HC Deb 14 July 1964 vol 698 cc1023-4
05. Mr. A. Lewis

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the growing practice of Ministers making policy statements after the House of Commons has adjourned for a Recess; and whether he will arrange for any Ministerial statements which are due to be made in the next few months to be brought forward so that these can be made to the House of Commons before the Summer Recess.

The Prime Minister

The business of the Government continues during Parliamentary Recesses. As I said in answer to a Question on 12th December last, statements of Government policy are made in Parliament when Parliament is sitting.

Mr. Lewis

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we have noticed for years past that immediately the Recess takes place the Government start making announcements? Can he give us an assurance that any statement which could be made before the House goes into Recess will be so made, particularly the statement which is expected relating to an increase or adjustment in retirement pensions? Could we not have it this week or, at any rate, before the House rises for the Summer Recess instead of waiting until the Summer Recess?

The Prime Minister

I believe there is a Question dealing with pensions on the Paper for answer by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance tomorrow. I think that will stand. Any statements which can be made before the Parliamentary Recess will, of course, be made.

Lord Balniel

If Conservative Ministers are not to make their statements during the Recess, will my right hon. Friend arrange for them to make their Ministerial statements as soon as possible after the next Parliament assembles?

Mr. Shinwell

I suppose the right hon. Gentleman would not express any policy during the Recess in order to advance the political prospects of the Government? Can we have his assurance to that effect?

The Prime Minister

The Government's fortunes are advancing so quickly that there is no need to do so.