HC Deb 01 April 1965 vol 709 cc1830-1
7. Mr. Channon

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what arrangements he makes in his Department for dealing with correspondence from Members of Parliament and others.

Mr. Greenwood

There are standing arrangements under which a formal acknowledgment by printed postcard should be sent as soon as a letter is received. An interim reply should be sent within a few days if for any reason, for example, the need for reference to a Governor, there is likely to be a delay in sending a final reply.

Replies to letters from Members of Parliament are signed by myself or by the Under-Secretary of State as the case may be. Replies to other letters may be signed by myself or my Private Secretary or by an official.

Mr. Channon

Does not the Secretary of State think, nevertheless, that it must have been very unsatisfactory to have connected with this process over a number of months someone who is so grossly out of line with Government policy? Does he not think that it is about time that he made it clear in the House whether or not he agrees with the views of the Government on Vietnam or with those of his former Parliamentary Private Secretary?

Mr. Speaker

Order. None of that arises out of that Answer.

Mr. A. Royle

On a point of order. In view of the fact that a Parliamentary Private Secretary has a great deal to do with the answering of correspondence by the Secretary of State, could this not be considered in order—

Mr. Speaker

Unless I misheard the answer, there was no reference to the P.P.S. at all. If there had been, I should amend my Ruling. I did not hear it.

Mr. Greenwood

The Parliamentary Private Secretary had nothing to do with my correspondence, but he was an admirable Parliamentary Private Secretary—

Mr. Speaker

Order. We cannot have speeches resulting from disorderly questions.

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