Oral Answers to Questions — Ministers (Salaries)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30 April 1959.

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Mr. Gresham Cooke:

asked the Prime Minister, in view of the fact that the pay of permanent secretaries will greatly exceed that of Ministers in charge of Departments, under the latest arrangements, what proposals he has for increasing the pay of Ministers.

Mr. Gresham Cooke:

While appreciating the diligence and skill which permanent secretaries show in carrying out the work of their Departments, may I ask my right hon. Friend to bear in mind that responsibility is one of the major factors to be taken into account in paying remuneration and that, therefore, it may be constitutionally wrong in the long run for Ministers to be paid some £2,000 a year less than permanent secretaries? Will he say whether in the long run this position ought to be put right?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

We made various adjustments in the salaries and allowances of Members of Parliament and Ministers just two years ago. I do not think that there is quite an analogy between Ministerial salaries and those of the Civil Service, which is a lifetime employment in a definite career and which is the sole career of the permanent secretary. We have, therefore, to try to see that the heads are paid remuneration which will be to the benefit of the Civil Service and have some regard to remuneration outside and all the conditions which Lord Coleraine's Committee took into account. I therefore feel that, although there is a sort of point to be made that a Minister is paid less than the permanent head of the Department, I do not think that is quite the basis on which the two matters should be judged.