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Deputy Prime Minister

Volume 655: debated on Tuesday 13 March 1962

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asked the Prime Minister if he will appoint a Minister to the post of official Deputy Prime Minister.

No, Sir. As far as I know, the office of Deputy Prime Minister is not a formally recognised office under our Constitution. Nevertheless, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary not only gives me special assistance over a wide range of public duties but presides over the Cabinet in my absence.

Can the Prime Minister tell us what consideration made him appoint the Home Secretary before the Leader of the House or the Chancellor of the Exchequer?

I have explained that this is not an appointment which is recommended. All appointments are made by the Crown on the recommendation of Ministers. So far as I know, under our Constitution there is no provision for an appointment of Deputy Prime Minister to be made by the Crown.