HC Deb 22 March 1907 vol 171 cc1293-4
MR. NIELD (Middlesex, Ealing)

To ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether the terms of reference to the Committee appointed to inquire into the conduct and management of the Royal Physical Laboratory will suffice to prevent such Committee from reporting in favour of the Laboratory being allowed to continue to compete with private testing establishments, in spite of the fact that such competition was expressly forbidden by the Report of the Treasury Committee which sat as recently as 1898.

(Answered by Mr. Runciman.) The hon. Member will find the terms of reference set out in the reply which I gave on Wednesday to the hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth. With the Report of the Committee of 1898 he is no doubt familiar. In these circumstances I am not prepared to anticipate the finding of the Committee which is now sitting nor the decision which the Treasury will take thereupon.


To ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether the Treasury, in asking the Royal Society to nominate two members of the Committee to inquire into the conduct and management of the National Physical Laboratory, were aware that such society was responsible for the policy of the laboratory, which had given occasion for the appointment of the Treasury Committee; and whether he will state the grounds upon which the Treasury believed that a committee, the constitution of which left two members to be the judges of their own cause, was likely to secure public confidence.

(Answered by Mr. Runciman.) The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. I have already informed the hon. Member that I see no grounds for distrust of the Committee, and I am not prepared to discuss further its constitution, which, in my opinion, is such as to command the confidence of all impartially minded persons.