HC Deb 29 November 1960 vol 631 cc184-5
17. Mr. Fletcher

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether the inquiry, which he announced on 24th May, into the work of the National Buildings Record and the corresponding work of the Ministry of Works and the English Royal Commission has now been completed; whether he will publish the report of the inquiry; whether he has yet set up a small working party under his own chairmanship to arrange the necessary reorganisation of the Government's various activities in this field; and when he expects to announce the Government's intentions.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Sir Edward Boyle)

The inquiry to which the hon. Member refers has now been completed but as it was a domestic inquiry by the Government it would be contrary to normal practice to publish the report. The working group under my chairmanship has now been formed to study the problem but its investigations will take some further time.

Mr. Fletcher

Will the Minister be good enough to indicate the scope of the investigations that the working party has carried out? Will he say whether it will also have the benefit of hearing the views of eminent persons in this field not connected with the Department?

Sir E. Boyle

In answer to the first part of the supplementary question, as my right hon. Friend indicated in an Answer on 22nd November, the working group will consider and where necessary reassess the nature, scope and organisation of all Exchequer financed work throughout Britain on identifying records and research into historical monuments and buildings. With regard to the second part of the supplementary question, I will bear in mind the importance of consulting the views of people outside.