Ministers and Members (Remuneration)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th November 1964.

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Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Kinross and West Perthshire 12:00 am, 16th November 1964

I should like to associate myself, and all hon. Members on this side of the House, with what the Prime Minister has said about Mr. Speaker and his illness. We very much hope that Mr. Speaker will be well again very soon.

I am very much obliged to the Prime Minister for allowing me to see a copy of the Report over the weekend. I echo what he said about the care and industry with which Sir Geoffrey Lawrence has compiled the Report and the full use that he made of the advisory panel of Members of both Houses of Parliament in making it.

This is a very difficult problem, as the House knows. It never seems to be the right time to tackle it; it never has been the right time and probably it never will be. All hon. and right hon. Members will want to study the Report. I would only say that we on this side of the House will study it with every sympathy and a desire to solve a problem which is very real, as I have always understood, while reserving my judgment on the more detailed proposals.

I take it that these proposals will be embodied in a Bill at some future time. I am particularly obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for the attention which he has paid to myself and to the Opposition Chief Whip. Incidentally, today is the birthday of my right hon. Friend the Opposition Chief Whip, so I think that it will be very welcome.