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Civil Service And Parliament (Relationship)

Volume 531: debated on Thursday 29 July 1954

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47.

asked the Prime Minister if he will recommend the appointment of a Royal Commission to investigate and report upon the relationship of the Civil Service to Ministers and Parliament.

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for the usual type of reply which seems to be supplied to him either by the 1922 Committee or by the Civil Service, may I, in all sincerity, ask him whether he does not think that because of the growing complexity of modern Government there is a need to clarify the relationship of the Civil Service to Ministers and Members of Parliament? I assure the right hon. Gentleman that this Question was not put down in any vindictive spirit but merely to clarify the position between the Civil Service and Ministers and Members of Parliament.

I think it is a great mistake to assume that a Royal Commission offers an immediate solution to great problems. Much thought is given to this matter, and custom and practice build upon each other. On the whole, I believe that in this country the best results have been achieved that have so far been experienced by modern Governments.