HC Deb 11 August 1966 vol 733 cc1882-3
Q7. Mr. Onslow

asked the Prime Minister what economies in Ministerial salaries will result from the amalgamation of the Colonial Office and the Commonwealth Relations Office.

The Prime Minister

As I informed my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis) on 8th August, I have as yet nothing to add to the Answer I gave on 10th May to my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton).

Mr. Onslow

Is the Prime Minister not aware that some saving should have been made as soon as the Colonial Secretary became an item of Government surplus stock? How long is it likely to take the Prime Minister to realise that his whole Front Bench is grossly overblown and overpaid even for the sort of black farce which he has been putting on since he came into power?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Gentleman has had his bit of fun, and for that kind of invective he has been more effective than his own Front Bench. As for his question, I would have thought that he would take a deep interest in Commonwealth problems and would feel that there are still so many problems in connection with the movement to independence of Colonial territories, and at the same time some heavy questions within the self-governing Commonwealth that it is necessary to have two Ministers. There will be a saving when, following this amalgamation, the Minister responsible for the Colonial Office will in due course—although this will require legislation—become a Minister of State instead of a Secretary of State. Then there will be a financial saving.