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Crown Agents (Title)

Volume 526: debated on Wednesday 7 April 1954

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40.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why he approved the language used in the new title of the Crown Agents for the Colonies.

A change was required because the Crown Agents act for a number of principals who are not Colonial Governments. The new title was decided upon after various shorter alternatives had been found open to objection on legal or constitutional grounds.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this Question was originally put down for answer by the Prime Minister, as he is the master of the English language? It is the language about which I am complaining. Is my right hon. Friend further aware that the new name is "Crown Agents for Overseas Governments and Administrations" —a most cumbersome title? Will my right hon. Friend make another attempt, with the Prime Minister, to see if better English can be used, instead of Civil Service jargon.

I agree that this name is perhaps not so elegant as my hon. and gallant Friend would like, but to all people who are aware of Government terminology, it exactly describes the fields over which these crown agents now operate.