57. AMENDED PROPOSAL CONCERNING EXCEPTIONAL
ASSISTANCE FOR THE HEAVILY INDEBTED ACP COUNTRIES (7783/98)
Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of
the Committee to Helen Liddell MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury
As you will be aware this is an important proposal,
on a subject which is likely to become increasingly topical over
the next two years. Sub-Committee A (Economic and Financial Affairs,
Trade and External Relations) considered a previous draft which
was cleared on the basis of Ministerial correspondence. It was
therefore particularly interested in the amended proposal, which
it considered at its meeting today.
The amended proposal was published in April
1998, and the General Affairs Council were expected to consider
it yesterday, 29 June. The explanatory memorandum, however, was
only deposited in Parliament on 18 June. Apparently this was due
to a disagreement at official level over which Department should
prepare the explanatory memorandum.
Given the impending Council debate and the importance
of the subject matter, Sub-Committee A considered that the delay
was simply not good enough. I agree, and trust that you will take
steps to ensure that insofar as you are able no such disputes
affect the production of explanatory memoranda for which you are
responsible in future.
Since further parliamentary scrutiny has effectively
been ruled out by the delay in producing an explanatory memorandum,
this letter lifts the scrutiny reserve.
30 June 1998