HC Deb 02 May 1975 vol 891 cc262-3W
Mr. Graham

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services who will succeed Lord Collison as Chairman of the Supplementary Benefits Commission when he retires in September this year and if she will make a statement about the role of the commission.

Mrs. Castle

I am glad to announce that Professor David Donnison, at present Director of the Centre for Environmental Studies, and Deputy Chairman of the Commission, has accepted my invitation to succeed Lord Collison as chairman.

I should like to pay warm tribute to Lord Collison. Under his chairmanship for over five formative years the commission has developed a positive attitude to its rôle. It has been active in research and has provided valuable advice on many policy issues, which on occasion has been published, and it has done much to promote better public understanding of its work. I congratulate Lord Collison and his colleagues on this dynamic interpretation of their responsibilities. I should like to see it yet further developed, and Professor Donnison is entirely in accord with this approach.

Accordingly, I intend to make greater use of the commission as an advisory body in referring issues to it for advice and report—which would ordinarily be published—and in looking to it for ideas on research in its field and on priorities for development of policies as and when resources permit, and, more generally, for promotion of studies of future development of social policies. I also propose to restore the practice of a separate annual report by the commission in which, in addition to the usual statistical material, it would be free to comment on developments and express views about priorities.

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