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Members Of Parliament (Access To Ministers)

Volume 932: debated on Thursday 26 May 1977

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asked the Prime Minister if the cyclostyled letter of 20th May sent to Members of Parliament under the joint signatures of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary of State for Employment and the Secretary of State for Social Services was sent with his authority; and, in view of the importance of ensuring that Members have unhampered access to Ministers on behalf of their constituents whenever they judge this right, if he will take steps to have the last sentence of paragraph 6 revised.

This letter was sent to all hon. Members on the initiative of the three Ministers concerned, although I was aware of their intention. It suggests that where information about a particular case is held at local level, hon. Members will get a quicker reply to inquiries if they write directly to the local agency concerned. However, the letter is in no way intended to diminish the right of access of hon. Members to Ministers, which remains unchanged.