HC Deb 11 December 1967 vol 756 cc31-2
40. Mr. Cant

asked the Lord President of the Council when he proposes to move to appoint a Select Committee on Economic and Financial Affairs.

Mr. Crossman

I explained my proposals for Select Committees this Session on 14th November, but I will certainly bear this possibility in mind.

Mr. Cant

Does my hon. Friend feel, following the economic events of the last few weeks, that there is or is not a special urgency attaching to this type of Select Committee dealing with a most critical phase of policy-making in the House?

Mr. Crossman

I do not think that we ought to appoint Select or Specialist Committees in terms of current difficulties. There has always been a strong case for committees of this kind, and that case has been strengthened by what has been happening recently.

44. Mr. Marquand

asked the Lord President of the Council whether he will move for the establishment of anad hocSpecialist Committee to examine the social costs involved in the Government's fuel policy.

Mr. Crossman

As I said to my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Mr. Cant), I explained my proposals for Select Committees this Session on 14th November. This particular aspect of fuel policy has been, and is being, taken into account.

Mr. Marquand

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that if we are to have the sort of effective virile committee system which he believes in, they ought to be able to take up particularly urgent topics of public concern, as well as looking at other issues, and that this one, because of the interest that it arouses in mining constituencies in particular, would be a very good candidate for an ad hoc Specialist Committee?

Mr. Crossman

As my hon. Friend will notice, the number of candidates increases with the number of questions asked. This is a serious question, but whether we should ask a Specialist Com- mittee to be solely devoted to examining the social costs involved in this matter is questionable.