HC Deb 16 July 1979 vol 970 c1023
26. Mr. Canavan

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster for which public appointments to quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations within the Duchy he is responsible.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

None, Sir.

Mr. Canavan

In view of the Prime Minister's declared intention to abolish all unnecessary public appointments, why not start with the Chancellorship of the Duchy of Lancaster and other Cabinet sinecures? Why not scrap the entire Cabinet? Most of the lackeys in it seem to be dispensable and irrelevant to the Prime Minister's new style of autocratic government.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Naturally, I defer to the hon. Gentleman's intimate knowledge of what goes on inside the Cabinet. No doubt he has culled that knowledge from the Sunday Telegraph. I assure him that the Chancellorship of the Duchy of Lancaster is not a sinecure. It is a post that has onerous duties, which I spend a considerable amount of my time discharging. I should be happy to give the hon. Gentleman a list of those duties if he needs further convincing.