HC Deb 05 July 1934 vol 291 cc2062-3
45. Mr. MANDER

asked the Prime Minister whether he will state when the Economic Advisory Committee last met; and if it is intended that it shall in future meet regularly?

The LORD PRESIDENT of the COUNCIL (Mr. Baldwin)

While the work of the Economic Advisory Council is confidential, I may explain that it is continuously carried on through regular meetings of two main standing committees—one on economic information and the other on scientific research—and in addition there are standing and ad hoc committees to deal with specific problems as and when required.


Is it not a fact that the Economic Advisory Council itself has not met for something like two years, and is it not about time that such an important body was called together again?


Why on earth should it meet? The Board of Exchequer never meets, but it does its work expeditiously.


But in view of the fact that a number of very important public men are on this Council and that the right hon. Gentleman has said that there are several sub-committees, apparently presenting reports from time to time, should not the Council have an opportunity of considering those reports at rather shorter intervals than every two years?


I think my hon. Friend a little misapprehends the nature of this body. It is in fact a panel of experts who are chosen for all kinds of work in connection with economics and research. The main body are employed on the various committees and are always working. They prepare reports, as has been said, for the use of the Prime Minister and for the Government of the day. They are at the service of whatever Government may be in power. They were set up by the late Government. They were employed by them; they are employed by the present Government, and they will probably be employed by the next Government. There would be no advantage I can assure my hon. Friend in the procedure which he desires.


When may we expect some results?