HC Deb 11 June 1979 vol 968 cc24-5
36. Mr. Peter Bottomley

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on hon. Members' remuneration.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas)

The report on Members' pay from the review body on top salaries is imminent, but has not yet actually been received.

Mr. Bottomley

May I declare a formal interest in this question? Will my right hon. Friend give the House an early opportunity to restore hon. Members' salaries to the level that obtained in October 1964?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I sympathise with my hon. Friend, but I cannot make a comment until we have seen the report.

Mr. Stokes

Since any increase in salaries for hon. Members is bound to be extremely unpopular with the British public, will my right hon. Friend ensure that an announcement about increases is made as soon as possible?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I do not know whether I accept the premise of my hon. Friend's argument. I do not see how his conclusion flows from it. Certainly we shall take action when we have received the report.

Mr. Charles Morrison

Will my right hon. Friend undertake that the House will be allowed to consider the report and to influence the Government if necessary before they come to conclusions about the recommendations in the report?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I shall consider that suggestion.

Mr. Mike Thomas

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there will be a wide measure of support from all sides of the House for remunerating hon. Members properly, and wide support for him if he takes that step when the time comes?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I am grateful for those remarks.

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