HC Deb 27 February 1951 vol 484 c1883
5. Mr. Niall Macpherson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland why the Summarised Accounts of Regional Hospital Boards, etc., H.C. No. 54, for the year ended 31st March, 1950, presented to Parliament on 13th December, contents of which have already been made available to the Press, is not yet available to hon. Members of this House.

Miss Herbison

The summarised accounts of the regional hospital boards are presented to Parliament by the Comptroller and Auditor-General in accordance with the Statute and will, I understand, be published to morrow. The recent Press publicity related to a memorandum issued by my Department to regional hospital boards for administrative purposes.

Mr. Macpherson

Is it desirable and in accordance with precedent to issue a précis of the contents of these reports before they are at any rate on the point of being published? Has there not been an extraordinarily long delay?

Miss Herbison

The hon. Gentleman is quite wrong when he says that this memorandum was a précis of the report, which will be before Parliament tomorrow. It is true that certain of the facts were contained in what was issued, but it certainly was not a précis of tomorrow's publication.