It was said that delegated legislation preserved the outward show of representative institutions while placing arbitrary and irresponsible power in a new hands.
But the tide of delegated legislation was high and these protests remained future. A contrary view was held by Edwin Chadwick. He was an advocate of centralisation and very strongly showed the merits of this practice. He said that practice introduced extreme flexibility in lawmaking and it was more important in view of the delays of parliamentary legislation.
He is quoted to have said that grave legislation in Parliament could hardly be asked to devote their attention to the amount of the pauper’s butter ration or the length, width and material of the old women’s under petticoats and yet on such details the successful management of the whole scheme would depend. He further pointed out that the Parliament was unfit to decide details of a legislative scheme. A very strong case was made out against the practice of Delegated Legislation by Lord Hewart who considered increased governmental interference in individual activity and considered this practice as usurpation of legislative power of the executive. He showed the dangers inherent in the practice and argued that wide powers of legislation entrusted to the executive lead to tyranny and absolute despotism. The criticism was so strong and the picture painted was so shocking that a high power committee to inquire into the matter was appointed by the Lord Chancellor.
This committee thoroughly inquired into the problem and came to the conclusion that delegated legislation was valuable and indeed inevitable. The committee observed that with reasonable vigilance and proper precautions there was nothing to be feared from this practice. The real danger in this practice is that of delegation of wide powers which negative Judicial Control. Further the speed on important argument in favour of delegated legislation often has its own pitfalls.
The experience of the members of the Parliament is ousted in such cases. Wide delegation of legislative power may be desirable during emergencies. But during a period where no such danger exists this practice is certainly not very desirable.
During such period all important matters about a certain legislative scheme must be laid down by the Parliament and only minor matters be left to the administration.