|Title||Departmental Select Committees|
The idea of departmental select committees in the House of Commons was floated as long ago as the Haldane Report in 1918 and periodically mooted by figures from both left and right as varied as Amery and Laski in the inter‐war years. It was raised again during the wartime investigations of the Machinery of Government committee, only to be shot down by the then Cabinet Secretary, Sir Edward Bridges, on the grounds that it would constrain the frankness with which the Civil Service could advise ministers. Departmental select committees were not to be introduced until 1979. Ten years ago the Institute of Contemporary British History organised a symposium to review their progress. On 31 January 1996 in committee room 10 at the House of Commons the ICBH, in conjunction with the Hansard Society, held another seminar to re‐examine the development of the departmental select committee system, its successes and failings. It was chaired by George Cunningham (Labour MP 1970–82, SDP MP 1982–83). The principal participants were Sir Peter Kemp (Deputy Secretary, Treasury 1983–88, Next Steps Project Manager, Cabinet Office, 1988–92), Douglas Millar (Clerk of Select Committees, House of Commons since 1994), Dr Ann Robinson (author of Parliament and Public Spending, head of the policy unit at the Institute of Directors [IOD], 1989–95 and Director‐General of the National Association of Pension Funds Ltd since 1995), Robert Sheldon (Labour MP since 1964, Financial Secretary to the Treasury 1974–75, member of the Public Accounts Committee [PAC] 1965–70 and 1975–79 and chairman since 1983, member, Public Expenditure Committee 1972–74, and member of the Treasury and Civil Service Committee [TCSC] 1979–81) and Sandy Walkington (head of corporate affairs at BT [British Telecom] plc), with further contributions from Peter Riddell (assistant editor: politics, The Times, since 1993), Chloe Miller, Sean McDougall, Tim King and Chris Stevens.
|Journal||Contemporary British History|
|Journal citation||11 (3), pp. 77-98|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1080/13619469708581450|
|Web address (URL)||http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13619469708581450|