HC Deb 29 June 1950 vol 476 cc2447-8
53. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Agriculture when he expects to receive the report of the Ryan Committee which is examining the working of the county agricultural executive committees and their relationship with the headquarters office of his Department.

Mr. G. Brown

I am informed that the Committee hopes to be able to report in the early autumn.

Mr. Hurd

Will the Minister undertake that the Ryan Committee's report will be published, as there is very widespread interest in the problem of the relationships of county committees with Whitehall? Even if the House is not sitting we should like an opportunity of considering the recommendations, with a view to future action.

Mr. Brown

I could not undertake that. This is one of a number of inquiries which are being made and will be made into the organisation of the larger Departments. I understand that it is not the practice to publish such reports.

Mr. Turton

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Committee was set up as a result of certain recommendations made by the Estimates Committee of this House? Surely it is only right that the report of the Committee should be made available to hon. Members?

Mr. Brown

I repeat that there have been other committees like this one and there will be others. It is primarily to advise my right hon. Friend on some questions arising out of the administration of the Department, and it will be for him to decide what to do with the report when he gets it.

Major Sir Thomas Dugdale

Will the Government give further consideration to this point, because a very large number of people are extremely interested in the report? If it is not published we can only assume that it is because the Government desire to hide something.

Mr. Brown

There is no more reason for anybody to assume that than there was in the past, when exactly the same practice was followed. Whether a report is published depends very largely on the type of committee and the subject with which it deals. I am not sure that it would be proper to publish this report, but it is for my right hon. Friend to say.