Clause 3. — (Additional powers exercisable by proclamation.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Coinage Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th October 1946.

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Mr. N. Smith:

I think the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Leeds (Mr. Peake) has made a perfectly valid point about delegated legislation. Not all of us like it; I personally do not, even though one day, as the right hon. Gentleman suggested, it may place in my hands power which I will proceed to use and which I hope I may have the opportunity of using. The right hon. Gentleman is very wise in his way and I often find him extremely human to deal with, but "When the devil is sick the devil a saint would be." Now that they are in Opposition the Tory Party, in that sense, represent the devil. They are not against the Clause standing part. Why not? Because their common-sense tells them that if there is anything in the fears about cupro-nickel coinage the easiest way to put it right is to give complete power to my right hon. Friend to make a Royal Proclamation. That is only commonsense. I want to place on record, as a responsible Member of Parliament, some misgiving about delegated legislation. These misgivings are not restricted to the other side by any means. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Leeds referred to cheap and nasty currencies. I can assure him that the people who sent me here look upon a coinage or currency as cheap and nasty not according to its intrinsic merits or demerits but according to what it will buy for them when they take it shopping.