Examination of Witnesses (Questions 100-104)|
BLUNKETT, MP AND
TUESDAY 23 OCTOBER 2001
100. I see. Is anything being done to try to
progress that to the extent that there will be a much larger response
(Mr Blunkett) Yes. I am reviewing it but I am not
going to make decisions at the moment because of the workload
that I have.
101. It is encouraging that you will be reviewing
it, Home Secretary. Could you just clarify this point. I have
asked about the existing members of the police force, however
those who have successfully applied to join the police force in
the first instance, is it a condition of their joining that they
disclose whether or not they are a Freemason?
(Mr Blunkett) No, it is not, but I am very happy to
consider the issue within the review that you have just eked out
102. Am I right in thinking that you have the
lead across Government for the policy on openness as regards Freemasonry?
(Mr Blunkett) If I have then it is news
to me because I have got enough cross-Government policies to last
me a lifetime. If I have I will come back to you on that and let
you know because if I have I will suitably adopt my responsibilities.
103. The reason why I mention that is that during
my brief visit to Government at the DETR we were told to delay
our plans as regards, for example, planning inspectors because
the Home Office had the lead and they would be in touch shortly.
That was about a year ago.
(Mr Blunkett) Well everyone seems to
have their own definition of what "shortly" means, Chairman.
As far as I am concerned, shortly does mean slightly less than
a year but I am sure no-one intended to mislead. I will find out
and let you know. I knew that at the end of a couple of hours
there would be one or two googlies when you were feeling particularly
low. God bless you.
104. Thank you, Home Secretary. God bless you
too. If you would send us a note about that, that would resolve
that. Can I thank you for answering questions across the full
range of your enormous brief with your customary patience and
good humour and say we look forward to seeing you again.
(Mr Blunkett) Thank you very much, Chairman.
6 See Appendix 2 p 18.