HC Deb 07 March 1983 vol 38 c557
23. Mr. Wigley

asked the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, as representing the House of Commons Commission, how many of the staff of the House are expected to be available to work at night.

Mr. Arthur Bottomley

A total of 486 staff are required to work beyond 6 pm on at least one night a week.

Mr. Wigley

Does the Commission accept that some members of staff are expected to work inordinately long hours, sometimes running right through the night, and that they have to carry unreasonable burdens? Will the Commission consider taking up with the appropriate authorities whether, as a House, we could work more sensible hours to relieve the burden on the staff as well as on hon. Members?

Mr. Bottomley

The latter part of the question has my wholehearted support. All the time that I have been in Parliament I have been trying to achieve an arrangement whereby staff and Members work reasonable hours. I shall consider what the hon. Gentleman said about excessive hours, although I understand that the hours are shared as equally as possible and in some cases are on an alternative basis.