49. Mr. Vane
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can explain the long delay in publishing the accounts of county agricultural executive committees.
§ The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Thomas Williams)
Payments and receipts by or on behalf of county agricultural executive committees form part of the 21 annual Appropriation Accounts of my Department, and are included in the annual volumes of Civil Appropriation Accounts, which are usually published early in the calendar year following the financial year to which they relate. The volume for 1946–47 (H.C. 30) was published some weeks ago. If the hon. Member has in mind the annual income and expenditure accounts which all committees are required to prepare for 1946–47 and subsequent years, I would refer him to the answer given to the hon. Member for Monmouth (Mr. P. Thorneycroft) on 15th March last.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the long delay in the publishing of detailed accounts of the activities of county agricultural executive committees, particularly in their dealings with labour and machinery, is creating grave misgivings, and that it is becoming more and more widely believed that there is this delay because the Minister has something to cover up in the way of extravagance?
§ Mr. Williams
As the hon. Member starts his supplementary question with the false premise that there have been long delays, the other part of his question does not arise.