Clause 7. — (Local interests to be consulted.)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th January 1948.

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Photo of Mr Evelyn Strachey Mr Evelyn Strachey , Dundee 12:00 am, 20th January 1948

I beg to move, in page 5, line 8, at the end, to insert: A committee appointed for the purposes of this Subsection shall, unless it appears to the Corporation to be impracticable, include persons having knowledge of the circumstances and requirements of the inhabitants of the territory obtained by their being or having been themselves inhabitants thereof or residents therein. This is a very simple Amendment and one which we hope goes some way at any rate to meet points made quite strongly by some of my hon. Friends with the sympathy of the whole Committee upstairs. We are seeking to ensure that in their activities these Corporations are guided and aided to the very maximum degree possible by all the local knowledge at their disposal or which can be brought to their disposal. There is absolutely no difference about the purpose for which we do that. The Advisory Committees which are set up for this purpose should be as broad as we can make them and that is why we suggest the addition of these words.

This was the best form of words which the Parliamentary draftsmen could find to meet the useful suggestions made upstairs. We did not want to go as far in our form of words as my hon. Friend the Member for Epping (Mrs. Manning) wishes to go, in her Amendment on the Order Paper to the Amendment we are discussing, namely, in line 1, to leave out from "shall," to "include," in line 2. She wanted to make it mandatory on the Corporations to include in these committees persons who were inhabitants of or who were native to the particular territory in which the scheme was operating. We thought that a little too narrow because, for example, the best man obtainable for an advisory committee on the groundnut scheme might not be a native of Tanganyika itself; he might have been born in Uganda or Kenya or one of the other East African territories. So we did not want to put down a residential qualification, like a county cricketer, but with my hon. Friend's purpose we are in the strongest sympathy, and we hope that this Amendment will go some way at any rate to meet her very legitimate point.