Minister without Portfolio.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons at on 16 June 1921.

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Major C. LOWTHER:

35.

asked the Prime Minister how many appointments of Ministers without Portfolio have been made since 1900; and how many Ministers so appointed received salaries?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

Since 1900 10 appointments of Ministers without Portfolio have been made. Eight Ministers so appointed received salaries.

Major LOWTHER:

Would the right hon. Gentleman tell me whether there is any truth in the report that the present Minister without Portfolio has resigned?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

That does not appear to arise out of the question on the Paper, but I think it was denied by my right hon. Friend yesterday.

Major LOWTHER:

36.

asked the Prime Minister whether the appointment of Minister without Portfolio lapsed when the right hon. Baronet the Member for Colchester was appointed Secretary of State for War; how long was the interval which elapsed before the right hon. Member for Shoreditch was appointed to the post; and what was the emergency which necessitated the appointment?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

The present Secretary of State for War was appointed to that office on 14th February last, and the office of Minister without Portfolio was vacant from that date until 5th April. As regards the reasons for the appointment, I have at present nothing to add to the previous replies that have been given on this subject.

Major LOWTHER:

Is it part of the settled policy of the Government to maintain the office of Minister without Portfolio?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , Fylde

Has the present holder of this office received any salary up to date?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I cannot answer that question without notice. As regards the subject matter of these questions generally, the Vote for the Cabinet Offices, including the salary of the Minister without Portfolio, is to be put down for a day next week, and I think we had better leave the subject for debate then rather than do it by question and answer.

Major LOWTHER:

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that if he could make an announcement now it might facilitate the course of the Debate?

Mr. J. JONES:

An announcement of what?

Photo of Sir John Marriott Sir John Marriott , Oxford

44.

asked the Prime Minister what precedents, if any, there are, prior to 1917, for the payment of a salary to a Minister without Portfolio?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

There are no such precedents prior to 1917, though there were in earlier years portfolios which carried practically no departmental duties.