HC Deb 31 October 1966 vol 735 cc31-2
35. Mr. Marten

asked the Paymaster General which are the home information services for the co-ordination of which he is answerable in Parliament.

The Paymaster General (Mr. George Wigg)

None, Sir.

Mr. Marten

Why, then, did the Prime Minister say that the Paymaster-General was responsible for answering Questions in the House of Commons on the question of co-ordination of home information services? Secondly, would the Minister seriously tell us what else he does? Is he aware that it is becoming widely believed, unfortunately, that he collects dossiers on Members of this House? If there are any such activities, would he realise that these are quite alien to this country and repugnant to the House?

Mr. Wigg

What the last part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question has to do with the Question on the Order Paper I do not know, except to repeat a smear which the hon. Gentleman has not the guts to repeat outside this House. Secondly, as regards the Question on the Order Paper, the hon. Gentleman clearly cannot understand English, even if he can read it. The words "for" and "about" have different meanings. If he consults page 4 of the Concise Oxford Dictionary, he will find a definition of the word "about" and on page 443 a definition of the word "for". My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said that he would not appoint a Minister for Co-ordination because he thought that it was improper that a Minister of the Crown should carry out, as in the previous Administration, party duties. My right hon. Friend said on another occasion that I would answer Questions about co-ordination.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Do the Paymaster General's duties include re-editing hand-outs of the Minister without Portfolio?

Mr. Wigg

No, Sir, they do not include re-editing hand-outs, nor re-editing HANSARD, as was necessary on a previous occasion.

Mr. Marten

On a point of order. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I wish to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible moment.

Mr. Wigg

Further to that point of order. If the hon. Gentleman weekly makes the same allegation and never on one single occasion seeks—[HON. MEMBERS: "That is not a point of order."] Mr. Speaker, further to that point of order. As the hon. Gentleman, week after week, gives the same notice and raises the same point of order and has never on any occasion sought the Adjournment, is he not abusing the procedure of the House?

Mr. Speaker

I hope that Members will not raise points of order on the giving of formal notice to the House of the intention to raise a matter on the Adjournment.