HC Deb 16 January 1978 vol 942 cc22-3
22. Mr. Canavan

asked the Minister for the Civil Service when he expects to receive the report of the Armitage Committee on the political activities of civil servants.

Mr. Charles R. Morris

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said in reply to a Question from my hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich, East (Mr. Cartwright) on 16th December, he has received the Armitage Report. The report was published as Cmnd. 7057 on Wednesday 11th January.

Mr. Canavan

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that what is much more dangerous and undemocratic than open policical activity by civil servants is the behind-the-scenes way in which certain high-ranking civil servants try to dictate Government policy? For example, is it not deplorable that the economic strategy of a Labour Government should be largely influenced by the political prejudices of the mandarins of the Treasury, most of whom appear to be Right-wing Tories?

Mr. Morris

I suggest to my hon. Friend that his supplementary question bears no relation to the Question which he tabled. If he says that senior civil servants exercise an influence in the determination of policy, that is as much a comment on the Ministers who decide the policy as it is on the civil servants themselves.

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