HC Deb 11 December 1975 vol 902 cc646-7
Q2. Mr. Gow

asked the Prime Minister if he will reduce below the present figure of seven the number of his special advisers; and what is the present total cost of the salaries of these advisers.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. The total annual cost of salaries for the Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street is about £ 43,000.

Mr. Gow

Will the Prime Minister tell the House what areas of Government policy would have been less damaging to the country had the advice of these gentlemen not been followed? Since advice is always available to the Prime Minister from the Tribune Group—presumably free of charge—does he not think that it would be more appropriate for the salaries of this rather discredited retinue of Marxists to be paid by Transport House rather than by the taxpayer?

The Prime Minister

I suppose that might go down well with the Primrose League in Eastbourne. If I thought that it was right to waste the time of the House and prevent other hon. Members putting serious questions, I would simply tell the hon. Gentleman that this was in accordance with the provisions laid down by the Fulton Committee. My predecessor had special advisers who were paid for by the Treasury. The suggestion that Dr. Donoughue is a discredited Marxist makes me laugh.

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