The Government have decided to set up a Royal Commission to investigate the Birth Rate and Trends of Population, and I am happy to say that my Noble Friend the Lord Chancellor has accepted the Chairmanship. The other members of the Commission will be announced as soon as practicable. The Terms of Reference of the Commission will be as follow:
The Government have also decided to set on foot immediately a number of inquiries of a technical kind. The exact scope and character of these investigations will be determined in consultation with the Chairman of the Commission. The results will, of course, be made available to the Commission as soon as possible, and it is expected that in the meantime the Commission will find it practicable to explore and take evidence upon the more general issues connected with the subject."To examine the facts relating to the present population trends in Great Britain; to investigate the causes of these trends and to consider their probable consequences; to consider what measures, if any, should be taken in the national interest to influence the future trend of population; and to make recommendations."
In view of the urgency of this matter can my right hon. Friend assure us that this Royal Commission will report more quickly than has been the custom of Royal Commissions in the past?
I hope it will report as quickly as it can.
Will my right hon. Friend consider placing on this Commission a housing expert representing all countries, in view of the fact that housing, particularly in Scotland, reacts very much against any increase in the birth-rate?
That point will be considered.