HC Deb 13 November 1919 vol 121 c500

asked the Prime Minister whether a new appointment has been made of a secretary to the Cabinet; if this is so, whether he is entrusted with the keeping of national secrets in the same way as members of the Cabinet; whether he takes the same oath as Cabinet Ministers; whether his appointment is sanctioned beforehand by His Majesty as in the case of Cabinet Ministers; and what reason there is for the appointment of such a secretary, establishing, as it does, a departure from a practice which has existed since Cabinet government was instituted?


The answer to the first and second parts of the question is in the affirmative. The secretary to the Cabinet is trusted in precisely the same way as the secretary of the Committee of Imperial Defence was trusted in the past. The experience of the War has convinced the Government that the appointment of a secretary is necessary if the work of the Cabinet is to be carried out promptly and efficiently.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say what the functions of the secretary will be; whether they will be functions of a recording nature, whether he will be permitted to submit questions to the Cabinet, or whether the position will remain as in the past whereby only Ministers may submit questions to the Cabinet; and seeing that there may be important points—


That is an important point, and the hon. Member had better put it on the Paper.