HC Deb 16 November 1987 vol 122 c763
30. Mr. Winnick

To ask the Lord Privy Seal if he has any proposals to change the arrangements for the setting up of Select Committees.

Mr. Wakeham

No, Sir.

Mr. Winnick

Is the Leader of the House aware that it is totally unacceptable that there should be any kind of Tory veto as to which Labour Members serve on Select Committees, and that it is a form of impertinence to suggest or imply that active members of CND are too disloyal to serve on the Defence Committee? In view of the allegations made in a number of books it is intended to set up a further Select Committee to look into the Westland affair to ascertain who, if anyone, lied, and will the Committee be set up in such a way as to ensure that the civil servants involved can give evidence to it?

Mr. Wakeham

I do not think that the hon. Gentleman has much basis for some of his allegations. Select Committees are set up by the House. The House decides who shall serve on them. Every Member is entitled to express a view, but in the end Select Committees are set up by a decision of the House.

Mr. Higgins

They have not yet been set up, but under the present arrangements some Select Committees have been concerned with proposals to increase the resources going to the European Community. Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that Wednesday's debate will not pre-empt a decision and that the Committee will be given time to look into the matter before a final decision is taken?

Mr. Wakeham

I am not sure that I can give my right hon. Friend the undertaking that he wants, but I shall see to it that Select Committees are set up as soon as possible.