§ 46. Mr. LYNCH
asked whether the Prime Minister can state the salary, perquisites, and privileges appertaining to the office of Poet Laureate, and also the exact nature of the duties; whether the Poet Laureate is bound to produce a certain quantity of verse per annum; and whether he will have printed as a White Paper the productions in verse of the Laureates for the last 150 years?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
The salary is now £70 a year with an allowance of £27 in lieu of a butt of sack. I do not know that the duties of a Poet Laureate are exactly defined. I am not prepared to accede to the request contained in the last part of the question. Most of the productions referred to can be obtained by those who desire to peruse them.
§ Mr. SWIFT MacNEILL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the position of Poet Laureate was established in substitution for the old, ancient, and time-honoured institution of the King's jester, and that the salary is exactly that which was given the King's jester? Will the right hon. Gentleman now re-establish the office of the King's jester?