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Departmental Report

Volume 889: debated on Tuesday 25 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will consider the publication of an annual or biennial report of his Department, similar to the reports of the previous Ministry of Housing and Local Government.

This question was given detailed consideration in 1971, shortly after my Department was created. The then Secretary of State decided, on the evidence of a working party which devoted six months of research and consultation to the matter, that the needs of those who sought policy, technical, or other information about the Department of the Environment would be better served by various separate publications than by a compendium which would be costly to produce, inevitably selective, and largely out of date before it was published. On reviewing the evidence I have found no cause to dissent from my predecessor's decision.As the hon. Member is no doubt aware, my Department produces an annual list of publications, which usefully tabulates the very wide range of subjects on which my Department renders an account of its activities.