Questions to Ministers

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th December 1955.

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Mr. Dugdale:

On a point of order. I want to seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker, on a matter about which I have informed you. Last week a fire took place in the Admiralty, a very serious fire, and I put down a Question to the First Lord of the Admiralty, imagining he was responsible for the conduct of the Admiralty, especially in view of the fact that, apparently unknown to those in the Admiralty, somebody was able to enter from outside and help put out the fire before others got any further with it. What was my surprise to find that this apparently is entirely a responsibility of the Minister of Works. Am I, therefore, to understand that all Questions relating to the security of the Admiralty, the War Office and the Air Ministry are now considered to be matters for the Minister of Works, and that we cannot ask any of the Service Ministers any Questions about those matters?

Photo of Mr William Morrison Mr William Morrison , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

I am afraid that that is a question I cannot possibly answer. It is not a point of order. As I informed the House yesterday, I am no judge of the responsibility of Ministers. It is for them to say what their responsibilities are and what duties and responsibilities they accept. I am afraid I cannot help about that.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

In view of the importance of the fire at the Admiralty, and of the fact that there is a Question, Question No. 77, today relating to it, and as one of the Ministers at the Admiralty is here, would it not be a good thing if he answered it?

Photo of Mr William Morrison Mr William Morrison , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

I have not given permission for that, for I have had no request to that effect.