HC Deb 29 April 1969 vol 782 cc1157-8
Q8. Mr. Molloy

asked the Prime Minister what plans he has for a further extension of the powers of the Parliamentary Commissioner; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

I have nothing at present to add to what I said in reply to a supplementary question by my hon. Friend the Member for Bebington (Mr. Brooks) on 25th March.—[Vol. 780, c. 1264–5.]

Mr. Molloy

In so far as many of us are pleased at the extension of the Parlia- mentary Commissioner to Northern Ireland—an idea which should flourish in normal democratic soil—would my right hon. Friend assure us that he will see that it is not hindered in the not-too-democratic atmosphere of that part of the United Kingdom?

The Prime Minister

I understand that a Bill to introduce a Parliamentary Commissioner in Northern Ireland is now before the Northern Ireland Parliament. That was done as part of an undertaking by the Northern Ireland Government to Her Majesty's Government, and I think that that is where we should now leave it.

Mr. Maurice Macmillan

Is the right hon. Gentleman still bearing in mind the needs of the Health Service for a Parliamentary Commissioner or a special organisation of its own?

The Prime Minister

I have nothing to add to what the Secretary of State said on 27th March. The point was also discussed in the Green Paper on Health Service reorganisation. There are arguments for its being dealt with not by the Parliamentary Commissioner but by someone with special responsibilities.