HC Deb 25 October 1962 vol 664 cc207-8W
Mr. Hale

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (1) whether he will place in the Library of the House of Commons a copy of the record of the official interview between his predecessor and the hon. Member for Oldham, West, at the office of his Department in March last to which his Parliamentary Secretary referred in his letter to the hon. Member for Oldham, West, of 31st July, 1962;

(2) to what extent it is the practice to make a private record of official interviews between him and hon. Members; and whether the hon. Members are informed of this prior to such interviews;

(3) by what means a record was taken of a conversation on official matters between his predecessor and the hon. Member for Oldham, West, at his Department in March, 1962; and what steps were taken to ensure that this was an accurate record of the meeting.

Mr. N. Macpherson

When a Minister has had a discussion with an hon. Member on a matter affecting his constituents or constituency, he will generally, no doubt, follow the normal, business-like practice of making, or arranging for his private secretary or other official present to make, a note or memorandum of what was said sufficient to enable appropriate action to be taken. Ministers treat such discussions as confidential. To place a record of this kind in the Library would in my view not be consistent with normal practice, but with the agreement of my predecessor I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the note in question for his own information.