HC Deb 03 March 1966 vol 725 cc372-85W
Q17. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Prime Minister how many Royal Commissions, committees of inquiry, and other similar bodies have been established during the lifetime of the present Government; how many persons were appointed to serve on them; what was the cost to the taxpayer; and what were the corresponding figures for the last 18 months of the previous Government.

The Prime Minister

In reply to the first part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer I gave to a similar Question today by the hon. Member for Torrington (Mr. Peter Mills). The answer to the rest of the Question is "No, Sir. The information could only be obtained at a disproportionate cost to public funds".

Mr. Peter Mills

asked the Prime Minister if he will publish details of each commission or committee appointed by Her Majesty's Government since January, 1963, which has not yet reported, showing its name, chairman, terms of reference, and estimated date of report.

The Prime Minister

Yes The particulars are as follows:

Name of Commissions, Committees, etc. Chairman Terms of Reference Estimated Date of Report
Royal Commission on the Penal System. The Rt. Hon. Viscount Amory, G.C.M.G. In the light of modern knowledge of crime and its causes and of modern penal practice here and abroad, to re-examine the concepts and purposes which should underlie the punishment and treatment of offenders in England and Wales; to report how far they are realised by the penalties and methods of treatment available to the courts, and whether any changes in these, or in the arrangements and responsibility for selecting the sentences to be imposed on particular offenders, are desirable: to review the work of the services and institutions dealing with offenders and the responsibility for their administration: and to make recommendations. Not yet known.
Royal Commission on the Tribunals of Enquiry (Evidence) Act 1921. The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Salmon. To review the working of the Tribunals of Enquiry (Evidence) Act 1921, and to consider whether it should be retained or replaced by some other procedure and, if retained, whether any changes are necessary or desirable; and to make recommendations. Not yet known.
Royal Commission on Trade Unions and Employers' Associations. The Rt. Hon. Lord Donovan. To consider relations between managements and employees and the rôle of trade unions and employers' associations in promoting the interests of their members and in accelerating the social and economic advance of the nation, with particular reference to the law affecting the activities of these bodies; and to report. Not yet known.
Royal Commission on Medical Education. Lord Todd To review medical education, undergraduate and post-graduate in Great Britain and in the light of national needs and resources, including technical assistance overseas, to advise Her Majesty's Government on what principles future development (including it's planning and co-ordination) should be based. In particular in the light of these principles and having regard to the statutory functions of the General Medical Council and the current review by that Council of recent changes in the undergraduate curriculum to consider what changes may be needed in the pattern, number, nature or location of the institutions providing medical education or in it's general content; and to report. August, 1967.
Royal Commissions on Local Government in England and Scotland respectively. Not yet announced Not yet announced Not yet known.

Name of Commissions, Committees, etc. Chairman Terms of Reference Estimated Date of Report
Legal Records The Rt. Hon. Lord Denning. To consider the classes of records existing or accruing in the various offices of the Supreme Court (including records of the Admiralty Registry, records created in contentious probate proceedings and records of the Supreme Court Pay Office), in the District Registries of the High Court, in the High Court of Bankruptcy and in the County Courts and those transferred to the Public Record Office and to advise which classes of those records should be permanently preserved and for what purposes and to recommend the periods for which the other classes of those records should be retained; and to advise whether, with a view to saving storage space, any arrangements should be made for the microfilming of any of the above-mentioned legal records. Very shortly.
Succession Rights of Illegitimate Persons. The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Russell. To consider whether any alterations are desirable in the law of succession in England and Wales and in Scotland in relation to illegitimate persons. Very shortly.
Mechanical Recording of Court Proceedings. The Hon. Mr. Justice Baker. To consider and advise on schemes for mechanical recording of court proceedings; for the transcription of material so recorded, and all matters incidental thereto. Summer, 1966.
Enforcement of Court Orders for Payment of Debts. The Hon. Mr. Justice Payne. To consider whether any changes are desirable in the law and practice in the High Court and the County Courts and (in relation to their civil jurisdiction) the Magistrates' Courts relating to the recovery of debts and the enforcement of orders for the payment of money or the delivery of goods; whether the Courts should have power to postpone the operation of an order for the possession of mortgaged property; and to make recommendations. End of 1966.
Age of Majority The Hon. Mr. Justice Latey. To consider whether any changes are desirable in the law relating to contracts made by persons under 21 and to their power to hold and dispose of property, and in the law relating to marriage by such persons, and the power to make them wards of court. Spring, 967.
Personal Injuries Litigation. The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Winn. To consider the jurisdiction and procedure of the courts in actions for personal injuries; in particular to consider whether such actions as are at present brought in the High Court should be capable of being brought in courts having a simpler and more speedy procedure; whether the question of liability and the assessment of damages should be dealt with separately; and what measures are practicable in order to avoid duplication where both civil and criminal liability is involved. Not yet known.

Name of Commissions, Committees, etc. Chairman Terms of Reference Estimated Date of Report
The Civil Service Lord Fulton To examine the structure, recruitment and management, including training, of the Home Civil Service and to recommend any changes which they think necessary to ensure that the Service is properly equipped for its rôle in the modern state. Not yet known.
Employment of Civilians in Support of Armed Forces. Sir Henry Wilson Smith, K.C.B., K.B.E. To examine the employment of civilians in support of the Armed Forces and to recommend whether any changes are desirable in the balance between military and civilian personnel in the interests of economy and efficiency and, if so, how they should be achieved. 1967.
Service Colleges Professor M. E. Howard, M.C., and Mr. C. R. English. (This is a two-man Committee with three assessors from the Services.) (a) To recommend what measures might lead to greater efficiency and economy in Service training at undergraduate and graduate level. Towards the end of 1966.
(b) To examine whether it is desirable and practicable, as a long-term measure, to concentrate in one place the whole or part of the training resources of the Service Colleges at Dartmouth, Manadon, Greenwich, Sandhurst, Shrivenham and Cranwell.
(c) The examination should take account of the report of the Committee on the Implications for the Services of National Developments in Education. It should also take account of the implications in terms of capital expenditure of changes in present arrangements.
Criminal Statistics Mr. Wilfred Perks To consider and report what changes, if any, are desirable in existing arrangements in England and Wales for the recording and reporting for statistical purposes of information about criminal offences and proceedings, and about non-criminal proceedings in magistrates' courts, and in the collection and presentation of statistics relating to these matters. Not yet known.
Coroners and Death Certification. Mr. Norman Broderick, Q.C. To review:— 1967.
(a) the law and practice relating to the issues of medical certificates of the cause of death and for the disposal of dead bodies; and
(b) the law and practice relating to coroners and coroners' courts, the reporting of death to the coroner and related matters; and to see what changes are desirable.
Local Authority Personal Social Services Mr. F. Seebohm, T.D. To review the organisation and responsibilities of the Local Authority personal social services and to consider what changes are desirable to secure an effective family service Not yet known.

Name of Commissions, Committees, etc. Chairman Terms of Reference Estimated Date of Report
Immigration Appeals Sir Roy Wilson Q.C. To consider whether any, and if so what rights of appeal or other remedies should be available to aliens and Commonwealth citizens refused admission to, or required to leave the country. Later this year.
Conveyancing Legisation land Practice. Professor J. M. Halliday. To examine and report on existing conveyancing legislation and practice in relation to heritable and moveable property and to make recommendations with a view to amending or new legislation. Spring 1966.
Registration of Title Professor G. L. F. Henry. To prepare, in the light of the Report by Lord Reid's Committee (Cmnd. 2032), a detailed scheme for the introduction and operation of registration of title to land in Scotland with a view to the preparation of a Registration of Title Bill. Not yet known.
Sheriff Court Records. Sheriff Margaret H. Kidd, Q.C. To consider the periods for which particular categories of Sheriff Court records should be preserved and the arrangements for their transmission to the Scottish Record Office. Summer 1966.
Local Authority Records. Mr. James McBoyle, C.B.E., D.L. To examine the arrangements for the custody, preservation and destruction of local authority records in Scotland and to make recommendations. Autumn 1966.
Sheriff Courts The Rt. Hon. Lord Grant, T.D., Q.C. (1) To inquire into the appropriate function of the sheriff court in the administration of the civil and criminal law of Scotland, and to consider its constitution and jurisdiction in relation thereto; Autumn 1966.
(2) to consider the number and distribution of sheriff courts;
(3) to inquire into the present organisation practice and procedure of the sheriff court;
(4) to inquire into the existing rights of appeal from the decisions of the sheriff court in civil and criminal cases;
(5) to consider what changes, if any, might be desirable with respect to any of the said matters in order to secure the more speedy, economical and satisfactory dispatch of civil and criminal business; and to report.
Criminal Statistics Lord Thomson, Q.C. To review the present arrangements for the recording, reporting, collection and presentation of the Scottish criminal statistics, and to report what changes, if any, may be desirable. Summer 1967.
General Medical Services in the Highlands and Islands. Lord Birsay To consider the arrangements for the provision of general medical services in the Highlands and Islands within the framework of the health services generally; and to make recommendations. Mid-1966.

Name of Commissions, Committees, etc. Chairman Terms of Reference Estimated Date of Report
Inducements to Teachers to serve in areas of serious teacher shortage. Dame Jean Roberts D.B.E. Having regard to the serious shortage of teachers in certain parts of Scotland to consider measures to secure a more equitable distribution of teachers and to make recommendations. June, 1966.
Highland Transport Board. Mr. R. H. W. Bruce To keep under review the needs of the Highlands for transport services by land, by sea and air and after consultation with the transport operators concerned to advise on the most economic ways of meeting these needs adequately and efficiently. December, 1966.
Central Advisory Council for Education (England). Lady Plowden To consider primary education in all its aspects, and the transition to secondary education. July, 1966.
Central Advisory Council for Education (Wales). Professor C. E. Gittens. To consider primary education in all its aspects, and the transition to secondary education. End of 1966.
The Public Schools Commission. Sir John Newsom, C.B.E. To advise on the best way of integrating the public schools with the State system of education. Not yet known.
The Lewis Committee. Professor M. M. Lewis. To consider the place, if any, of finger spelling and signing in the education of the deaf. 31st December, 1966.
Working Party on Pension Rights for Part-time Teachers. Mr. W. D. Pile, M.B.E. To consider whether, and on what terms, the service of part-time teachers might become pensionable within the teachers' superannuation scheme; to examine any adjustments in the present arrangements for full-time teachers; that might be necessary to extend pension rights to part-time teachers; and to make recommendations for consideration by the bodies represented on the working party. Later 1966.
Computer Education Mr. J. P. Carswell To consider what steps can be usefully taken in the educational system to improve the supply of trained personnel working with computers, in the light of expected demand for such personnel. Summer, 1966.
Educational Psychologists. Professor A. Summerfield. To consider the field of work of educational psychologists, employed by local education authorities and the qualifications and training necessary; to estimate the number of psychologists required; and to make recommendations. 31st December, 1966
People in Local Government:
1. Management Committee. Sir John Maud, G.C.B., C.B.E. To consider in the light of modern conditions, how local government might best continue to attract and retain people (both elected representatives and principal officers) of the calibre necessary to ensure its maximum effectiveness. Mid-1966.
2. Staffing Committee Sir George Mallaby, K.C.M.G., O.B.E. To consider the existing methods of recruiting local government officers and of using them; and what changes might help local authorities to get the best possible service and help their officers to give it. Mid-1966.

(These two Committees were set up by The Minister of Housing and Local Government at the request of the four main local authority associations).

Name of Commissions, Committees, etc. Chairman Terms of Reference Estimated Date of Report
Chemical Analysis of Sewage, Sewage Effluents and Trade Effluents. Dr. A. Key To revise the report entitled "Methods of Chemical Analysis as applied to Sewage and Sewage Effluents" and now to include Trade Effluents and certain aspects of Water Analysis. 1968.
Disposal of Toxic Wastes. Dr. A. Key To consider present methods of disposal of solid and semi-solid toxic wastes from the chemical and allied industries, to examine suggestions for improvement, and to advise what, if any, changes are desirable in current practice, in the facilities available for disposal, and in control arrangements, in order to ensure that such wastes are disposed of safely and without risk of polluting water supplies and rivers. 1967.
Court of Inquiry into the Solihull Car Delivery Dispute. Mr. A. J. Scamp, J.P. To inquire into the causes and circumstances of the dispute between Motor Vehicles Collection Ltd. and Avon Car Transporters Ltd. both of Solihull, on the one hand, and their respective employees on the other hand. Shortly.
Statutory Smallholdings. Professor M. J. Wise, M.C. To review and report on the working of existing legislation relating to smallholdings provided by County Councils and other authorities in England and Wales, to investigate their economic position in relation to estates owned or managed by them and their current management problems having regard to their statutory responsibilities; and to advise in the light of this review:— Interim Report received on 15th February. Final Report expected before end of 1966.
(a) on the future provision that should be made for smallholdings, including their use and management, and on any statutory or other changes that might accordingly be desirable having regard to all relevant factors, including developments in general agricultural policy and practice;
(b) on the form which any future financial support might take;
(c) on the division of administrative responsibility between central and local government or other authorities.
Trends in road vehicle design. Lord Kings Norton To advise the Minister on future trends in the design of power-driven road vehicles, with particular reference to their use in towns. Autumn 1966.
The Relationship of the Pharmaceutical industry with the National Health Service. Lord Sainsbury To examine the relationship of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Great Britain with the National Health Service having regard to the structure of the industry, to the commercial policy of the firms comprising it, to pricing and sales promotion practices, to the effects of patents, and to the relevance and value of research; and to make recommendations. Mid-1967.

Name of Commissions, Committees, etc. Chairman Terms of Reference Estimated Date of Report
Allotments Professor Harry Thorpe. To review general policy on allotments in the light of present-day conditions in England and Wales and to recommend what legislative and other changes, if any, are needed. April, 1968.