HC Deb 21 January 1947 vol 432 cc1-2
1. Mr. Derek Walker-Smith

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning why he has refused to receive a deputation from the Stevenage Urban District Council in regard to the appointments to the New Town Development Corporation.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Town and Country Planning (Mr. Fred Marshall)

When at the beginning of July my right hon. Friend consulted the local authorities concerned about the setting up of an advisory committee, he made it clear that he hoped that in due time the same people would become the members of the new town corporation if and when one was established. The names and qualifications of the advisory committee were published at the beginning of August.

My right hon. Friend carefully considered the representations contained in the council's letter of 3rd December, but came to the conclusion in all the circumstances, and having regard to the lapse of time since the names were first published, that no useful purpose would be served by the proposed deputation.

Mr. Walker-Smith

Does not the Minister think that it would be worth while spending a few moments of his time in receiving this deputation in order to foster good will in the localities so intimately concerned with this matter, especially in view of the fact that public inquiries have lost much of their value by the refusal of the Minister or his representative to submit himself to cross-examination?

Mr. Marshall

I think that it is generally agreed by anyone who has taken an impartial view of this controversy, that the Minister has done everything possible to foster that good will.