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New Towns Commission, Crawley (Chairman)

Volume 722: debated on Tuesday 21 December 1965

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asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether, in view of the concern over the circumstances of General Sir Neville Brown-john's resignation as Chairman of the New Towns Commission for Crawley, he will publish the correspondence between himself and General Brownjohn.

Does the Minister realise that by his refusal to publish the correspondence between himself and General Sir Neville Brownjohn, although I am sure that the General will be very grateful to hear what the right hon. Gentleman has to say, he has cast a slur upon the reputation of a very distinguished officer and public servant? Does he appreciate that an appointment as Chairman of the New Towns Commission has never been considered previously as a party political appointment, and does he not realise that his new appointment smacks of political jobbery of the worst and most odious kind?

It seems to me that the slur is going to be cast on the Minister, and not on the General. Of course there is no slur on the General by not publishing the correspondence between him and me. I said that he could publish if he wished. As for the members of the Commission, it seems to me that those should be appointed who have the confidence of the local council irrespective of the party to which they belong, and that was the principle on which I decided.

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the Ministers' reply, I shall seek an early opportunity to raise the matter on the Adjournment.