HC Deb 16 August 1895 vol 36 cc171-2

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been given to the fact that 24 Members of the present Administration hold between them 61 directorships and trusteeships of public companies; and whether Her Majesty's Government propose to call on these 24 Members of the Administration to resign the directorships in question? [Loud Opposition cheers.] The hon. Gentleman in putting the question said, that since he had placed it upon the paper, he had received a communication to the effect that the figure "61" ought to be "60." [Laughter.]


No invariable rule has been, or can be, laid down on this subject. Two main principles, however, have been laid down: one, that no Member of the Government can enter into any engagement which would occupy the time that would properly belong to the public; and, secondly, that no Member of the Government should undertake any responsibility in connection with public companies that could be supposed to influence his policy or diminish his usefulness as a Member of the Cabinet or Minister of a Department. I understand that, under the directions referred to by my hon. Friend, a large number of directorships have been resigned, and that more are about to be resigned. ["Hear, hear!"]