HC Deb 15 April 1970 vol 799 cc1385-6
40. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Lord President of the Council how many reports issued over the last five years by Departments have not yet been brought before the House for debate; and whether he will list them.

Mr. Peart

I am afraid that this information is not available.

Dame Irene Ward

Am I to understand that a register has not been kept of the various types of report to which I have referred? If that is so, does not the right hon. Gentleman think that it is very bad administration? Does he regard it as fair to ask committees, often composed of very competent, hard-working people, to take an immense amount of time studying problems which are referred to them by the Government if we then never debate them and the Government do not even have the courtesy—and probably the Opposition did not either—to keep a list of the subjects which have been gone into by these important, hard-worked bodies so that we, the House of Commons, should know what laxity there is in debating reports?

Mr. Peart

I do not know about laxity. There are many reports—for example the report of the Ministry of Technology on the structure and behaviour of laminar separation bubbles in September, 1969, or the Meteorological Office monthly weather reports. I do not want to waste the time of the House on these matters or to have more civil servants collecting useless information.

Mr. Maudling

The right hon. Gentleman has explained why the information required is complicated. He has not explained why it is not available.

Mr. Peart

It is not available because we have no personnel collecting statistics on this.

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