HC Deb 06 December 1951 vol 494 cc2556-7
45. Mr. Erroll

asked the Prime Minister if he will publish, either in the OFFICIAL REPORT Or in the form of a White Paper, an up-to-date comprehensive list of all members appointed to central and regional nationalised boards of a commercial character, with details of individual salaries, pensions and expenses allowed, together with a separate list showing all individuals holding more than one appointment and what those appointments are.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Winston Churchill)

I am arranging for the publication of this information in the form of a White Paper, which will be published shortly.

Mr. Philip Noel-Baker

May I ask two questions? In his return, will the right hon. Gentleman include the salaries, expenses and other arrangements of the part-time members of the nationalised boards, and, secondly, will he also publish some information about the salaries and expenses paid to the directors and managers of the larger industrial, commercial and financial undertakings under private enterprise?

The Prime Minister

We are dealing here with expenses which have to be found out of Votes provided by this House—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—or at any rate that place a burden on the taxpayers of this country—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]. I do not think I shall complicate the making of this return by extending it to the inordinate limits that the right hon. Gentleman suggests.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is it not a fact that the expenses and salaries of the directors of the nationalised boards are paid by the consumer, as are those of private enterprise?

The Prime Minister

Why should the right hon. Gentleman be so afraid of the House getting this information?

Mr. Noel-Baker

Why should the Prime Minister and his supporters be afraid of our getting the information for which we ask?

Several Hon. Members rose

Mr. Speaker

Mr. Swingler.

Mr. John Hynd

On a point of order, is it in order for hon. Members, when the Prime Minister gives what is demonstrably false information—

Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

I have not heard the point of order yet.

Mr. Hynd

Since it is within the knowledge of every hon. Member in this House, apparently, apart from the Prime Minister, that the salaries and expenses of the members of these boards are neither paid from the Exchequer nor by a Vote of this House, nor are they a burden on the taxpayer—

Mr. Speaker

That is surely a matter of debate and not a point of order.