HC Deb 02 February 1965 vol 705 cc876-7
17. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he intends to introduce early legislation based on the Report of the Allen Committee.

31. Sir J. Eden

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether, in the light of the Allen Committee's Report, he proposes to make any changes in the rating system before next April so as to alleviate those areas which have been especially hard hit as a result of revaluation and subsequent increases in local government expenditure.

Mr. Crossman

The Report will provide valuable material for the Government's examination of local government finance and they will not delay, when this is concluded, in bringing forward legislation. But is must be obvious that legislation could not be in time to affect next year's rates.

Mr. Ridsdale

Is the Minister aware that he is being most tortoise-like in publishing the Report? Is the Minister aware that his Parliamentary Secretary has referred to this Report? Is it not high time that it was published?

Mr. Crossman

It is indeed high time, and that is why, as I explained on the last occasion that I was asked, we are hurrying on with it. As I told the House before, there are a number of very complicated statistical tables which have to be published. I can assure the hon. Member that there is not a great deal of political capital to be drawn by either side from this Report.

Sir J. Eden

Has not the Minister had the Report in his hands since his appointment, or at any rate for some months? What is holding up the publication of the Report itself? May we have an assurance that, together with the publication of the Report, will come some White Paper from the Government indicating their assessment of its views?

Mr. Crossman

I replied before that it would be an impertinence to the Committee to publish the Report without the statistical tables. Those statistical tables are a most important element in the Report. I do not know why I should have to say that once again to hon. Members.

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