HC Deb 26 March 1957 vol 567 cc967-8
46. Mr. A. Roberts

asked the Prime Minister in view of the complexities of our coal and atomic energy programme, involving more than £2,000 million, and of the expanding use of oil for industrial purposes, if he will appoint a Minister from the House of Commons to be responsible for coal, gas, and oil.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I have been asked to reply.

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend the Paymaster-General is the Minister answerable to this House for all matters within the responsibility of my noble Friend the Minister of Power.

Mr. Roberts

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that practically the whole economy of this country is in the hands of one Minister, and is he further aware that this sum of money of £2,000 million is voted from this House? Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that Members of this House should have the right to question a responsible Minister?

Mr. Butler

I think it would be hard to find a Minister more competent than my right hon. Friend the Paymaster-General to answer for these subjects. Her Majesty's Government have absolute confidence in him as the Minister representing the Minister of Power in this House.

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