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Coal, Gas and Oil (Ministerial Responsibility)

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th March 1957.

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Photo of Mr Albert Roberts Mr Albert Roberts , Normanton 12:00 am, 26th March 1957

asked the Prime Minister in view of the complexities of our coal and atomic energy programme, involving more than £2,000 million, and of the expanding use of oil for industrial purposes, if he will appoint a Minister from the House of Commons to be responsible for coal, gas, and oil.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I have been asked to reply.

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend the Paymaster-General is the Minister answerable to this House for all matters within the responsibility of my noble Friend the Minister of Power.

Photo of Mr Albert Roberts Mr Albert Roberts , Normanton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that practically the whole economy of this country is in the hands of one Minister, and is he further aware that this sum of money of £2,000 million is voted from this House? Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that Members of this House should have the right to question a responsible Minister?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I think it would be hard to find a Minister more competent than my right hon. Friend the Paymaster-General to answer for these subjects. Her Majesty's Government have absolute confidence in him as the Minister representing the Minister of Power in this House.