HC Deb 27 May 1946 vol 423 cc815-6
42. Mr. A. Edward Davies

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the position as regards the Pottery Working Party Report.

Mr. Belcher

The Report of the Working Party for the pottery industry, which has now been published, is being considered by the Government. My right hon. and learned Friend wishes to express his gratitude to the Chairman and the members of the Working Party for a very useful Report. A number of Government Departments are affected and it will take time before decisions can be announced on those recommendations which call for Government action. Meanwhile, the views of the trade association and of the trade union on the recom- mendations are being sought. It is particularly important to reach decisions without delay on the proposed Pottery Advisory Board and on the statutory levies suggested for meeting the expenses of such a board, and of other activities designed to promote the interests of the industry as a whole. Many of the recommendations, however, concern individual manufacturers or the trade organisations rather than the Government, and my right hon. and learned Friend is anxious that the members of the industry should consider as a matter of urgency what action they can usefully take themselves in the light of these recommendations and raise any points of doubt or difficulty with the Board of Trade.

Mr. Davies

On another aspect of the question, is my hon. Friend aware that this Report is not yet available at the Vote Office; will he tell us, as Members of Parliament, if such reports should not be available to us at least as early as they are available to the Press, and whether such a policy will be followed in future in regard to working party reports?

Mr. Belcher

This is not issued as a White Paper. This is a Stationery Office publication.

Sir Patrick Hannon

Is the main recommendation of this Report in favour of the continuity of private enterprise in this industry?

Hon. Members


Mr. P. Thorneycroft

With regard to the publication of these reports—of which I understand this is the first of several— could we have some consideration from the Government as to whether they could not be made available in the Vote Office, as many hon. Members are interested in studying the recommendations of these working parties? I really can see no reason why we should not get them earlier.

Mr. Belcher

I understood one of the complaints against the present Government was that we were issuing too many White Papers. If hon. Members care to go to the Vote Office and ask for copies of these working party reports they will have no difficulty in getting them.