Civil servants who publish unauthorised exposes of their time in the corridors of power could be stripped of the profits, under rules proposed by an influential group of MPs.
The Public Administration Committee believes removing financial incentives is the only way to discourage "shocking" or indiscreet revelations that damage government.
New recruits should have to sign away copyright of any future works which are not given clearance by the Crown, according to the MPs.
Legal action could then be taken to recoup earnings from the venture.
The committee's inquiry into political memoirs was triggered by the publication last year of DC Confidential by former Ambassador to the US Sir Christopher Meyer.
Sir Christopher's outspoken recollections included that then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw "took a long time to find his feet", and that serving ministers were political "pygmies".
The report said memoirs by top diplomats, civil servants and politicians had "real value" and should be encouraged.
However, the "strength of the market for sensational or titillating material" made it "even more important" that Ministers and civil servants exercised discretion to safeguard the working of government. "The dangers do not come from the single shocking memoir, but from the steady erosion of confidence."