HC Deb 12 October 1943 vol 392 cc710-1
6 Rear-Admiral Beamish

asked the Minister without Portfolio whether he will give the House and local government authorities an early opportunity, by the issue of a White Paper, to consider the various Departmental proposals for changes affecting particular services which can only be brought about at the cost of some modification of local government structure?

Sir W. Jowitt

I should be reluctant to trouble the House with mere proposals unless and until those proposals had taken definite shape and the Government had formed an opinion regarding them. As soon as the Government have arrived at conclusions in respect of a particular service, these will be laid before the House, as in the recent case of education, and I would suggest that this method of presentation will best meet the convenience of the House.

Rear-Admiral Beamish

Is the Minister aware that there is considerable anxiety among local authorities?

Sir W. Jowett

I am fully aware of that, and I have already said that in considering every proposal the Government look also at the cumulative effect.

Mr. G. Griffiths

Will the Minister take note of the very important conference that took place in the West Riding last week, and make a note of it?

Sir W. Jowitt

Perhaps the hon. Member will see that I get a copy of it.

Mr. McEntee

In any changes which may be contemplated in regard to local government will the Minister see that the people elected are properly elected by the people?

Mr. Gallacher

Are we not to have a statement of the general plan into which these particular plans will fit?

Sir W. Jowett

I do not think that point arises on this question of local government. As I have said, when we have any proposals at all definite, the House will be consulted, and before considering any proposal we consider the cumulative effect.