HC Deb 12 July 1966 vol 731 c1221

The following Question stood upon the Order Paper:


To ask the Prime Minister whether he will make a further statement about official facilities made available at No. 10 Downing Street.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)

With permission, Mr. Speaker, I will now answer Question No. Q16.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving me this opportunity of correcting a slip which I made on 26th May when, in response to a supplementary question by my hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Hamling), I said that official facilities had been given to party speechwriters under previous administrations. I had meant to say unofficial.

I should add that in one case to which I obliquely referred, though not in others, the facilities were given only during the period of a General Election.

Mr. Gilmour

Is the Prime Minister aware that I am most grateful to him for his apology for what was obviously a slip of the tongue?

The Prime Minister

I really thought that I had said "unofficial". The next morning, when I saw it in the Press and confirmed in HANSARD that I was reported as having said "official", as the hon. Gentleman knows, I got in touch with him in an hour, and I said that, instead of answering a Question in the usual way, by a Written Answer, if he liked to put it down I would like to correct orally something that I had said orally.