HC Deb 25 March 1941 vol 370 cc414-5
46. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Prime Minister whether the judge appointed to investigate into the prima facie cases arising out of the Report of the Select Committee on National Expenditure will be authorised to receive documentary evidence in addition to that which was before the Select Committee?

47. Mr. Stokes

asked the Prime Minister whether he will give the reasons for which he decided to refer the Report of the Select Committee on Army Camps to a judge of the High Court, rather than to the Law Officers of the Crown or the Public Prosecutor?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Attlee)

The Select Committee did not find that there was a prima facie case that any serious offence had been committed. The Government have decided to ask a judge of the High Court to examine the papers to see if there is such a case. It is considered that a judge would be the most suitable person for the task. The question of procedure will be a matter for discussion with him, and ultimately for him, at a later stage.

Sir W. Smithers

Can the right hon. Gentleman give a satisfactory reason for the Government's unwillingness to go into these serious matters, as revealed by the Report of the Select Committee, by means of a public inquiry, and is he aware that the public is insistent that an inquiry should be made at once?

Mr. Attlee

I gave the reasons in replying to the hon. Member on a former occasion.

Sir W. Smithers

But they were not satisfactory.