HC Deb 06 May 1968 vol 764 cc18-9
22. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Minister of Technology if he will place a copy of the interim report of the working party on hydrofoils in the Library.

Mr. Fowler

No, Sir. The interim report was prepared for my right hon. Friend's information and contains commercial confidential information.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

As there has been a great deal of interest in this report, especially among hon. Members who want to make an objective study of the merits of hovercraft and hydrofoils, and as the report is prepared at public expense, should it not be made available to Members of Parliament?

Mr. Fowler

We appreciate the hon. Member's interest, but I must ask him to contain himself for the time being. This is an interim report and the preparation of a special version for the House of Commons Library could hold up the working party. The resulting version would not be very useful in any case.

Mr. David Price

Will the hon. Gentleman look at this again? I am sure my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Gresham Cooke) would be content if certain bits were excluded, but Members of Parliament are in a particularly difficult position over getting information on subjects such as this in which they take a continuing interest. It may be of benefit to the Department. Some hon. Members are prepared to do their homework on this matter but they are unable to do it on their own.

Mr. Fowler

We appreciate that and we are grateful for the interest taken in this question by hon. Members on both sides of the House, but the resulting report would be of little interest to anyone. My right hon. Friend hopes to receive a further report in the middle of the year and we hope to reach more definite conclusions. That would be the best time to consider publication of such a report.