§ 46. Sir H. Williams
asked the Prime Minister if he will take steps to prevent the frustration of Motions to annul Statutory Instruments by the device of a Department publishing regulations to repeal existing regulations and, at the same time, publishing regulations to re-enact the repealed regulations.
§ The Prime Minister
I assume that the hon. Member has in mind the case of the Bacon (Rationing) (Amendment No. 2) Order, 1950, to which reference was made in the House on 24th May. I should explain to the House that it has been found convenient, from the point of view of the public, and particularly of traders, to set out the rationing provisions of general application in a general Rationing Order; to set out specific requirements about individual foods in a simple Order for each rationed food, related to the main Rationing Order and through that to the ration book; and to re-make the whole set of Orders annually with effect from the date when the new ration book comes into operation. This serves to keep to a minimum the number of amending Orders to which a trader may need to refer.
The 1950–51 ration book was due to operate as from 21st May. Consequently, a new set of Rationing Orders had to be made to take effect on that date. Revocation of all the previous Orders, including the Order against which hon. Members desired to pray, was clearly a necessary part of the arrangements for having a new set. The arrangements had been made before notice of the Prayer was received, and I can, of course, assure the hon. Member that there could be no question of an administrative device being used deliberately to frustrate a Motion.
§ Sir H. Williams
Could the right hon. Gentleman say why the re-enacting Order was made seven days before the repealing Order was made? They were both presented on the same day and the repealing Order appeared only in very small type in a footnote on a page which no hon. Member was, ordinarily, likely to see at such short notice.