HC Deb 02 November 1966 vol 735 cc455-6
37. Mr. Palmer

asked the Lord President of the Council when he will announce the appointment of the Select Committee on Science and Technology.

Mr. Crossman

I hope to satisfy my hon. Friend when we have the promised debate on procedure.

Mr. Palmer

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this proposal attracted wide support on both sides of the House? Such a Committee has been talked about for months and months and many of us are anxious for action. Will my right hon. Friend bring his reforming energy to bear?

Mr. Crossman

I cannot go further before the debate takes place.

Mr. Heath

Why is it necessary to wait for the debate on procedure? The Opposition gave their agreement to this on 28th April last. The right hon. Gentleman or his predecessor could perfectly well have put down a Motion on the Order Paper. The House would accept such a Motion and the Committee could be established.

Mr. Crossman

It may be that the right hon. Gentleman would like to do it that way, but I thought it better that the whole question of specialist committees should have an overall answer and should not be dealt with bit by bit.