HC Deb 26 November 1979 vol 974 cc873-4
39. Mr. Spearing

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement concerning the form and nature of procedural motions which he will in future be placing before the House.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas)

I shall continue to do all I can to ensure that such motions are framed in the form most generally convenient to the House.

Mr. Spearing

I am grateful to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster for his correspondence on this matter. Will he confirm that where possible he will put down motions in his representative capacity as Leader of the House, rather than in his Government capacity as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster? Will he tell the House whether he is proposing to appoint a Sessional Committee on Procedure this Session?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I am extremely grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his correspondence and for the helpful suggestions that he has put forward, some of which I have been able already to assure him I accept for the better convenience of the House. I hope to make progress in due course concerning the Sessional Committee on Procedure.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis

Will my right hon. Friend set up the new Sessional Committee as soon as possible, so that it can consider and take into account what recently happened with regard to the relationship of the House to the use of a tape machine? There is the question whether it is the tape machine of the House or of the BBC, as it was the other day, as against the usual reporting of the proceedings of the House, and which alternative is to be used in future.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I was present in the House when that important point was raised and I noted the remarks of Mr. Speaker. This would be a very suitable subject for the Sessional Committee on Procedure to consider urgently.