HC Deb 12 November 1969 vol 791 cc407-8
43. Miss Quennell

asked the Lord President of the Council what special steps he is taking to ensure that printed matter essential to Members of Parliament, i.e. Order Papers, Official Reports, Order of Questions, etc., will be so available to hon. Members in this new parliamentary year, in order that they may discharge their parliamentary duties efficiently.

44. Mr. Ian Lloyd

asked the Lord President of the Council whether, in view of the interference with the business of the House caused by the present industrial dispute at Her Majesty's Stationery Office, he will now make arrangements for the printing required by the business of the House and for HANSARD, to be undertaken elsewhere and, if necessary, abroad.

Mr. Pearl

I would refer the hon. Members to the statement by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury yesterday. A Motion proposing the setting up of the Services Committee for this Session appears in this morning's Order Paper.

Miss Quennell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, as HANSARD did not arrive this morning, I could not refer to the Chief Secretary's statement yesterday? What special steps will he take to ensure that hon. Members have available to them essential papers between now and the time that the special Select Committee reaches a solution to our difficulties?

Mr. Pearl

I appreciate the hon. Lady's concern. It is right that she raises this matter. My right hon. Friend made a statement yesterday. I am well aware of this and am watching the matter carefully. I will do all I can to help in this matter.

Mr. Maudling

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is entirely the responsibility of the Government? It cannot be passed off on to any committee, however distinguished. What will the the Government do about it themselves?

Mr. Peart

I accept this in relation to the dispute concerning Her Majesty's Stationery Office. As Leader of the House, I have done all I can in the supply of papers and so on to improve facilities. I accept what the right hon. Gentleman says about the responsibility, but I have nothing more to add to what my right hon. Friend said yesterday.

Mr. Shinwell

Why cannot the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity institute a court of inquiry or intervene in some fashion? Is it not a disgrace that Parliament should be hamstrung during a dispute which the Government make no attempt to settle?

Mr. Peart

I understand my right hon. Friend's view, and will convey it to my right hon. Friend the First Secretary. She is concerned about this, and we are discussing it privately.