HC Deb 09 April 1883 vol 277 cc1837-8

I wish to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, How honourable Members who are not nominated to serve on the Standing Committees are to obtain an authoritative knowledge of the proceedings and speeches in those Committees; and, whether it is contemplated that there should be an official report of such proceedings and speeches, for reference by honourable Members when Bills have been sent back by the Standing Committees for the consideration of the whole House?


I apprehend, Sir, as regards the first part of the Question, there is every reason to believe that the proceedings of the Standing Committees will be made known to the public by the newspapers according to the degree of the desire that may be manifested by the public for information, of which those who supply the informa- tion are probably the best judges. But: with regard to the Members of this House, I need hardly remind the hon. Member that it is in his power, and that of any other hon. Member, to attend the meetings of the Committees if he thinks fit. With regard to the second part of the Question, the providing of official reports has not been entertained by the Government.


I beg to give Notice that, on Thursday, I shall ask the following Question:—Whether the Prime Minister is aware that the space in the Standing Committees Rooms set apart for Members of the House other than those serving on the Committees is very limited; that newspaper reports of the debates in this House frequently differ, and that it is usual in the case of a difference of opinion to accept Hansard's reports, and acknowledge them to be conclusive; whether an official reporter does not attend the proceedings of Select Committees; whether his reports are not sent to every Member of the House; and, whether the same plan cannot be adopted in reference to Grand Committees as that which is now carried out in regard to Select Committees?


asked, whether the attention of the right hon. Gentleman the First Commissioner of Works had been called to the great danger of the Members of the Grand Committees being suffocated for want of ventilation; and, whether he would take any steps for the preservation of their valuable lives?


, in reply, said, that now that his attention had been called to the circumstances of the case, he would see to it.


said, he was never in a fouler or worse atmosphere than that in which the Grand Committee sat that day, and he would suggest to the Prime Minister that the Grand Committees should sit in the House until their rooms could be properly ventilated.


said, that that was a matter which he had no power to decide.