HC Deb 24 January 1977 vol 924 cc960-2
42. Mr. Adley

asked the Lord President of the Council what official visits abroad he intends to make in the current Session of Parliament.

Mr. Foot

I have at present no plans to make any such visits.

Mr. Adley

Will the right hon. Gentleman visit the United States and obtain from Congress a copy of the swineflu Bill, under which the American Government idemnify costs incurred by people in suing both the medical profession and the drug companies for unfortunate side effects of swineflu vaccine? Will he then return home and immediately consult his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services with a view to introducing similar legislation to provide similar facilities for parents of vaccine-damaged children, particularly those suffering from the side effects of whooping cough vaccine?

Mr. Foot

I think that it would be possible to look into the matter properly without visiting the United States.

Mr. Spearing

If my right hon. Friend cannot go ahead, will he undertake to look at the size of the equivalent Official Report in various legislatures throughout the world? Our Official Report is of a size that is easily read, and it would be a pity if it were enlarged and thereby made more difficult to read and store and less convenient for the House.

Mr. Foot

I do not accept that what is being proposed by the Services Committee and those who served on the Committee and looked into the matter would be an inconvenience to the House. I believe that in many respects it will improve the facilities of the House. I believe, too, that, compared with most other legislative assemblies, the facilities provided by our printing arrangements are better than pretty well any others. I think that we can get ahead still further by making these improvements.

Mr. Ian Lloyd

On the question of comparing facilities, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, as my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch and Lymington (Mr. Adley) has given him a pretext for visiting Washington be will take the opportunity to visit the Library of Congress which has installed one of the world's most powerful computers, an Ahmdal 47.0, for the service of Members of Congress? In that context, will he look again at the joint report on computers which, as far as I know, has not reached Members of the House?

Mr. Foot

I note the second part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary ques- tion There will be an opportunity for giving further information to the House, but I believe that the facilities provided in this respect for hon. Members here are as good as anywhere in the world, and certainly as good as those in the United States.