HC Deb 06 February 1951 vol 483 cc1540-1
62. Mr. Wood

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether civil servants are prevented from accepting honorary office with ex-Service organisations.

Mr. Gaitskell

No, Sir, provided that acceptance of the office would not conflict with his position as an officer of a particular Department, or be inconsistent with his employment as a public servant.

Mr. Wood

Does not the fact that chairmanship of an ex-Service organisation has recently been ruled incompatible with a man's work in the Ministry of Labour run counter to the right hon. Gentleman's answer?

Mr. Gaitskell

No, Sir, I do not think I should agree with that. This question is left to the individual Departments to decide, but I think it is clear that in cases like that there may be a conflict between the policy of the association to which the hon. Gentleman referred and the policy of the Ministry of Labour.

Miss Bacon

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in a letter I received from the previous Minister of Labour, it was stated that this applied to all civil servants in the Ministry of Labour?

Mr. Gaitskell

I think that would be so.

Sir I. Fraser

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many hundreds of civil servants have for 15 or 20 years occupied these honorary posts in the British Legion and other societies without interference from the Civil Service or Ministers?

Mr. Gaitskell

Yes, Sir. There is no objection unless there is a conflict between their holding such offices and their position in their Departments.