§ Mr. Hardy
asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement about the offices of Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and of Health Service Commissioners for England, Scotland and Wales.
§ The Prime Minister
Sir Alan Marre, who presently holds these offices, has requested Her Majesty to relieve him of his offices under Section 1(3) of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967, Section 42(3) of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1972 and Section 31(3) of the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 and Her Majesty has graciously indicated Her willingness to accede to his request. It will take effect on 31st March 1976. By then Sir Alan Marre will have completed five years as Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, one year longer than his predecessor, and two and a half years as Health Service Commissioner for England, for Scotland and for Wales.
I am sure that all Members of the House would wish me to pay tribute to Sir Alan's work in the discharge of these offices. As the second Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, and the first holder of the Offices of Health Service Commissioner, he has made a major contribution to public life.
Her Majesty has been pleased to approve the appointment of Sir Idwal Pugh as Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, and Health Service Commissioner for England, for Scotland and for Wales with effect from 1st April 1976. To assist the changeover he will be appointed by Sir Alan Mane to serve as a member of his office with effect from 1st March.
The Government's proposals for devolution to Scotland and Wales envisage that separate offices of Scottish 585W and Welsh Assembly Commissioners will be established to deal with the investigation of complaints of maladministration by the new Scottish and Welsh administrations in respect of functions devolved on them. The proposals also envisage that the Scottish and Welsh Health Commissioners will report to the devolved administrations. We shall consider in due course with the new Scottish and Welsh administrations what steps can be taken to minimise any difficulties which may arise from the multiplicity of these offices.
Since we shall need to review the position in the light of future developments I am sure that it is appropriate in the present situation to appoint the same individual to hold all four of the existing offices.