HC Deb 28 January 1947 vol 432 cc753-5
31. Colonel Gomme-Duncan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether it is intended to publish the proceedings, of the East Kilbride New Town Inquiry; and when publication may be expected.

Mr. Westwood

Objectors and other persons interested will be able to obtain a copy of the transcript of the shorthand writers' notes of the proceedings on payment of the appropriate fees. For the convenience of Members, I shall arrange for a copy of the transcript to be placed in the Library. I do not propose any wider publication of the proceedings.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

In view of the fact that. there is very widespread feeling about this question of new towns so far as East Kilbride is concerned, would it not be fair to the general public to issue a report of the proceedings?

Mr. Westwood

There has been a policy of presenting in the national Press very extensive reports of these proceedings. I have already indicated that those interested in securing copies of the report will be able to get them on payment of the appropriate fee. [HON. MEMBERS: "What is the fee?"] I could not say offhand. As I have said, in the interests of Members, I am arranging to put a copy of the proceedings in the Library.

Major Guy Lloyd

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this answer will cause great surprise and indignation in Scotland? Why should not the Scottish people, who are already to be charged millions of pounds under this scheme, be able to have the whole of the facts which came out at the inquiry? Why should they have to pay money to find out what ought to be a free public advertisement of the whole facts of the inquiry? There is no excuse for the secrecy.

Mr. Westwood

I am not aware of any grave dissatisfaction with regard to the provision of new towns in Scotland.

Captain Crookshank

If the right hon. Gentleman does not know what the fee is, how can he be sure that it is appropriate?

Mr. Westwood

Surely, it is obvious that as compared with a one-day inquiry, there is every chance that an inquiry which took seven or eight days would cost seven or eight times more.