HC Deb 29 November 1960 vol 631 cc199-200
40. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Prime Minister what was the nature of his recent official discussions with Mr. Cobbold, Governor of the Bank of England.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

Any discussions I may have with the Governor of the Bank of England are confidential.

Mr. Wyatt

Will not the Prime Minister say something about the discussion he must have had about the appointment of Lord Cromer as the next Governor of the Bank of England? Is he aware that searches in Debrett reveal only the most tenuous connection between himself and Lord Cromer, so has Lord Cromer any other qualifications, particularly as The Times leading article of 11th November gravely doubted his knowledge of commerce, credit and currency to be able to do the job at all?

The Prime Minister

On the second half of the hon. Member's supplementary question, of course I would not have made a recommendation had I not satisfied myself that Lord Cromer would carry out these duties in the best possible way and was the best man for the job. With regard to the first part of the supplementary question, I should have thought that the hon. Member would have been a little more sensitive about his own connections with Debrett.

Mr. Gaitskell

Can the Prime Minister say whether Lord Cromer has served on the Court of the Bank of England before? When he becomes a part-time director of the Court, will he retain his directorship of the Daily Mail?

The Prime Minister

I should like to have notice of that question, but I know quite well that the purpose of his serving on the Court as part-time director is to get some experience before he takes on his new appointment in about eight months' time.

Sir A. V. Harvey

Will the Prime Minister point out to hon. Members opposite that quite apart from his wide experience in the City—

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Is he a wide boy?

Sir A. V. Harvey

—Lord Cromer has rendered valuable service, at great inconvenience to himself, as head of the British Economic Mission in Washington?

The Prime Minister

I think that we are very fortunate in obtaining Lord Cromer for this post. Although he is a young man, which is said not to be a bad thing nowadays, he has a long connection with these matters and I have been informed that of all those who have served us in Washington, he has been one of the most successful as Economic Minister in Her Majesty's Embassy.

Mr. C. Pannell

That is not saying much.