HC Deb 18 December 1972 vol 848 cc1054-70

Ordered, That the Motions relating to Procedure, Parliamentary Questions, delegated legislation, Attendance of Members at Meetings of Select Committees and Business of the House (Consolidated Fund Bills) and the Housing (Amendment) Bill may be proceeded with at this day's Sitting though opposed, until any hour.—[Mr. Prior.]

Question again proposed.

10.1 p.m.

Sir Robin Turton

The right hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central said that that would be in breach of the ten o'clock rule. But it would not. It would mean that if the Government, through ministerial statements, wished to take the time of Private Members' motions, they would have to be robbed of that time between seven o'clock and ten o'clock.

The proposition is very reasonable. It is not fair continually to cut down the time devoted to Private Members' motions. It does not happen on Standing Order No. 9 debates. Members get "injury" time in those instances; they have the three hours. In the 1967–68 or the 1968–69 Session, on two occasions out of four, time for Private Members' motions was cut by over an hour.

I wish to say a word or two on the question of the right of Members to attend Select Committees. This is not an easy matter. There has been much discussion about the Civil List. What critics of our recommendation have forgotten is that unless some rule is laid down the only remedy for a committee is to adjourn. In certain instances witnesses will not give evidence, and they make it clear that they will not give evidence, unless it is limited to the members of the committee. If a Member demands that he should attend the committee, the only remedy for the committee is to adjourn, and to keep on adjourning.

We made it absolutely clear that a Member should have the right to attend meetings of all Select Committees—and that applies particularly to what my hon. Friend the Member for Salisbury (Mr. Michael Hamilton) said—but that a committee should have the right by resolution to exclude other Members for a special reason, and that is embodies in the motion which has been accepted by the Government. I do not see how hon. Members can object to that.

Mr. English

There are two points. First, the matter is not quite as the right hon. Gentleman has put it. Whereas formerly Members had the right to attend the deliberations of Select Committees, under the proposal of the Select Committee on Procedure as accepted by the Government, we would not have that right, even if it were the Services Committee discussing our own parliamentary building, which surely is not a subject classified as secret as there are exhibitions about it all over the place.

Secondly, nobody objects to there being a rule that, although Members should have the right to attend during the evidence of witnesses, we should give the committee a power, not to exclude them from hearing classified information or information which the committee is not likely to publish, but a blanket power. It was exactly that power which the Civil List Committee thought it had, found it had not but did not wish to come to the House to obtain it because it wanted to meet in secret.

Sir Robin Turton

The intention of our recommendation was that all Members should be able to attend but that the committee should have the power to exclude them. If our recommendation is not drafted sufficiently clearly for the Government, it can be amended for that purpose.

The evidence that we received from both the then Opposition Chief Whip and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party was that it was extremely embarrassing for Members to have the right to attend during deliberations. It is far from certain, as was suggested by the hon. Member for Nottingham, West, that that was the old practice. I think the old practice was that Members could not attend Select Committees to which they were not appointed during deliberations, but they could always attend when evidence was given.

Our recommendation is an attempt to bring the law back to what it was accepted to be in recent years. I very much hope that that is not delayed, because it can be embarrassing if one or two hon. Members try to obstruct the work of a Select Committee by attending when their attendance is inconvenient.

10.6 p.m.

Mr. Marcus Lipton (Brixton)

I think that sufficient has been said in the debate to make the Leader of the House realise that the House as a whole has not yet had enough time to consider all the implications of the proposals that he is asking us to accept. That point was made with considerable force by my right hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central (Mr. Edward Short). It would surely be undesirable that with such a small number of Members in attendance these important changes in our practice and procedure should be made.

I give notice that I do not propose to put the amendments standing in my name when the time comes for them to be called. That may help to shorten the proceedings so that we do not have another debate after the general motions moved by the Leader of the House have been considered. For the convenience of the House, and in the spirit of good will which should prevail at this time of the year, I do not propose to press my amendments.

The right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton) referred to injury time affecting Private Members' motions. That leads me to remind the Leader of the House that we never have a full hour for Questions. Four or five minutes are taken up by Prayers, there may be one or two private Bills to which objection is taken, or one or two petitions. Therefore, the ordinary back bench Member never has a full hour of Questions in which to probe, display his talents, or annoy the Government. The Leader of the House might be disposed to consider that the hour for Questions should commence as soon as Mr. Speaker calls upon the first hon. Member to put his Question. In that way Question Time may run to 3.35 or 3.36 p.m., but at least we would have the full hour for Questions to which we are entitled.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central does not agree that it would serve a useful purpose to have one hour for Questions on Friday mornings, and I am sorry that the Leader of the House has not accepted that proposal. No one is under any obligation to attend the House at any time. Ministers—even Shadow Ministers—may find it necessary to be absent from the House on a day other than Friday. No one will criticise them for that. I think that if this concession were made it would be found that it was not used only by London Members. There are many provincial Members who would like to avail themselves of this hour on a Friday morning. They could do so and still get home or back to their constituencies in time for an evening meeting.

Reference has been made to the extent to which the Order Paper is overloaded with Questions. The Father of the House is able to say that this is done to an extent that has never been equalled in the past. The committee has put forward a complicated proposal to allow every Member eight Questions every 10 days. I think that it will be necessary for the Table Office to have a computer to work that out.

If the intention is to ration Questions it would be simpler to allow each Member one oral Question a day. That would be the effect of the Amendment which I do not now intend to move. As Dr. Johnson said on one occasion, "Impending execution is a powerful incentive to the concentration of thought." If a Member were allowed only one oral Question a day he would have to decide for himself which were the important issues and which were not and the Order Paper would not be cluttered up to the extent it is now by Questions which we know in advance will never be answered orally. The kind of rationing that I have suggested would reduce the number of Question on today's Order Paper by about 20. The idea is certainly work considering, because it would enable perhaps the second or even the third Minister on the Order Paper to be reached much more frequently than happens now. I suggest that this business of eight Questions every 10 days is unnecessarily complicated, and I am being even more generous than the Leader of the House when I suggest one oral Question per day. That would be the simplest and easiest way of dealing with the problem.

Today's Order Paper contains 37 Questions to the Secretary of State for Wales. That means that the words To ask the Secretary of State for Wales are repeated 37 times. Would it not he much simpler to have a heading, "To ask the Secretary of State for Wales" followed by a number Mr. So-and-So, and his constituency and Question, and so on? That would save an awful lot of printing.

I have calculated that on today's Order Paper up to 600 words would have been saved, and when Questions are addressed the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs the saving would be even greater. The tendency of the present Administration is to have Ministers with long titles, and I am sorry for the printer who has to set up long titles over and over again. It would be easy to have a much more streamlined Order Paper without prejudice to the rights of individual Members.

I hope that the Leader of the House will consider that suggestion because day after day we get a lot of printed material thrown at us and anything that we can do to reduce the number of printed words that we have to read is worth considering. The same applies to written Questions. By adopting this procedure we would also save paper and that too, is worth considering.

I do not wish to take up any more of the time of the House. I shall consider my contribution to the debate to have been worth while if the Leader of the House accepts my proposal to cut down the amount of printed material on the Order Paper.

10.15 p.m.

Mr. Tam Dalyell (West Lothian)

I am all for the verbal surgery proposed by my hon. Friend the Member for Brixton (Mr. Lipton). To use the phrase of the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton), we are in injury time, so I shall confine myself to certain specific issues.

The first speech to which I wish to refer is that of the hon. Member for Salisbury (Mr. Michael Hamilton). I happen to know something about the case he raised, which is prima facie an important House of Commons matter. The attitude of mind among Ministers that is revealed is one that spreads over into other matters. I hope that the Leader of the House will raise with his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland the question of the whole style and behaviour of the Scottish Office over certain key appointments in our constituencies.

Should not Members of Parliament be given the courtesy of at least being informed before appointments are made, such as appointments to the chairmanship of new towns in their constituencies? When it is put to them that certain things will happen in their constituencies, they can be trusted not to inform the Press beforehand or leak an announcement. But we are often approached by members of the Press who bring us the news, and it is very embarrassing to have to say, on inquiry, "This is the first I have heard about it." Therefore, the issue raised by the hon. Gentleman is important, and a general issue. I hope that the Leader of the House will consider it his business to go into it.

I echo in general the thoughts of my right hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central (Mr. Edward Short). I wish specifically to raise the matter of Private Notice Questions. I do not think that this is a debate in which back bench Members or Front Bench Members should tell you how to conduct yourself in the Chair, Mr. Speaker. What I have to say is not meant in that spirit. But may we ask on what criteria a number of Private Notice Questions are allowed? I think specifically of all the relatively minor accidents. Doubtless, when two or three people are killed in a bridge disaster or railway accident it is very miserable, but it is immediately obvious what the House of Commons can do about it.

There seems to be some force that motivates many hon. Members when an accident happens in their constituency to feel that they must, even against their own better judgment, raise the matter in the House, although they know perfectly well that the House and the Government can do nothing about it until there has been an inquiry. Time and again we go through a somewhat embarrassing ritual. We find it difficult to understand why sad but relatively less important matters are raised in prime time of the House when very important matters are often turned down—for example, an important development in the war in Vietnam or the situation in Ireland. I have made the point and I leave it at that.

It would be a pity if the time on the Consolidated Fund Bill were cut down. It is often one of our more valuable exercises, and the idea that time is limited gives even more power to the Executive. There may well be a case, for the purposes of the staff, for starting the debate again at 8 a.m. after an adjournment, though I am not convinced of this. But any reduction of the total time on Consolidated Fund would be a great pity.

Finally, I should like to ask two questions. The first is about the position of Scotland, a labyrinthine subject. Perhaps the Leader of the House would like to write to some of us about it. If my right hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross), a great expert on these matters, is baffled, the rest of us need not be embarrassed about being baffled. We do not understand the relationship of Scottish business to statutory instruments. If there is no Scot on the Committee, the Scottish business—[Interruption.]

The right hon. Gentleman can deal with this in his winding up speech or perhaps he would care to give me a considered answer in writing. That is as far as I wish to take that question.

Finally, this may seem to some of my hon. Friends a somewhat self-interested point, but I am not entirely happy about the rationing of Questions. I hope that it is not entirely for selfish reasons, because as I am a frequent questioner I am one of those who blatantly use Questions for a campaign If Questions are rationed it makes that campaign that much more difficult.

Let me put it in other terms. All of us here, whatever view we take of the merits of the subject, must have some admiration for the campaign which was conducted by the then hon. Member for Kidderminster on purchase tax. There is no doubt that rightly or wrongly the present hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro) altered the attitude in the House towards purchase tax and many aspects of taxation. The hon. Gentleman could not have done that had there been a rationing of Questions on a tighter scale.

I agree with the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton that the rationing that is proposed is so loose that one wonders if it is rationing at all. I hope that this is not too much the thin end of any particular wedge, because speaking personally—I hope that hon. Members will take this in the spirit in which it said—I could not have conceivably had any effect on the policy of the then Labour Government on Aldabra, variable geometry aircraft and various other causes had Questions been limited. My hon. Friend the Member for Barrow-in-Furness (Mr. Booth) will understand this point because he has done the same on occasions. If one is limited in the Questions one can ask it gives that much more power to the Executive.

Are we sure that this is what we want? Hon. Members opposite may one day be in opposition again. It may be that they will want to campaign on certain issues. I warn them that this is the thin end of a wedge and it may not be a wedge that they particularly like when they examine its consequences.

This may seem like bestowing advice on the Chair, which I do not need to do. Surely the purpose of Questions is scrutiny. It should be within Mr. Speaker's discretion, and we should encourage him to use it, to permit scrutiny as he thinks fit. I would often be happy not to be called for a supplementary at all if in Mr. Speaker's view an adequate answer had been given to the Question I had put. There are occasions when I would dearly like to get in a second supplementary question and, if in Mr. Speaker's discretion it was thought to be useful, a third supplementary question on the one issue.

When I was first elected to Parliament the then Member for the Cities of London and Westminster—Sir Harry HyltonFoster—as Mr. Speaker used on occasion to allow a second and, indeed, a third supplementary question. That is when, to use a phrase that I would not have used—I believe that it was used by the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton—the fun begins. I would not say "when the fun begins" so much as when the scrutiny and revelations start, because it is on the second and third jab that one can get to the heart of a matter.

I am not suggesting that this course be adopted on parochial subjects. Incidentally, there are many of us who ask a lot of Questions but who hardly ever ask a constituency question because we go about our constituency business in a rather different manner. If the subject is parochial or trivial, then do not let us have second and third supplementary questions. On the other hand, if it is a subject of national importance in which the consensus of the House makes it clear to Mr. Speaker that there is rather wide general interest, surely it should be in Mr. Speaker's discretion to allow the questioner a third stab. Rather than being rationed in questions let us be frequently turned down and refused even one supplementary if the question is trivial or if the answer has been given and let us, when the occasion arises, really be able to strike and strike again.

10.25 p.m.

Mr. James Tinn (Cleveland)

I want to refer to the remarks made by the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton) about Questions on Fridays. While I recognise that he is as much a provincial Member as I, I must say that he did not satisfy me about the difficulties which would arise for a provincial Member in deciding priorities and choosing whether to put a question in the House or deal with constituency commitments.

Many of us who customarily regard ourselves as being committed to this place from Monday to Thursday inclusive also regard ourselves as being pretty fully committed in our constituencies for the remainder of the week for a long time in advance. I feel it is necessary for me to be in my constituency on Friday afternoons and even Saturday mornings. If Questions on a Friday were to be answered by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry I should need to decide whether I wanted to be in the House on that occasion or continue with my constituency commitments. It could be a difficult decision.

It would be difficult enough if I wished to table a question but even more difficult if a provincial Member were to find that another hon. Member had tabled a Question which had direct relevance to his constituency and to which he may be able to put a supplementary. There would be an obvious conflict. The position of the constituency Member is particularly difficult in this respect and I am glad that this recommendation is not being proceeded with.

10.28 p.m.

Mr. James Prior

By leave of the House, I would like to reply to the debate, which has been extremely interesting. I am grateful that so many hon. and right hon. Members have stayed on for it. I begin with an apology. I am sorry that more notice was not given on the motions. I shall see that it does not happen again. Towards the end of my speech I will indicate that there will be time for a further discussion on various points.

The hon. Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. English) said he thought that most hon. Members were agreed about the scheme in principle but did not like all the details. He suggested that perhaps we could sort out some of the details. I am perfectly prepared to bide my time and do this. That is the spirit in which I approach the debate. We have to recognise that the procedure of the House must change and has constantly changed with circumstances. When one thinks of what the hon. Member for Barrow-in-Furness (Mr. Booth) pointed out—the number of statutory instruments, whether affirmative or negative—or neutral—which have to be laid on the Table nowadays, compared with the number a few years ago; when one thinks of what my right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton) talked about—the number of parliamentary Questions, whether Oral or Written, which are asked now, compared with the number a few years ago, it is perfectly plain that changes in our procedures have to be made. We may not like giving up some of the old ideas. After all, the business of the House is about keeping the Executive under control. It is about giving all Members proper opportunity to state their views. This is what the House has to carry out.

In that respect I turn straight away to the problems of the merits committee. A number of right hon. and hon. Members have raised that issue. I am sorry that there was not perhaps a great degree of support for the proposal.

This is the whole problem of finding time for these debates. I agree that last Session the problems of finding time for Prayers were very great indeed. I know that we have done much better this Session so far, although probably not well enough. I have not the figures with me, but our record this Session is not very different from the record of the previous Government. For all that, the problem of finding proper time for debating Prayers is not a new problem. It is one which has been the concern of Government of both parties. In an ideal world there would be plenty of time to debate not only Prayers but many other important general subjects, but in practice there is a great deal of pressure on our time, and it was to deal with that problem that the Brooke Committee made its proposal to establish the merits committee.

If the House should decide in the long run not to accept the proposal for the merits committee we shall do all we can to debate these Prayers on the Floor of the House, but it will not be possible to debate anything like the number which we believe ought to be debated. The merits committee would ensure there would be a formula available for debating Prayers which at present just do not get debated. It would not be an ideal arrangement, but, in my judgment, it would be a better arrangement than having a sizeable number of Prayers not debated at all.

I recognise the strength of feeling in the House. If the merits committee were to be accepted it would have the power to draw the attention of the House to Prayers which, in the committee's belief, should be granted; it would give reasons for its views; and it would express its views by means of a vote. I accept that. As I have already indicated, I am willing, if it should be the wish of the House, as I think it would be, to table draft terms of reference for the committee. It would vote accordingly. I hope that that will help the House.

Again, if the committee were to be given that power and were to vote in favour of granting a Prayer, the subsequent pressure on the Leader of the House to find time for debating that Prayer would be so substantial that I am sure time would in practice invariably be found for it.

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) told me he would have to leave, and apologised for his absence. He said that the merits committee would have to be circumspect and careful about the decisions it reached. That is probably correct. That would mean that only from time to time would the House find itself in the position of having to deal with a Prayer which had succeeded in the committee upstairs. I should like to make it clear that the procedure which I have just outlined is one which the Government put to the Brooke Committee. I hope very much that we shall be able to go ahead with the committee.

Mr. Edward Short

What would be the legal effect of the committee's voting in favour of a Prayer? Would the Queen annul the order as a result? Or would it require to be confirmed by a vote of the House?

Mr. Prior

I should have to find that out for the right hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Short

Presumably, what the right hon. Gentleman is saying is that the Prayer would be in the usual form in committee, a Prayer to the Queen to annul the order, but if the committee, which is a committee of this House, decided to pass the Prayer, would not the Queen immediately annul the order, whatever the House decided

Mr. Prior

I shall have to check that, but I presume that is what would happen and the Government would have to lay a fresh order which would have to be debated on the Floor of the House.

Mr. English

Very tentatively, I think the answer is that if it were done that way the legislation would have to be amended, because the legislation requires the approval or disapproval of both Houses. Whatever happens, at some stage that must be done, or a Statutory Instruments Act could be passed to provide for it to be done the other way.

Mr. Prior

This shows the value of the debate and the many loose ends which need to be tidied up before proceeding to the next stage.

The right hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central (Mr. Short) referred to the chairman of the Joint Scrutiny Committee. I accept as entirely appropriate that the chairman should always be both a Member of this House and a member of the Opposition party. I think that would be acceptable to both sides of the House. Unless we adopt a procedure of this nature I do not believe that we shall ever get a proper scrutiny of regulations. I will seek further consultations with hon. and right hon. Gentlemen who have spoken tonight and lay motions which take into consideration the points that have been raised in the hope that we shall then be able to proceed quickly.

The hon. Member for Barrow-in-Furness asked why the Statutory Instruments Committee had not been set up. The reason is that we hoped that this debate would take place earlier and that we could have a decision on this matter. If there is further delay we will set up the committee, but I would prefer, after our debate tonight and after consultations, to get the Joint Scrutiny Committee and the merits committee working as soon as possible after the House comes back.

I am intrigued by the suggestion of the hon. Member for Brixton (Mr. Lipton) for cutting down the amount of printing on the Order Paper. I am not certain whether it is within my responsibility, but I shall be happy to look at that suggestion. There may not be much difference between us. His suggestion is for hon. Members to have one Oral Question a day. My suggestion is for hon. Members to have eight Oral Questions in 10 sitting days. As that works out at a Question a day for each day on which Questions are answered, it is almost the same thing but not quite. The reason for suggesting eight Questions in 10 days is that if an hon. Member wants to ask two Questions of two different Ministers on the same day he is able to do so.

I turn to deal with the point raised by the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) that the rationing of Questions could prevent a campaign from getting off the ground. He quoted the example of the campaign on purchase tax conducted by my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro). It must be said that the situation was a good deal easier ten years ago because in those days my hon. Friend was allowed three Questions to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on any one day and might well have two Questions on the next day on which the Chancellor answered Questions. Ten years ago there was no problem in getting two or three oral Questions answered by a Minister on the same day. The problem at present is that many more hon. Members are tabling Questions.

Mr. Tinn

I think it should also be said that my hon. Friend the Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell), though I am sure he is too modest to say so, conducted more recently a successful campaign in respect of the Aldabra Atoll.

Mr. Prior

I do not think the proposals which I am putting to the House will prevent a campaign being pursued equally effectively.

I am rather more worried about the suggestion that any rationing system would tend to make the occasion more important and might lead more hon. Members to seek to table Questions. I very much hope that that will not happen. The Order Paper is already very overcrowded. That is not the sort of situation which any rationing process would be designed to bring about.

My hon. Friend the Member for Salisbury (Mr. Michael Hamilton) asked whether I would consult the right hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. Michael Stewart), who is the Chairman of the Select Committee on the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, to go through my hon. Friend's remarks with him in order to see whether some change is required in terms of evidence received by the Select Committee—for example, in respect of evidence given by civil servants. I have sympathy with what my hon. Friend said and those of us who heard his speech must have been impressed with what he had to say. I know that the House will want me to discuss the matter openly with the right hon. Member for Fulham. I shall do so, and I shall seek to find some way of reporting back to my hon. Friend and to the House, if that is considered appropriate.

I turn to the question of the attendance of Members at meetings of Select Committees and to the Consolidation Fund Bill procedures. I have listened carefully to what has been said on both these matters. I explained at the beginning of the debate that these were points which the House must decide for itself and I said the Government had no strong views one way or the other. The motions on the Order Paper are there merely to give a lead so that discussion could take place. I believe that we should not proceed with those two matters tonight, but should take them away and consider them in the light of today's debate.

That leaves me only with the matter of asking the House to take a decision on the subject of Parliamentary Questions. My own view is that it would be appropriate to allow the motions on Parliamentary Questions to go ahead. I must make clear that this is a one-Session-only experiment. If we do not make some experiments, however wrong they turn out to be, we shall not make as much progress as we should like to make. I hope the hon. Member for Brixton will allow us to go ahead for the rest of this Session on the understanding that it is experimental for one Session only, and that if by the end of the Session we find it not working we shall put other suggestions to the House.

Mr. Lipton

Does that mean that this section of our procedure that we are discussing will come up automatically at the beginning of next Session?

Mr. Prior

I should like to consider that. We should have to have a ten 'clock debate on it when we had other procedural matters to discuss at the beginning of a new Session. That is how we should have to conduct ourselves on that occasion.

The hon. Member for West Lothian asked me about what he termed the "labyrinthine" subject of Scottish affairs. Perhaps I might write to the hon. Gentleman when I have read carefully what he said. He also mentioned matters not properly the subject of this debate about the way in which Members of Parliament are kept informed about their constituents' activities. I see the force of what he said—

Mr. Dalyell

It is not a matter of the activities of our constituents but of major Government appointments in our constituencies.

Mr. Prior

I apologise to the hon. Gentleman. I shall see to it that it is considered and that the hon. Gentleman is written to about it when I have done so.

Probably I have not covered all the points which have been raised. But these are matters in which the whole House is concerned. I want to carry the House with me on them. I hope that we shall be able to make quick progress now on the Statutory Instruments Committee. For tonight, I will not move that motion, nor that concerned with Business of the House (Consolidated Fund Bills) and that concerned with the attendance of Members at meetings of Select Committees. But I ask the House to accept Motions Nos. 6 and 7 dealing with parliamentary Questions.

10.42 p.m.

Mr. Edward Short

With the leave of the House, may I thank the Leader of the House for coming so far to meet objections to his proposals. Without, I hope, sounding pompous or patronising, I feel that the right hon. Gentleman has acted in the best traditions of the House as Leader of the whole House. I am sure that my right hon. and hon. Friends will agree to allow the right hon. Gentleman's proposals relating to Questions to be tried out for a year.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That this House takes note of the Report of the Select Committee on Parliamentary Questions, of the Second Report of the Select Committee on Procedure relating to Consolidated Fund Bills and Ministerial Statements, of the Third Report of the Select Committee on Procedure relating to the attendance of Members at meetings of Select Committees and of the Report of the Select Committee appointed to join with a Select Committee appointed by the Lords on Delegated Legislation, in the last Session of Parliament.