§ 39. Mr. Lewis
asked the Prime Minister on what basis he decided during the current year to give permission to the four Ministers to be accompanied by their wives on official missions; what was the inclusive cost to the Exchequer for these visits and the estimated cost of the projected visits; and why on each of these occasions it was held to be necessary for wives to accompany their husbands.
§ The Prime Minister
I considered that each of these Ministers would be better able to carry out the official duties of his mission if his wife accompanied him.
The total cost to the Exchequer of the visit of my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury was £140. The cost of the visit of the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations to Malaya was £1,810. It is estimated that the visit of the noble Lord to Ghana will cost about £1,130 and that the visit of my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Board of Trade, to Australia will cost about £2,300.
These amounts include the cost of one Private Secretary in each case except that of the Economic Secretary.
The amounts attributable to the presence of the Minister's wife are, or are estimated to be, respectively, £17. £600, about £375 and about £770.