HC Deb 13 July 1961 vol 644 cc579-80
38. Mr. Owen

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now state the composition of the Forestry Inquiry Committee; when it commenced its work; and when he expects its report.

Mr. Soames

I imagine the hon. Gentleman is referring to a Consultative Committee for the Northumberland Forest Villages.

In my reply to my hon. Friend, the Member for Hexham (Mr. Speir) of 18th May, I said that this Committee had been set up. I must apologise for the fact that this was not correct. The position is that the formation of the Committee on the lines I described had been agreed by all sides, but the details of the constitution and terms of reference are still being discussed with the local union representatives. I hope that these will be agreed at a meeting which is taking place tomorrow, so that the Committee can be constituted.

The Committee is intended to provide a continuing means of consultation between the Commission and its employees in the area on local problems. It is not a Committee of Inquiry and will not be charged with the duty of reporting.

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