HC Deb 07 March 1887 vol 311 cc1396-7
SIR HENRY ROSCOE (Manchester, S.)

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, What steps the Government intend to take to carry out the Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on the National Science Collections; and, whether the Government will lay upon the Table the Correspondence between the Treasury, Office of Works, and Science and Art Department, with reference to new buildings for the Science Collections and the Science and Art Department, generally since, but including, the Treasury Minute appointing the Inter-Departmental Committee?


The Government has no present intention of incurring the expense which would be involved in carrying out the Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee. I am in formed that the expense would amount to about £220,000. The hon. Member is, no doubt, aware that the Committee were not unanimous, three Members having signed the Report, and one having dissented from its recommendations. The Government is not prepared to lay-on the Table the Correspondence between the different Departments; because it is considered most undesirable that Departments should not be able to criticize each other in the freest possible way without the fear of Parliament checking their criticisms. It would be most undesirable that officers in the Public Service should be thinking how their Reports will be treated by Parliament, or by Members of Parliament, instead of how they can best promote the efficiency of their Departments.