HC Deb 24 March 1938 vol 333 cc1381-2
77. Mr. Davidson

asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence whether the report of the committee on calcium carbide production will be made available to Members of the House before the Caledonian Power Bill comes before the House for Second Reading?

The Minister for the Go-ordination of Defence (Sir Thomas Inskip)

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friends the Members for Inverness (Sir M. MacDonald) and for Cardiff South (Captain Evans) on 28th October, 1937, and on subsequent occasions to other hon. Members. I regret that it is impossible to give publicity to the report of the Calcium Carbide Committee, as much of the evidence on which it is based was given under pledge of secrecy.

Mr. Davidson

Will the Minister consider issuing a report of the evidence and the reasons to Members of this House? Is he aware that there has been extensive lobbying taking place with regard to this Bill, that allegations have been made, and prejudices aroused and does he not think, in order that the Bill should receive a proper hearing, he should issue some statement to hon. Members?

Sir T. Inskip

I hope to make a full statement on the Second Reading of the Bill, and hon. Members will no doubt be able to form their views on what they hear during the course of the Debate.

Mr. Maxton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Members who are being pestered on all sides are completely in the dark as to the Government's intentions?

Sir T. Inskip

The object of the Debate is to enable information to be given.