§ 48. Mr. Osborne
asked the Prime Minister if, in view of the dangers of abuse, he will forbid the use of rubber stamp signatures by all Ministers of the Crown and senior civil servants.
§ The Prime Minister
There is no doubt a strong feeling against bureaucracy and rubber stamps, but in view of the growing number of people who take an interest in public affairs and of the still increasing complexity of administration it would not be possible to issue an all-embracing veto of the kind my hon. Friend suggests. I should add however that it is not the practice of Ministers or senior civil servants to use rubber stamp signatures, except on carbon copies of their letters, or purely routine communications where large numbers are involved.
Will the Prime Minister use his influence with local government officials—[HON. MEMBERS: "That is another Question."] I protest at this interruption, Mr. Speaker, for Scottish hon. Members have had a lot of time this afternoon. Will the Prime Minister use his influence with senior local government officials to get them to observe this rule of good manners and ensure that rubber stamp signatures are not used, especially on correspondence to Members of Parliament?