Orders of the Day — Local Government Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields 12:00 am, 10th December 1957

No. He is a mere creation of the second half of the twentieth century writing to the successors of Cecil and Walsingham saying, "I propose to muck about with your grant". It is no good saying that there are technical reasons why the police cannot be brought in. The reason is that no Government, particularly one representing the property-owning class, will part with the most stringent control over the police services.

That is one example. If there was a recalcitrant authority—we all know that they exist—when one was in the old Board of Education, one always said regarding approximately three counties, "They will always be the last to do anything proposed". It is said of one Welsh county that as soon as a financial crisis arrives they always present a most extravagant and grandiloquent development plan well knowing that it will be turned down and that they will get credit for the thought without having any of the responsibility for giving effect to it. So the Minister hopes that if he has to deal with a recalcitrant authority he will be able to write to the Minister of Housing and Local Government and say that such and such authority is giving him trouble and trusts that the Minister will deduct from its grant a sufficient amount to make it understand how severe is his displeasure.