HC Deb 12 December 1968 vol 775 cc568-9
36. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to invite each of the political parties, including minority parties, to nominate members for inclusion on the Constitutional Commission.

Mr. Callaghan

No, Sir. I am very ready to consider suggestions, but I am not proceeding by inviting nominated representatives as such.

Mr. Hamilton

Is it not desirable that all political parties should have a chance of fully expressing their views either through being members of the Commission itself or in giving evidence to it, written or oral?

Mr. Callaghan

Yes, Sir; I regard it as important that every political party should submit evidence, whether oral or written, though it is not for me at this stage to say whether they should be represented on the Commission. I hope, also, that the chairman will decide to take evidence in public so that the debate may continue and people may know exactly what propositions are being advanced.

Mrs. Ewing

Is the right hon. Gentleman able to say at this point how many Scots domiciled in Scotland will be on the Commission? Second, does he propose to make a take-over bid for some of the personnel of the Tory commission?

Mr. Callaghan

I cannot say at this stage how many Scots there will be on the Commission, because this will be a matter on which the Government would wish to consult the chairman when he is appointed. As regards the Conservative commission, we should be willing to look at everyone on his or her merits. I do not know whether any of them would be qualified on those grounds.