Committees?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Churchill)

In my reply last Thursday to my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne), referring to the memorandum from the Select Committee on National Expenditure, I was, of course, dealing only with the action taken by the Government upon a particular memorandum submitted to me. I think that this must have been quite clear to most hon. Members, but lest there should be any misapprehension in the mind of anyone, I wish to make it quite clear that I had no thought in my own mind of laying down any new procedure for the Committee or of interfering in any way with the normal powers exercised by-Select Committees of this House for the summoning of witnesses.

Sir Percy Harris

Is it not clear that Select Committees have a right to call for Ministers?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir, they have a right, but I think if that right were unreasonably exercised, it would be necessary for the Government to seek comfort from the House.