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Cabinet Committees

Volume 887: debated on Tuesday 25 February 1975

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Q4.

asked the Prime Minister if he will now answer Questions concerning the membership of Cabinet committees.

As the Prime Minister has referred to a Cabinet committee in a public speech outside the House, and as he has told the world at large that the purpose is to control the Secretary of State for Industry, should he not say what are its powers and who are its members, so that the world can judge whether they will be able to control the Secretary of State?

What I did in that speech was to follow precedent in a speech to a distinguished industrial audience in Liverpool representing both sides of industry. The hon. Gentleman must be responsible for his interpretation of the speech, because I said no such thing as he has suggested. I indicated, as I have done before in the House, that I was chairman of a particular committee and that the Treasury was powerfully represented. That is a perfectly normal thing to say. I did not set out all the members, and it is not the practice to do so.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that anything the hon. Member for Chingford (Mr. Tebbit) wants to know, most of us do not want to know?