HC Deb 22 January 1963 vol 670 cc38-9
Q13. Dr. Bray

asked the Prime Minister who will answer for the Government in the House of Commons on sport, the North-East, and other matters within the responsibility of the Lord President of the Council.

Q17. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Prime Minister who will reply to Questions in the House of Commons relating to the work of the Minister for Science for the North-East Coast.

The Prime Minister

In general, Questions on the local problems of the North-East will be answered by the Ministers responsible, but in so far as any Questions fall within the special responsibilities of my noble Friend, the Lord President of the Council, they will be answered by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Science.

Questions on sport which fall within the responsibilities of my noble Friend will be answered by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education.

Dr. Bray

Is the Prime Minister aware that those of us who represent the North-East on this side of the House are anxious to do their utmost to enable Lord Hailsham to do whatever possible in the lifetime of this Government, but that we are severely handicapped by his being at arm's length in another place? We very much need a more powerful spokesman for the North-East in this House.

The Prime Minister

We shall see how this works out. I think a large number of Questions, as normally, will go to individual Ministers, and I am sure of the capacity of my hon. Friends to answer Questions on behalf of my noble Friend. Some of the larger issues will be matters for debate in which, of course, other Ministers will take part.

Dame Irene Ward

After we have had an experimental period of the proposal which my right hon. Friend has put forward, if it has not worked very satisfactorily may we then have a debate on the matter to see whether we can get everything brought up to date and get everything done which we wish to see done on the North-East Coast? [HON. MEMBERS: "Don't sob."] I do not sob. I just talk.

The Prime Minister

I will consider that suggestion.

Mr. Bottomley

Is the Prime Minister aware that yesterday in Newcastle the President of the Board of Trade said we should not expect too much from the appointment of Lord Hailsham? Does this represent the view of the Government as a whole?

The Prime Minister

We should never expect too much, but the great thing is to get it.

Mr. Lubbock

Does not the Prime Minister agree that it is a ludicrous anachronism to have Ministers appointed in another place?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. I asked my noble Friend to accept this because I thought that he had just the qualities which were needed both in the locality and here in London.

Mr. S. Silverman

Is not the real object of this appointment to secure full employment at least for the Minister for Science?

The Prime Minister

There may come a day when the hon. Member will take a more generous view of affairs, but I doubt it.