HC Deb 11 May 1948 vol 450 cc1932-3
1. Mr. Leonard

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is prepared to circulate to Scottish Members a resume of the deliberations of the Scottish Economic Conference and any recommendations made.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Woodburn)

As I indicated in the answer which I gave on 29th April to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, South (Sir W. Darling), I propose to make a statement to the Press after each meeting of the Scottish Economic Conference outlining any matters of public interest discussed. I do not think that I could serve any useful purpose by circulating a further statement to Scottish Members.

Mr. Leonard

Would it not be, in the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman, desirable to give some of the more intimate details of the deliberations to hon. Members of this House?

Mr. Woodburn

The point is that the Conference would have its usefulness destroyed if the discussions could not be carried on freely without the danger of being reported to hon. Members in detail.

Mr. Rankin

In view of the fact that my right hon. Friend proposes to give hon. Members interested an indirect account of what happens, does he not think it would be much better and fairer to all concerned to let them have a direct account?

Mr. Woodburn

There seems to be some misunderstanding as to the purpose of the Conference. It is an advisory Conference with the Secretary of State and, therefore, only in so far as it leads to results and action, does it become a matter of public interest.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

Does the Secretary of State think that this Conference is likely to lead either to results or to action? Is it likely to achieve any useful purpose?

Mr. Woodburn

Certainly, it has already achieved a useful purpose.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

Tell us about it.

Back to