HC Deb 21 July 1960 vol 627 cc715-6
32. Mr. Ginsburg

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in view of the recommendations contained in paragraph 45 of the Departmental report on the powers of subpoena of disciplinary tribunals, whether he is satisfied that the list of disciplinary bodies at present lacking express statutory powers, contained in appendix B.2 to the report, is complete; and if he will make a statement.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Renton)

Appendix B does not purport to be a complete list of bodies that might possibly be described as disciplinary tribunals; but in so far as it deals with disciplinary tribunals of the statutory bodies set up to regulate the conduct of professions, my right hon. Friend has no reason to think that it is not complete.

Mr. Ginsburg

While thanking the hon. and learned Gentleman for that reply, may I ask if he is aware that it could be argued that the disciplinary tribunals set up under the Agricultural Marketing Acts could, under the terms of the Simonds Committee's Report, be given the power to subpoena witnesses? Is not this a very deplorable recommendation and a strong reason why the House should have an opportunity of debating this very controversial Report?

Mr. Renton

There are various bodies which could be described as disciplinary tribunals, including, as the hon. Member suggested, those under the Agricultural Marketing Acts, but this Committee was concerned with disciplinary tribunals which concern professional conduct, and from that point of view the list appears to be complete.

Mr. Gordon Walker

Is the Joint Under-Secretary aware that many hon. Members on both sides of the House feel that we ought to have, or ought to have had, an opportunity to debate the Simonds Committee's Report? Although I realise that we cannot be told about work for next Session, will he bear in mind that this is a very important Report and that we ought to have had a chance to discuss it in the House?