HC Deb 05 February 1948 vol 446 c1903
48. Mr. S. O. Davies

asked the Prime Minister if he will cause an inquiry to be made into the circumstances responsible for the increasing amount of delegated legislation; the degree to which Parliamentary responsibility has been handed over to unelected persons, and the consequent effect of this on the accepted rights and privileges of Members of Parliament, and the people of this country.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Davies

May I, with respect, ask whether the Prime Minister has considered any part of the Question on the Order Paper? Has he considered the first part, or the second part or the third part; or is he determined to treat the consideration of Wales, as implied in this Question, with every possible discourtesy, and to treat with every possible discourtesy every Question that is asked about Wales?

The Prime Minister

There is no indication in the Question that it relates to Wales. I gathered that it dealt with delegated legislation.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Arising out of that answer, did not the Chancellor of the Exchequer say that Socialism could only be brought about constitutionally, by the wide use of delegated legislation?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Has the right hon. Gentleman considered the very real difficulty in which hon. Members are placed in attempting to exercise control by this House over delegated legislation, arising from the fact that this House cannot amend any of the 2,800 Statutory Rules and Orders that go out every year?

The Prime Minister

This matter has been discussed by a Committee of this House in order that the House might obtain more control over delegated legislation. It is quite a mistake for hon. Members to think that delegated legislation is something which has come up within the last two years. I can recall this question coming up over the last 25 years.

Captain Crookshank

But will the Prime Minister look into the Report of the Select Committee on Procedure, which has sat during this Parliament, and see the recommendations made—about which nothing has been done to carry them out?