HC Deb 22 June 1954 vol 529 cc236-7
48. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Prime Minister if he will instruct all Government Departments not to protect themselves by the issue of Statutory Orders against criticism, challenge or legal action which otherwise could be maintained against them by an injured citizen under the common law on the line of action taken in the Crichel Down case.

The Prime Minister

In the making of Statutory Orders, Ministers operate under powers given to them by Parliament. I am confident that, in watching over the exercise of those powers, this House will be vigilant to protect the rights of the private citizen. I am not sure that my hon. Friend has got hold of the right case. I am advised that no question of a Statutory Order comes into the Crichel Down case.

Sir W. Smithers

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Question was 'based on a legal opinion? Will he also instruct Ministers and their staffs to write out 20 times and to implement his own slogan of "Set the People Free"?

The Prime Minister

I am not sure that that would add to the popularity of this clarion call in every quarter.