§ Mr. R. Morgan
asked the Minister of Information whether he can make any statement on the decision of the Worcester Local Information Committee to disband itself; and whether the principle of local autonomy is involved?
§ Mr. Thurtle
The Worcester Information Committee decided at a meeting held on 9th June to cease its activities because its members were unwilling to accept a definition of the powers of local committees circulated in April last. In particular they objected to the proviso reserving to the Minister the right to disband a committee or to suspend a committee member. Without a provision of this character no Minister could accept responsibility for the1962W actions of local committees, and they would accordingly become independent of Parliamentary control. It was therefore impossible to yield on the principle at issue and, as the Worcester Committee was unwilling to alter its attitude, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster felt compelled to accept the resignation of its members.