§ MR. SUMMERBELL
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the 309 Colonies if he is aware that the meetings of the finance committee of the Legislative Council of Trinidad are held with closed doors, and that the taxpayers have no knowledge as to its deliberations; and, if so, can he state whether he is prepared to take action with a view to the meetings of such committee being of a more open character in the future.
§ MR. CHURCHILL
The Secretary of State understands that, under the Standing Order of the Legislative Council of Trinidad, the Government of that Colony consults the Standing Committee on Finance before submitting to the Council votes entailing expenditure from public funds. My noble friend has no information as to the conditions under which the Standing Committee deliberate on the proposals made to them by the Government, but he considers that at this preliminary stage of considering expenditure it is only proper that publicity should be avoided. Full opportunity for discussion in public arises when the report of the Committee is presented to the Council.