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Ministerial Speeches

Volume 114: debated on Monday 6 April 1987

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asked the Prime Minister how much it cost to central funds to have copies of the Secretary of State for Social Services' speech to the 1986 Conservative party conference printed and circulated to administrators of family practitioner committees.

asked the Prime Minister if she will make it her policy that civil servants should not circulate within or outside their Departments copies of speeches made by Ministers to party conferences, following the circulation to administrators of family practitioner committees of the speech by the Secretary of State for Social Services to the 1986 Conservative party conference.

It is a standing instruction that press releases of speeches made by Ministers in a party political context should be distributed to the media through the party machinery only. Any distribution of such speeches to other recipients is for decision having regard to the particular circumstances of the case. There could well be circumstances in which it was appropriate for a Department to make sure that officials concerned with a particular activity or service were informed of policy statements about that activity or service made by their Minister, even in the case of a statement made in a political context.