HC Deb 02 February 1961 vol 633 cc1176-7
34. Mr. Woodhouse

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many times the National Advisory Council for the Motor Manufacturing Industry have met since the beginning of October, 1960; and on how many of those occasions a Minister was present.

Mr. Maudling

Twice. On one of these occasions I was present.

Mr. Woodhouse

I thank my right hon. Friend for that information. Will he bear in mind the widespread feeling in the industry that this Council, excellent though its composition is, would be more effective and dynamic if it had a Minister as its chairman and was not conducted on the Government side merely at the official level?

Mr. Maudling

That is the opposite of the normal criticism. It is usually suggested that Ministers are not dynamic in their chairmanship of these bodies. The Council can meet as often as the members want it to. I think that the present arrangements are probably the best, but I will be happy to consider any alternatives that members of the Council put forward.

Mr. Edelman

Will the Minister consider publishing reports of the proceedings of this Council? There is great interest in this matter, and the industry would like to know what sort of advice has been tendered to him and his reaction to it.

Mr. Maudling

As the industry is represented both by employers and workpeople on the Council, I think that it should look to the representatives for information. Publication of the reports of meetings may detract from the value and freedom of the discussions.