HC Deb 20 March 1958 vol 584 cc1423-4
46. Mr. Lewis

asked the Prime Minister, in view of the confusion arising from the varying interpretation of Government policy by Ministers, if he will ensure that Ministerial statements conform in every case to the announced policy of Her Majesty's Government.

The Prime Minister

It is through the statements of Ministers that Government policy is announced.

Mr. Lewis

Almost every week, and almost every day, there are different statements from different Ministers, each contradicting the other, on various aspects of Government policy, particularly in regard to the Rent Act. Does not the Prime Minister think it far better to have all these Ministers at least declaring the policy of the Government with one voice?

The Prime Minister

I think that the policy of the Government as expressed by the Ministers is consistent and clear. I do not feel quite the same with regard to the policy of the Opposition.

Mr. Shinwell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he is quite incorrect in what he has just said; that the official Labour Party policy on defence, declared at the last conference of the party at Brighton, remains official policy?

The Prime Minister

I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman, but I think that he should not reopen these old wounds.