HC Deb 01 December 1964 vol 703 cc230-1
Q5. Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

asked the Prime Minister whether the official broadcast to Israel on 23rd November by the Minister of Housing about the Middle East represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

The Prime Minister

My right hon Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government did not make an official broadcast to Israel on 23rd November. Nor did he propound policy.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is very unfortunate indeed that Members of the Government should take part in broadcasts of this kind, and would he not really find it easier to control his colleagues if he had fewer of them?

The Prime Minister

I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman sitting opposite to me, or his predecessor, found it particularly easy to control some of their colleagues over the last two or three years, but so far as the broadcast is concerned, if the hon. Member is really interested in the broadcast and not the crack, the fact is that my right hon. Friend has been a regular contributor for 14 years on this particular B.B.C. service, which, I think, has been very satisfactory to the B.B.C. and to all concerned. This particular broadcast was in effect a signing-off broadcast, as it is obviously clear that he cannot continue in this series, and I would have thought it appropriate, after all that time, to say goodbye.

Mr. R. A. Butler

If that was not the official view of the Government, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman what is the official Government policy towards Israel?

The Prime Minister

Yes, if the right hon. Gentleman wants to put down any particular Question he can get an Answer, or in the next debate on foreign affairs he could raise this amongst other matters, and I am sure he would get an answer. To be going on with, I shall be very happy to send the right hon. Gentleman a number of statements which were made by the present Government when we were sitting on the other side of the House.