HC Deb 02 May 1889 vol 335 cc976-7
MR. PICTON (Leicester)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether it is with the sanction of the Treasury that, under the new Hansard arrangements, abbreviated reports are given in the first person, thus making an erroneous impression that they are verbatim reports; whether he is aware that Members frequently decline to correct proof reports of their speeches, because it is impossible by any reasonable labour to bring them into such a form as to justify the insertion of an asterisk; and whether he will recommend a return to the former system of adopting the third person in abbreviated reports?

SIR R. LETHBRIDGE (Kensington, N.)

Before my hon. Friend answers that question will he permit me to ask another, of which I have given him private notice on the same subject—namely, whether it is true that no new arrangements whatever have been made in regard to the method of reporting for Hansard's Parliamentary Debates other than ordinary attempts to improve the details in accordance with suggestions made to the Editor by hon. Members; whether it is true that the majority of hon. Members who have communicated with the Editor have expressed a preference for reports in the first person; whether it is true that in the recent numbers of Hansard at least nine-tenths of the speeches are marked as having been revised by hon. Members; and whether means cannot be devised by which the Editor can be authoritatively informed of the general wish of the House in regard to this and similar details in connection with the reports?


I must answer the first three questions of my hon. Friend in the affirmative, and in regard to the last, I believe that the Editor of Hansard is always very glad to receive suggestions from hon. Members and is most anxious to do the best he can to meet the general wish of the House. In regard to the question on the Paper, I may say that the Treasury have not given any directions about the adoption of the first person in the reports. The matter is within the discretion of the Editor.