Orders of the Day — Church of England (National Assembly) (Measures)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 10th March 1944.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Molson Mr Arthur Molson , High Peak

I am fully aware of that. My hon. and learned Friend should bear in mind that all Committees of this House have only the power to make recommendations to this House. I have said on a previous occasion that the only exception to that Rule is the Kitchen Committee, which is an executive committee. I want to point out to my hon. and learned Friend that, in the case of the Church Assembly Act, this House has been at pains to ensure that Measures passed by the Church Assembly shall be carefully scrutinised by a body set up to do that work. I very much regret that, in the case of so many Statutes passed by this House, similar provision has not been made to ensure that the exercise of delegated legislation by Government Departments is subjected to most careful and impartial scrutiny.

The House has here the advantage of this Report from the Ecclesiastical Committee which, after looking into the matter, and no doubt after having the advantage of hearing criticisms of the Measure from my hon. and learned Friend who has just spoken, advises that, in the opinion of that Committee, the Measure is urgently needed and, having called attention to the matter which is referred to there, is of opinion that the Measure is expedient. I have drawn attention to the careful protection of the constitutional rights of His Majesty's subjects under the Church of England Assembly Act, 1919, and I now desire to support the hon. Member for Central Leeds (Mr. Denman) in commending this Measure to the House.