asked the Prime Minister whether he will appoint a Select Committee to inquire into the method and procedure of selecting the names of persons to be submitted for the receipt of honours?
I would refer my Noble and gallant Friend to the answer given by the Leader of the House yesterday in reply to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Wood Green (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson).
Is the right hon. Gentleman ware that there is a growing uneasiness in this country as to whether the system of recommending persons for honours is consistent with the purity and dignity of public life?
May I ask the Prime Minister if it would be injurious in any way if a large number of Members of this House asked him for an opportunity to discuss the matter?
Will the right hon. Gentleman state the reason why the Government have decided against any inquiry by a Select Committee?
It depends upon how far you go back.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that those who are anxious for an inquiry have no desire to limit the time within which the inquiry should be made. What I asked was what were the reasons of the right hon. Gentleman, and I did not expect a reply of that character.
Not in the least. The Noble Lord knows the reason, and it is very substantial. It concerns the exercise of the prerogative, and that is the reason why a Select Committee is not the proper means of examining this question.
Can the right hon. Gentleman suggest any means of satisfying the public mind on this subject?
Is the Prime Minister not prepared to take the entire responsibility on himself for his own recommendations?
This question does not touch the prerogative at all. It is merely a question of the particular kind of advice tendered by Ministers.