Oral Answers to Questions — Minister of State.

– in the House of Commons on 6th August 1942.

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Photo of Colonel Ralph Glyn Colonel Ralph Glyn , Abingdon

asked the Prime Minister, why, in the case of the Minister of State, the established custom of Ministers of the Crown being responsible to Parliament has been departed from?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

I do not accept my hon. and gallant Friend's suggestion that there has been any such departure. The responsibility of Ministers to Parliament is, by established custom, collective. The action of the Cabinet is the action of each Member, and for the action of each Member, the Cabinet is responsible as a whole, The Minister of State is, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister explained at the time of his appointment, a Member of the United Kingdom War Cabinet for all purposes. His duties lie outside this country, and therefore would preclude the possibility of his attending in his place if he were a Member of either House of Parliament. I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer given on 19th March, last, in reply to my right hon. Friend the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris) as to the answering of Questions addressed to the Minister of State.