30 MAY 1925, Page 2

Questions have been asked in the House of Commons about

*the practice which has grown up among some Ministers of regularly writing for newspapers. The frequent articles by Lord Birkenhead were the immediate pretext of the questions. In our opinion it is time that a ruling—not necessarily a hard and fast ruling but a general understanding—should be laid down on this subject. No sensible person wants a Cabinet Minister to be absolutely prohibited from writing for a newspaper., It may be all in the public interest that he should make a communication to the nation either in an article or a letter. It seems to us, however, easy enough to dis- tinguish from these means of reaching the public the habit of exercising the ordinary occupation of a journalist alongside that of a Cabinet Minister. In principle a Cabinet Minister is paid a large salary in order that he shall give his whole time to his public duty. If the salary is not large enough then there is the case for increasing it. It is distinctly undesirable in our judgment that a Cabinet Minister during his term of office should also act as a professional journalist.