§ 3.4 p.m.
§ The Question was as follows:
§ To ask the Leader of the House which Minister should reply to Questions in this House on the machinery of Government; and whether it was in order for a Written Answer to such a Question to be made on 27th June (col. 995) by a departmental spokesman.
§ Lord PEART
My Lords, most Questions on the Order Paper are addressed to Her Majesty's Government, and the Minister replying does so on behalf of the Government. The Written Answer on 27th June was not in any way out of order.
§ Lord KENNET
My Lords, while accepting of course that the Written Answer was not out of order, if my noble friend the Leader of the House says so, is the situation, in his opinion, fully satisfactory when the following Question is addressed to the Government:Since the Department of Energy has recently yielded control over nuclear pollution to the Department of the Environment, is there not now a case that it should likewise yield control over marine pollution to the Department of the Environment?that the Answer to that Question should come from the Department of Energy— 182 that is, the Department whose functions were called in question by the Question for Written Answer—and not from, for instance, the Leader of the House as the Minister for the Civil Service?
§ Lord PEART
One can argue about this, my Lords, but this is the rule, and I think it is a good rule.