HC Deb 19 February 1901 vol 89 cc494-5
SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he will consent to the appointment of a committee to consider the accommodation provided for Members of this House when their attendance in the House of Lords is commanded by the King, and also as to the best means of securing the orderly and safe progress of Members when they obey His Majesty's commands.

The following question also appeared on the Paper:—


To ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, having regard to the increase in the number of Members of the two Houses, to the inadequacy of the accommodation afforded on such occasions by the House of Lords, and to the necessity for ensuring better order and greater dignity in connection with the proceedings, and in view of the existence of various precedents in accordance with which the opening of Parliament used to take place in a chamber other than those in which the two Houses habitually sat, generally in the Painted Chamber of St. Edward the Confessor, he will consult with other authorities concerned as to the possibility and desirability that in future when Parliament is opened by the Sovereign in person the ceremony shall take place in Westminster Hall, in order that every Member of the Legislature may have an opportunity of hearing the Speech from the Throne.


As I have already stated to the House, the Government have no control over, and, therefore, are not responsible for, the arrangements which are made when Parliament is opened by the Sovereign in person, but I have it in command from His Majesty to express his approval of the appointment of a Joint Committee of both Houses to consider what accommodation can be provided on such an occasion for Peers and Members of Parliament, and, in particular, whether Westminster Hall could not be utilised.