47. Mr. E. P. Smith
asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider making provision whereby the censorship of plays may be transferred to a Minister of the Crown responsible to Parliament.
§ Mr. Attlee
The censorship of stage plays has always been a matter of the Royal Prerogative, and not of ordinary Ministerial responsibility; as at present advised, the Prime Minister is not disposed to recommend any change.
Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider that a power which vitally affects the liberties of the subject ought to be under control of a Minister and susceptible to Parliamentary criticism?
§ Mr. Attlee
The whole question has been the subject of a very great deal of discussion. There is a lot to be said on both sides. So far as I am aware, the present arrangements work out fairly well on the whole, taking into consideration the enormous difficulty which always arises where there is any censorship.
§ Mr. A. Bevan
Does not my right hon. Friend think that the reputation of His Majesty is undermined by having such stupid decisions put into his mouth?
In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I will raise the matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible opportunity.