HC Deb 19 March 1964 vol 691 cc1586-7
Q2. Mr. Lipton

asked the Prime Minister if he will take steps to ensure that the minimum rate of remuneration for Cabinet Ministers shall be £5,000 per annum.

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)

I have been asked to reply.

No, Sir, not in advance of the recommendations of the Committee now considering the remuneration of Ministers and Members of Parliment.

Mr. Lipton

While one is undoubtedly pleased to see the Leader of the House deputising for the Prime Minister, may I ask if he is aware that the Minister of State for Education is one of the few members of the Government who is respected on both sides of the House? In those circumstances, is it not all the more deplorable, and indeed disgusting, that as a result of a squalid backstairs deal between the Prime Minister and the new Minister of Education a good man should be compelled to work in the Cabinet at cut-price rates?

Mr. Lloyd

I am sure my right hon. Friend, who wholeheartedly supported this reorganisation, will be gratified to know that the hon. Member thinks that the value of his services exceeds his financial remuneration.

Mr. Shinwell

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the standard salary for a Cabinet Minister —£5,000 per annum—has been in operation for almost a century? Does he not think it time to prevent these black-legging tactics on the part of members of the Government?

Mr. Lloyd

I think it much better to do what I suggested, and await the report of the Committee which is now considering these matters.

Mr. Thorpe

Could the Leader of the House consider the possibility of increasing the salary of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster? Is he aware that the Chancellor at Exeter suggested that all dissatisfied voters should vote Labour? Would it not be possible for his salary to be met by the Conservative and Labour Parties in view of the valuable work he is doing for both organisations?

Mr. Lloyd

If the hon. Member has a serious suggestion to make on this matter, I can communicate with the Committee which is now sitting.