HC Deb 29 July 1963 vol 682 cc29-30
41. Mr. John Hall

asked the Attorney-General if the examination of the instances in which persons aggrieved can appeal against discretionary decisions has yet been completed; and if he will make a statement.

The Attorney-General (Sir John Hobson)

No. The examination of a number of instances in which there is at present no appeal has been completed: in one, which concerns the registration of fertiliser merchants, a form of appeal has been provided by Section 5(4) of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1963; in the others, Departments have recommended that no provision should be made for an appeal. A number of cases are, however, still under review.

Mr. Hall

Does my right hon. and learned Friend recollect that when, on 8th November, 1962, he announced the Government's ill-advised rejection of the Whyatt Committee's proposals, it was stated that the Government had undertaken a detailed review of the extent to which aggrieved persons could appeal against discretionary decisions? Is it not taking a very long time indeed to complete this review in its entirety, even for those who are handicapped by legal training?

The Attorney-General

A very large number of decisions have been taken about cases, of this nature and were decided some time ago. There was a residuum of cases, about half of which have already been decided, and there is a small number—nine in all, I think—which are still outstanding. That is the extent to which decisions are still awaited.

Sir G. Nicholson

For the benefit of those who are not handicapped by any knowledge of the subject, can my right hon. and learned Friend state how many cases there are?

The Attorney-General

There were over 120 cases to begin with and about nine are still outstanding.

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