HC Deb 15 October 1968 vol 770 c200
Q10. Sir J. Langford-Holt

asked the Prime Minister whether the public speech by the Lord President of the Council in Bristol on 5th September on social policy represents Government policy.

The Prime Minister

There was no such public speech, Sir.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

In his speech the Lord President of the Council said that it was morally and legally right for somebody to draw from the State for doing nothing an amount equivalent to that which he could have earned. Will the Prime Minister assure the House that it is his view that this is morally correct and, secondly, that the law would not be used in any circumstances to prevent anybody from doing that?

The Prime Minister

I think that the hon. Gentleman—I am sure inadvertently—has misunderstood exactly what was said and where it was said. It was said at a Press conference. There was no speech. What my right hon. Friend said at a Press conference was badly reported. I would not normally stand on that defence, but in this case, most unusually, a highly reputable newspaper actually dug into the record taken by its own people and found that the reports which upset the hon. Gentleman and many others were totally inaccurate.