HC Deb 27 April 1976 vol 910 cc58-9W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Prime Minister whether the rule that a person holding an appointment in Government should have no outside earnings or payments other than investment income applies to his Administration.

The Prime Minister

I have recently taken steps to draw the attention of the members of my Administration to the rules, which have grown up over many years and through successive Administrations, governing the holding of outside interests by Ministers.

Ministers, on assuming office, are required to ensure that no conflict arises between their private interests and public duties. Such a conflict may arise if a Minister takes an active part in any undertaking which may have contractual or other relations with a Government Department. It may arise not only if the Minister has a financial interest in such an undertaking but also if he is actively associated with any body, even of a philanthropic character, which might have negotiations or other dealings with the Government or be in dispute with them.

The principles are clear enough and each Minister must decide how they apply to his individual circumstances. Any cases of doubt are submitted to me for my direction.