Central Office of Information

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Power – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st December 1964.

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Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer is responsible for the total Vote, organisation and staffing of the Central Office of Information. Specific information activities carried out on behalf of a Department are the responsibility of the Departmental Minister concerned.

Photo of Mr Anthony Kershaw Mr Anthony Kershaw , Stroud

That is a pretty odd arrangement, is it not? How is the Paymaster-General going to answer Questions if he has not got any Departmental responsibilities? How is he to answer questions about this? How can he do a proper job? Will the Prime Minister come clean about the job the Paymaster-General has? Whom, really, is he watching?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

If the hon. Member would study what I said on a previous occasion he would find that there is nothing odd about it at all. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is responsible for the Central Office of Information. If the hon. Member sees any difficulty in this arrangement, it all arises from the fact that we have decided not to have a Minister acting as a party P.R.O.