HC Deb 10 February 1942 vol 377 cc1392-3
48. Mr. A. Edwards

asked the Prime Minister whether he will arrange for the House to have an opportunity to debate the 25th Report of the Select Committee on National Expenditure at an early date?

The Prime Minister

This Report was issued on the 11th November, 1941. An opportunity to discuss the questions covered by it was afforded by the Debates on production and man-power on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th December, 1941, and further opportunities will no doubt occur in similar Debates arranged through the usual channels. A Debate confined to the 25th Report and limited to the specific questions covered by it, would not, in my opinion, seem to be called for at the present time.

Mr. Edwards

Does the Prime Minister realise that with most of these reports a period of four months has elapsed before a Department has given any kind of reply to the Committee? Is it not desirable that a special day should be set apart for the House to consider the working of this Committee, which has been in operation now for two years? Should not there be a Secret Session and, if so does not the right hon. Gentleman think it desirable that members of the Committee should speak plainly to this House, in which case there will be some stirring revelations?

The Prime Minister

Debates, whether secret or in public session, are arranged through the usual channels and in addition there are the Parliamentary opportunities of the year, which are well known to Members. As for plain speaking I hope it will not be confined to one side of the House.