HC Deb 18 March 1968 vol 761 cc17-8
22. Mr. Moonman

asked the Minister of Technology if he will consider making available a report of the inter-departmental committee meetings on European Technological Collaboration; how many meetings of the committee have taken place; and if he will make a statement on the future work of the committee.

Mr. Benn

No, Sir. For obvious reasons, details of the work or reports of interdepartmental committees are not made available.

Mr. Moonman

In an effort to sustain the interest and enthusiasm for European technological collaboration in this House and in other European Parliaments, will not my right hon. Friend reconsider the position, because clearly we ought to have some information available? Will Professor Sargent's duties also include this vital area of work?

Mr. Benn

The question about Professor Sargent is a separate issue, but I am happy to inform my hon. Friend that the professor will be advising me over the whole field. Attractive though the proposition is that we should publish the reports of inter-departmental official committees, government would be made quite impossible if that were to happen, and then there would be the additional problem of secret meetings of officials to avoid the risk of publication.