HC Deb 17 June 1948 vol 452 c663
The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

The House will recollect that in the concluding paragraph of the Report of the Select Committee on the Chairman of Ways and Means the point was raised whether or not rules should be laid down governing the conduct of the Deputy-Speaker in his professional or business relationships with any Member of the House. As the Chairman of Ways and Means and Deputy-Speaker is appointed on the nomination of the Government, the House may perhaps consider it appropriate for me to make a statement on this subject. In order that "the Chair should not only be impartial but should also give the appearance of impartiality"—I quote from the Report of the Select Committee—the Government feel that both the Chairman and the Deputy-Chairman should in future refrain from acting in a professional capacity on behalf of or against Members of the House of Commons. I have consulted Mr. Speaker, the Chairman of Ways and Means and the Deputy-Chairman about this proposed new rule, and I am glad to say that they concur in it.

Mr. Churchill

We are in general agreement with the statement which the Prime Minister has made upon this subject. I am glad that this matter has been terminated in a manner which reflects on nobody in any matter of personal honour and, at the same time, fulfils the sagacious recommendations of the Select Committee. It might well be that in the future when a reconsideration of these matters is possible, even stricter regulations might be propounded.