Transport Aircraft Requirements Committee (Secretariat)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Aviation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th November 1966.

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Photo of Mr Tim Fortescue Mr Tim Fortescue , Liverpool, Garston 12:00 am, 30th November 1966

asked the Minister of Aviation whether he has yet acted upon the recommendation of the Plowden Committee that a full-time secretariat should be appointed within his Department for the Transport Aircraft Requirements Committee.

Photo of Mr Julian Snow Mr Julian Snow , Lichfield and Tamworth

After discussion with the Transport Aircraft Requirements Committee last January, my Department concluded that a full-time secretariat is not justified. But the part time secretariat already provided by one of the administrative branches most closely concerned with civil aircraft has been strengthened so that it has more time to concentrate on T.A.R.C. matters.

Photo of Mr Tim Fortescue Mr Tim Fortescue , Liverpool, Garston

In view of the extremely harsh criticism of this Committee in the Plowden Committee's Report, can the House be assured that every possible action is being taken by this part-time secretariat to remove the causes for that criticism?

Photo of Mr Julian Snow Mr Julian Snow , Lichfield and Tamworth

Yes, Sir. I think that the steps which I have mentioned are an answer to the hon. Gentleman's question. We attach a lot of importance to its advice, but it does not take decisions.

Photo of Mr Robert Carr Mr Robert Carr , Mitcham

Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that not only was the efficacy of this Committee criticised in the Plowden Report, but that some years earlier at was criticised by the Estimates Committee as a result of an investigation? Should not these recommendations for further improvement be taken more seriously?

Photo of Mr Julian Snow Mr Julian Snow , Lichfield and Tamworth

I do not understand the right hon. Gentleman's question. Some improvement has been made, even if we have not accepted the full recommendations of the Plowden Committee. I might add that it is backed by a strong executive committee within the Department.