§ MR. DAVID THOMAS
I beg to ask the right hon. Member for Watford, as Chairman of the Committee of Selection, if he will state in how many cases during last session Members asked to be excused serving on Private Bill Committees on the ground of private profession, business, or avocation; and in how many such cases they were excused; whether, when so excused, it was on the general ground of the peculiar nature of the Member's profession, or because of a special inconvenience that he would be caused at the particular time when his name appeared on the Panel: and, if he will lay upon the Table of the House a Return giving the names of the Members excused and the grounds for excuse.
§ * MR. HALSEY (Hertfordshire, Watford)
I am unable to state the number of cases in which Members asked to be excused, or were excused, from serving on Private Bills Committees. I can only say generally, that each application was most carefully considered on its own merits by the Committee of Selection. Many of the communications received from hon. Members are of a highly confidential character, and it would be most undesirable to lay such a Return on the Table as the hon. Member asks for. The object of the Committee has always been to cause the minimum of inconvenience to Members, and at the same time to choose those best qualified, in their judgment, for the work of each Committee.