§ Q1. Mr. Loughlin
asked the Prime Minister what conditions he imposes for the acceptance of Ministerial office with regard to the continued ownership of shares in firms or companies during the period in which the Minister continues to hold office.
§ The Prime Minister (Sir Alec Douglas-Home)
The directions given to Ministers on these and similar matters were circulated in full in the OFFICIAL REPORT on 28th January, 1960. As was stated in paragraphs 7 and 8, a Minister 245 is expected to divest himself of a controlling holding in any undertaking if there is any danger of a conflict between his private interests and public duty; and there may be exceptional cases where, even though the Minister has not a controlling holding, a danger of a conflict is created by the holding of particular shares in concerns closely associated with his own Department, and where the Minister should divest himself of that holding.
§ Mr. Loughlin
I am very grateful to the Prime Minister for informing the House of the general position. Will he consider cases in which his Ministers hold shares in companies which benefit from the policies pursued by the Department of which the Minister concerned has an oversight so that there can be no question that public and private interests clash in this respect?
§ The Prime Minister
Yes, Sir. I think that it is a Minister's duty, if he has any doubt about his position, to consult the Prime Minister.