HC Deb 21 February 1952 vol 496 cc423-4
45. Mr. George Chetwynd

asked the Prime Minister what conditions govern the acceptance by Ministers of the Crown, in pursuance of their duties, of gifts and services from commercial undertakings.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Winston Churchill)

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) yesterday.

Mr. Chetwynd

As my Question deals with general policy and not with the specific cases brought up yesterday, is it not very desirable that there should be a complete ban on the acceptance of gifts and services by Ministers, as it is quite impossible to decide when a Minister is placed under an obligation to a private firm?

The Prime Minister

I think that it would be a great mistake to try to lay down detailed rules and regulations, which have not been found necessary in the past, by question and answer at this period of our discussions.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Could the Prime Minister say how far this decision about the Cunard Company is to be regarded as a precedent? Will it now be in order for the Scotch Whisky Association to provide free treatment for sea sickness when he goes on another visit to America? [Laughter.]

The Prime Minister

I think the laughter which the hon. Member's question has excited is the best answer to him.