HC Deb 15 February 1966 vol 724 cc1091-2
15. Mr. Biffen

asked the Minister of Technology if he has received a report on the cyclical pattern of machine tool ordering from the working party appointed to study this subject; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Cousins

I expect to receive the working party's report within the next few weeks. I shall consider making a statement when I have received it.

Mr. Biffen

Is the Minister aware that that is a thoroughly unsatisfactory and disappointing Answer? Is he aware that on 7th December he told us that he expected to receive this Report "very shortly"? Is he aware that he is establishing an unhappily ponderous and disappointing gestation period for reports of the Ministry of Technology?

Mr. Cousins

As what could be described as a final draft Report has not yet been agreed by the members of the working party, it is obviously impossible for me to talk about it, but I have said that I intend to bring this Report forward as soon as it can possibly be done. As one would expect, hon. Members on both sides have asked me to give the closest consideration to the matter before taking decisions, because of the complicated nature of the problems facing the machine tool industry.