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Honours System and Ministerial Patronage

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th March 1970.

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Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton 12:00 am, 24th March 1970

I take full responsibility for the recommendations made in reference to the Honours system. With regard to Government appointments, statutory legislation lays the duty on various of my right hon. Friends, although, of course, they consult me before a final decision is made. I am prepared to defend our record in this matter, not least—what I believe to have been right, though it has caused a good deal of feeling on the benches behind me—the abolition of the political Honours system. I believe that the appointments made both in respect to top appointments, whether in the diplomatic or home service or in the nationalised industries, and also recommendations made to Her Majesty in respect of Honours, will stand comparison with the record of any previous Prime Minister.