HC Deb 10 June 1991 vol 192 c599
44. Mr. Dalyell

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will obtain a copy of "Kill the Messenger" by Sir Bernard Ingham for his office's library.

Mr. Renton

No, Sir.

Mr. Dalyell

To return to the question of my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks), does the Minister realise that many of my hon. Friends do not think that there is anything funny about Sir Bernard Ingham's activities during the past 12 years? What is so special about Sir Bernard Ingham's position that the two-year rule has not applied to his book? Can any other civil servant now take it as a matter of course that he or she will be entitled to go away and write a book about the heart of Government?

Mr. Renton

The hon. Gentleman is being unfair and incorrect, Sir Bernard Ingham submitted his memoirs to Sir Robin Butler as Cabinet Secretary and head of the civil service. Sir Robin Butler cleared the draft of the book, Sir Bernard Ingham made all the cuts requested and is not responsible for the Sunday Times article.

Mr. Conway

Will my right hon. Friend reconsider his reply to the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) and find the money to buy a copy of the book? If he has any money left, will he obtain a remaindered copy of the Crossman diaries to find out how effective intrigue and political assassination were at the time of the last Labour Government?

Mr. Renton

I support my hon. Friend's remarks. Those Opposition Members who get so worked up about Sir Bernard Ingham's book would do well to refresh their minds about what happened under the Government of Lord Wilson in relation to the Crossman diaries and the memoirs of Joe Haines. As to whether I shall buy a copy of the book, my office is dedicated to efficiency and value for money, but one of my private secretaries has kindly lent me her copy.

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