HC Deb 06 February 1956 vol 548 c1330
48. Mr. Palmer

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will make available to Parliament a record of the evidence given to the Committee, under the chairmanship of Sir Edwin Herbert, which has recently reported on the electricity supply industry.

Mr. Aubrey Jones

No, Sir.

Mr. Palmer

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some of the evidence has already been published by the associations and organisations which submitted evidence? In view of the more controversial passages in this interesting report, would it not be of value to the House if we could now have the whole evidence so that we could judge the whole matter quite fairly?

Mr. Jones

Whether any organisation submitting evidence to the Committee wishes to publish that evidence is a matter for itself. The Committee itself decided that it ought not to publish the entire evidence, and I see no reason to intervene or differ from its decision.

Mr. Callaghan

While appreciating that the Committee may have some good reasons for coming to this conclusion, can the Minister tell us why, if there is general interest in this matter, it would not be possible to put the evidence in the Library?

Mr. Jones

Surely the answer is that much of the evidence submitted was of a confidential nature and it would not have been procurable had it been thought that there would be publication. To publish the non-confidential evidence would give quite a misleading impression, and to publish the confidential evidence would be a breach of faith.