HC Deb 23 June 1980 vol 987 cc21-2
36. Mr. John Hunt

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will bring forward proposals to amend the regulations governing conduct in the Galleries of the House.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I have no plans to do so.

Mr. Hunt

Will my right hon. Friend look again at the rule which forbids members of the public from writing or drawing in the Gallery? Now that we broadcast our proceedings, does it really make sense to stop people from making notes in the Gallery when they can sit at home by their radios and do exactly the same? Is it not time, therefore, that we changed this archaic and rather ridiculous regulation?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I have consulted representatives of the Press Gallery about this. They have an interest in this matter. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] This is a facility available only to Hansard and to those representatives of the press with authorised access to the Press Gallery. I think that if this rule were changed there would be the danger that it could lead to unofficial reporting by people who had failed to gain membership of the Press Gallery.

Mr. Douglas

Will the Leader of the House examine some of the other facilities available to the public in this House? Will he, in particular, look at the facilities given to the public to purchase souvenirs, and so on? They are really appalling and inadequate, and—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The question is about the Galleries of the House, and there is no sale of souvenirs there.