HC Deb 14 November 1972 vol 846 cc194-5
5. Mr. John Hall

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, following the Foster Report on Scientology, he has now completed on consultations with the relevant professional associations; and if he will make a statement.

Sir K. Joseph

I am considering the replies from the professional associations which I consulted and shall announce the Government's decision on the report's recommendations in due course.

Mr. Hall

I hope my right hon. Friend will forgive my saying that that is not unlike answers I have had before. It is now nearly three years since the investigation into the scientologists was initiated and 11 months since my right hon. Friend told the House that he was conducting consultations with the members of the profession. I hold no brief for the scientologists, but in fairness should they not be told whether they can operate in this country and in what conditions?

Sir K. Joseph

I have had to consider the comments received from the professional organisations I consulted and from a number of other bodies and individuals. I must have time to arrive at the right decision on this mass of material.

Mr. Hamling

Will the Secretary of State bear in mind how urgent the matter is, remembering that foreign scientologists who wish to come to this country and who have no criminal record and who are not criminals have been barred from coming here because of the dilatoriness of this inquiry?

Sir K. Joseph

Yes, but the hon. Gentleman would surely prefer a right decision to a speedy one.