HC Deb 06 April 1921 vol 140 cc264-6
47. Major KELLEY

asked the Prime Minister what is the salary, and what are the duties, of the late Minister of Health on his appointment as a Minister without portfolio?

54. Major C. LOWTHER

asked the Prime Minister what is the salary of the Minister without portfolio; what are his duties; whether he has attached to him in a secretarial capacity any civil servants or others whose salaries are paid out of public funds; and how long it is proposed to continue the office of Minister without portfolio?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN (Leader of the House)

The Minister without portfolio receives a salary of £5,000 per annum. He has attached to him two civil servants' drawn from the Ministry of Health. He will discharge duties analogous to those performed by my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for War and the Member for the Gorbals Division of Glasgow (Mr. G. Barnes) when they held a like post. In the present pressure of public business there is definite need for a Minister of Cabinet rank unburdened by Departmental duties, and the work of our colleagues in that capacity was most valuable. No time has been fixed for the duration of the appointment.


Is it consistent with the speech of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday to create posts of this kind at the present moment?


The first consideration is the efficiency of government. Without efficiency, there can be no economy. This is really required in the public interest.


Will there be a Supplementary Estimate for this sum, seeing that no sum is taken in the Estimates already presented to Parliament for the Minister without portfolio?


There must be an Estimate certainly. What I am not quite certain about is whether it takes, technically, the form of a Supplementary Estimate, or an additional Estimate, or the presentation of a revised Estimate. I am having inquiry made.

48. Mr. HOGGE

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the urgent need for economy, he can state the grounds upon which he has appointed the right hon. Member for Shoreditch (Dr. Addison) Minister without portfolio, and the right hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. McCurdy) and the hon. Member for Reading (Colonel L. Wilson) Joint Patronage Secretaries of the Treasury?


The Government are not unmindful of the need for economy, but economy is not secured if the Government is not fully equipped for the work that it has to do. Under present conditions, the appointment of two Patronage Secretaries has been found indispensable, and has not, as far as I am aware, been the subject of any criticism since it was introduced by my right hon. Friend the Member for Paisley (Mr. Asquith) on the formation of the first coalition Government.

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