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asked the Minister of Labour if he will take administrative steps to implement the recommendations of the Franks Report regarding conscientious objectors' tribunals in relation to the age limits for tribunal service, the desirability of informal settings for tribunal meetings, the limitation of the practice of oath-taking, and the distribution to local tribunals of decisions of appellate tribunals in test cases.
It has been my policy for some time to appoint younger members of conscientious objector tribunals, and this will be continued. I also propose to bring to the notice of the tribunals the recommendations of the Committee on Administrative Tribunals and Enquiries, including the recommendations referred to by the hon. Member.
In thanking the Minister for that reply, may I ask him to give particular attention to the last point in the Question, which is a matter for the right hon. Gentleman himself: that is, the proposal that in view of the contradictory decisions by tribunals, the appellate tribunals should distribute decisions in test cases?
I agree with the hon. Member that that is, perhaps, the most important of the recommendations in the Franks Report, and we will direct special attention to it. I should not, however, like anything I say to be taken as interfering with the entire independence of the tribunals in the way that they conduct their affairs.