HC Deb 13 July 1948 vol 453 cc1009-10
45. Mr. Niall Macpherson

asked the Prime Minister whether he will appoint an additional Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, in order that there may be separate junior Ministers to deal with Education and Agriculture in Scotland.

The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

I have been asked to reply. As at present advised, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister does not consider that an additional appointment is necessary.

Mr. Macpherson

In view of the greatly increased responsibilities laid upon the Secretary of State and his Under-Secretaries by the Agriculture (Scotland) Bill, and his responsibilities under the Education (Scotland) Act, 1946, is it not time to reconsider this matter and appoint a wholetime Under-Secretary for each of these two functions?

Mr. Morrison

It is a really novel doctrine that every time an Act of Parliament is passed, a Minister must be appointed. If we go on like that, heaven only knows how many Ministers we shall have.

Mr. Rankin

Does not my right hon. Friend realise that Scottish administrative affairs require the appointment not of an additional Under-Secretary, but of two additional Ministers of senior rank?

Mr. Morrison

No, Sir. I am not convinced of that either.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us who advised the Prime Minister in this matter?