HC Deb 26 November 1968 vol 774 cc298-9
Q3. Mr. Gordon Campbell

asked the Prime Minister what is now the practice of his Administration as regards machinery for consultation concerning public Ministerial speeches and statements in the country.

The Prime Minister

The traditional practice, Sir, under which my right hon. and hon. Friends continue to consult any of their colleagues whose departmental responsibilities make this appropriate.

Mr. Campbell

Does the Prime Minister agree that this system has been very ineffective in recent weeks? Will he ensure that in future Ministers are better informed about the economic situation? Will he in this context and for the good of the country place an absolute ban on the use of maritime metaphors?

The Prime Minister

Her Majesty's Ministers are clearly better informed on the economic situation than were the Opposition speakers we heard yesterday. As to speeches in the country, I have had recent occasion to remind my colleagues that we rely exactly on the same principles and methods as were used by their predecessors.

Mr. Roebuck

Can my right hon. Friend offer any advice—[Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. I also want to hear the hon. Member. Mr. Roebuck.

Mr. Roebuck

Can my right hon. Friend offer any advice to the Leader of the Opposition and the right hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale (Mr. Barber) about the machinery for the distribution of speeches through the Conservative Central Office for the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) to ensure that that right hon. Gentleman's inappropriate views are prevented from causing unnecessary tumult in the population?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. The right hon. Gentleman, who cannot even get some measure of co-ordination, let alone control, among the Opposition leaders, certainly has nothing to say about the position of Ministers who operate the Ministerial speaking rules.

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