Public Appointments

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Service – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st November 1976.

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Photo of Mr Nigel Forman Mr Nigel Forman , Sutton Carshalton 12:00 am, 1st November 1976

asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether his Department has any plans for limiting the extent and the cost of paid public appointments made by Ministers.

Photo of Mr Charles Morris Mr Charles Morris , Manchester Openshaw

No, Sir. Responsibility for appointments rests with departmental Ministers, who, as a matter of policy, keep under review the numbers and costs of the appointments they make. In many cases the numbers of appointments are enumerated in the controlling statute or constitution.

Photo of Mr Nigel Forman Mr Nigel Forman , Sutton Carshalton

Have the Government considered the case for encouraging the establishing of a committee to look into the whole matter, preferably along the lines of the Public Accounts Committee? Does the Minister accept that, if the Government agreed, that would go at least some way towards allaying the justified suspicions of the apparently endless growth of ministerial appointments to non-political bodies outside the Civil Service?

Photo of Mr Charles Morris Mr Charles Morris , Manchester Openshaw

The hon. Gentleman's opinions and observations are fascinating, but they do not come within my field of responsibility.

Photo of Mr Ian Gow Mr Ian Gow , Eastbourne

In the Government's view, what are the qualities of the new Chairman of Cable and Wireless which prompted the Government to make that appointment?

Photo of Mr Charles Morris Mr Charles Morris , Manchester Openshaw

The qualities and the criteria for such appointments are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Industry.