HC Deb 18 November 1936 vol 317 cc1791-2

asked the Minister of Transport why the Departmental Committee appointed by him to bring under review the organisation of the distribution of electricity in Great Britain sat in private and has declined to publish the evidence of the witnesses called; and whether, as the Association of Municipal Corporations has protested against this refusal, this evidence will now be made public?


The committee decided to treat the evidence given to them as confidential in order that witnesses might feel free to express their individual opinions and experience, and the hon. Member will appreciate that evidence given upon that understanding could not now be published. The report of the committee is based upon their own judgment and conclusions from the evidence placed before them.


In view of the fact that this evidence is of general interest to the whole country could it be (made public?


I have already answered that question. The committee, after deliberation and consultation, decided that they were more likely to get the evidence they required if it were given under a pledge of non-publication, and as they gave that pledge it cannot now be violated.