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Cabinet (Composition)

Volume 972: debated on Thursday 25 October 1979

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Q4.

asked the Prime Minister if she plans to announce any changes in the Cabinet.

Has the Prime Minister not been informed of what happened in the House last night, when her Energy Ministers managed to score an own goal by defeating the Governmen on the question of paraffin prices? When will the Prime Minister go and see Her Majesty and present a Humble Address so that our pensioners may once again get cheaper paraffin?

I understand that, to put it mildly, there was something of a mix-up. That is an occupational hazard of Chief Whips on both sides of the House. I made it clear that those who got us into this mess must get us out of it.

Will my right hon. Friend nevertheless reflect with gratitude, to return to the question, that, unlike her predecessor, she is at least in the happy position of being able to make changes from time to time if she wants to without being subject to outside poltical pressures?

I do not have any particular personnel changes in mind at the moment.

Will the right hon. Lady ask her Cabinet colleagues to explain, since she and they keep reiterating that public expenditure is not to be reduced, why so many hospital wards, hospitals, children's homes, old people's homes, community centres and day centres are being closed in the biggest act of Tory vandalism for decades?

I should be grateful if the hon. Gentleman would now and then look at the articles written by the former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, which pointed out that, when more money is taken out on pay, there is less to spend on other things.