HC Deb 15 March 1960 vol 619 cc1116-7
49. Mr. Cronin

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, bearing in mind that Ministers receive smaller salaries than those of a large number of civil servants and executives in industry and commerce, he will take steps to alleviate the financial hardship that can occur when they leave office.

Mr. Amory

No, Sir. I do not think such action would be either feasible or justifiable.

Mr. Cronin

Is the Chancellor satisfied with the present situation, in which Conservative Ministers receive inadequate salaries and have to look to directorships in private industry as their reward when they leave office? While no one doubts the integrity of present Ministers, is this not a constitutionally unhealthy situation, as Ministers frequently have to make decisions weighing the interests of private industry and the public?

Mr. Amory

It is issues of that kind which arise when one takes on some appointment, but I remind the hon. Gentleman that the thing works the other way. While I would not go so far as to describe the life of Ministers in the words Hobbes used of life— Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short"— there are many cases in which appointees to Ministerial posts accept cuts in emoluments when they accept office, as well as when they leave it.

Mr. John Hall

As I was told that to get the same emoluments after tax to. equal the salary of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1938 my right hon. Friend would need £70,000 a year, will he consider increasing the salaries of Ministers?

Mr. Amory

Yes, but I doubt whether I would go quite as far as my hon. Friend suggests.