HC Deb 13 July 1971 vol 821 cc198-9
15. Mr. John Hall

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to decide whether to publish the Foster Report on Scientology.

Sir K. Joseph

I have not yet completed my consideration of the report.

Mr. Hall

What special considerations are making it difficult for my right hon. Friend to announce a decision? As it is nearly 18 months since the committee was set up, should not the general public as well as the scientologists themselves know whether there is any justification for the criticisms and accusations that have been made against the scientologists?

Sir K. Joseph

It was not a committee that was set up. My predecessor took the relatively unusual step of appointing one man, a very distinguished hon. and learned Friend of myself and my hon. Friend—the Member for Northwich (Sir J. Foster)—and the result is a lengthy document which I must have time to consider.

Mr. William Price

Will the Secretary of State give an assurance that he will not take as long to make up his mind about publishing the report as the hon. and learned Member for Northwich (Sir J. Foster) did to prepare it without ever having called any oral evidence? Is it not strange that four years after the Ministerial allegations were made against this group of people, whatever the rights or wrongs of it they still to this day do not know the allegations made against them?

Sir K. Joseph

It is for a number of considerations, including some of those, that I think I am right to take time to consider the report.