HC Deb 26 June 1980 vol 987 c766
Mr. English

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wonder whether you could assist us. With your long experience as a Chairman of Standing Committees, you will know that the practice hitherto has been that the daily parts of the Official Report—the white copies—are published, we hope, in time for the next meeting of the Committee, and that they are then bound up into a brown paper-back volume, which, equally, we hope, comes out in time for the Report stage.

No fewer than 12 Bills having more than one daily part have not had a brown volume issued, with the result that hon. Members dealing with Report stages—some of the Report stages have passed—have to deal with a mass of daily parts, in some cases a very large number, according to the number of sittings of the Standing Committee concerned. The earliest of these is the Committee on the National Heritage Act, which was concluded on 21 January this year.

It really is odd. I do not blame the Vote Office. Its staff have been of great assistance to me in trying to find out from the Stationery Office why the copies are not delivered. I do not blame the printers. It has always been the custom that these documents were never reprinted—they simply consisted of the daily parts bound together in a brown paper-back volume. However, the Stationery Office now blames the Editor of Hansard, saying that he is delaying the checking of the daily parts.

In the past, Hansard had nothing to do with it. Once the daily parts were printed, the brown volumes were produced. Later, a hard-backed volume was produced. That may be a corrected version, but that is for history.

Could you, Mr. Speaker, investigate the matter, find out who is responsible—whether it is the Government or the House authorities—and put it right?

Mr. Speaker

I undertake to consider this matter. I understand that it is a normal delay. However, I shall look into it and write to the hon. Gentleman.