HC Deb 28 February 1956 vol 549 cc1009-10
70. Sir A. Gomme-Duncan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will, in future schemes published under the Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Act, 1943, make public the recommendations of the Fisheries Committee at the time of publication of such schemes.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

If an inquiry relating to a scheme is necessary the recommendations of the Fisheries Committee are published before the inquiry is opened; and they are always included in the White Paper which is published when a scheme is laid before Parliament. My right hon. Friend has given full consideration to suggestions that the recommendations should be made public at the time of the publication of schemes, but he has come to the conclusion that this would not be in the public interest.

Sir A. Gomme-Duncan

In view of the fact that this Committee is composed of great experts in their particular subjects, would it not have been helpful to owners and others concerned to have the benefit of its advice before decisions are made rather than after?

Mr. Stewart

We thought about that very carefully, and the view was that it was better to leave some room for negotiation after the Scheme had been published. My hon. and gallant Friend may be assured that we are thinking of this and have thought of it very carefully.