Oral Answers to Questions — Home Information Services

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th May 1965.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr John Eden Mr John Eden , Bournemouth West 12:00 am, 10th May 1965

asked the Paymaster-General how many official meetings he has had with home newspaper correspondents and overseas correspondents respectively.

Photo of Mr John Eden Mr John Eden , Bournemouth West

Did I hear the right hon. Gentleman correctly as saying "None"?

Photo of Mr John Eden Mr John Eden , Bournemouth West

Do I understand from that that since he has been in office the right hon. Gentleman has done nothing, for example, to co-ordinate information services for overseas correspondents, of whom there are a large number in this country? In view of the publicity given to his activities by the weekend Press, may I ask whether he has told foreign and domestic home correspondents anything at all about what he has been doing with the security services? Is it not about time that he gave a little more information about his job and that he ought at least to come clean with the House?

Photo of Mr George Wigg Mr George Wigg , Dudley

I am not responsible for what appears in the weekend Press about my activities. If the hon. Member is really interested, he should address his remarks to the Conservative Central Office concerning my activities. If he will be good enough to look at the reply given by the Prime Minister on 12th November, 1964, printed in col. 1186 of the OFFICIAL REPORT, he will get all the information he wants.

Photo of Sir Knox Cunningham Sir Knox Cunningham , South Antrim

Could not the right hon. Gentleman be a little more forthcoming with the public and tell them what he is doing in all this secret work?

Photo of Mr George Wigg Mr George Wigg , Dudley

I suggest that the hon. and learned Member should address his questions to the Chairman of the Conservative Party, who seems to have some responsibility for the publicity about my activities. Apart from that, if his question is serious I suggest that he should put down a Question to the Prime Minister.

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

There seems to be some misunderstanding. This is not a question about secret work. It is about meetings with newspaper correspondents.

Photo of Mr John Eden Mr John Eden , Bournemouth West

On a point of order. The right hon. Gentleman has consistently referred to an Answer given by the Prime Minister on 12th November, which states that the Paymaster-General will answer Questions in the House about coordination of information services. So far we have had absolutely no answer from him at all.

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

My recollection is that the Answer related to co-ordination of home information services. The only complaint that would arise would be of an inadequate answer. That is not a point for me.