HC Deb 01 July 1952 vol 503 cc234-5
38. Major Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has now had an opportunity to consider the Catto Report; and whether, in the light of this Report, it is intended to appoint a Royal Commission.

Mr. J. Stuart

Yes, Sir. The Report has been receiving urgent attention. I hope that it will be possible to announce the Government's decisions about action on the Report and their recommendation on the scope of the Royal Commission before we rise for the Summer Recess.

Mr. McNeil

Does that answer mean that the right hon. Gentleman has decided to appoint a Royal Commission before he has decided what the job of the Commission is?

Mr. Stuart

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister answered a Question recently, when he stated that it was our intention but that we must await the report of the Catto Committee before drafting the terms of reference. We have now received the Report of the Catto Committee and are considering the matter.

Mr. Grimond

Will there be an opportunity to debate the results of the Catto Committee?

Mr. Stuart

They have not yet been circulated, as the hon. Gentleman knows.

Mr. McNeil

If the right hon. Gentleman has decided to set up a Royal Commission, and if he has completed consideration of the Catto Committee Report, can he not tell us what are the terms of reference, even broadly?

Mr. Stuart

The terms of reference are being considered. The Prime Minister stated in this House on 7th May: We intend to recommend that a Royal Commission should be appointed. Consideration of its scope must await the report of the Committee presided over by Lord Catto."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 7th May, 1952; Vol. 500. c. 384–5.]

Lieut.-Colonel Elliot

Will my right hon. Friend rest assured that the announcement of this prompt action will give great satisfaction throughout Scotland?

Mr. Speaker

Mr. John Taylor.

Major Lloyd

On a point of order. I have not yet had an opportunity of asking a supplementary question, and I should like one.

Mr. Speaker

I am sorry, I did look in the hon. and gallant Gentleman's direction but did not see him on his feet. Perhaps the fault was mine.