Is it not time that the Government got a move on in this matter as it is now seven years since the problem was first officially identified with the appointment of the Younger Committee? Would it not be a good idea for the Government to give a commitment today of their intention to set up a data protection authority with licensing and enforcement powers?
As there is a need to make progress following these very lengthy consultations, will my hon. Friend give an undertaking that proposals will be contained in the next Queen's Speech?
I shall give no such undertaking. My undertaking is that when the committee brings forward proposals about the form and content of legislation we shall give them the closest possible examination.
Does the hon. Gentleman realise that most European countries, particularly the Federal Republic of Germany, already have statutes protecting the individual in this way and that we are way behind other people? Will he give the committee a prod to see that we get its report in the near future?
I am sure the committee is aware that its report is eagerly anticipated, but I cannot tell the hon. and learned Gentleman when it will be produced. The committee started work only four months ago. Hon. Members opposite always want two objectives—perfect solutions reached immediately, or sooner.