HC Deb 16 July 1990 vol 176 cc680-1
44. Mr. Carr

To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will make a statement on the induction procedures for new hon. Members for a general election.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

New Members will receive, in advance of their arrival at the House, an updated briefing pack describing the services provided by Departments of the House. In addition, Heads of Department and senior Officers of the House are available for consultation. Induction in the Chamber will be in accordance with well-established procedure.

Mr. Carr

I have had the benefit of most valued advice from fellow Members since my arrival here about five weeks ago. It occurs to me that, in the event of a general election, when many new Members will be attending the House—[HON. MEMBERS: "Labour."] Yes, obviously Labour Members—the lack of any proper method of induction is an anachronism. Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman wish to consider redressing this problem?

Sir Geoffrey Howe

To sustain the quality of advice that will be given to the many Conservative Members who may enter the House after the next election, I am sure that the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question deserves consideration. If he wishes to raise any matters that come within his own experience, I shall be glad to examine them.

Mr. Jopling

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that, in the United States, Harvard university runs a course every two years for newly elected members of the Congress? Will my right hon. and learned Friend give some thought to whether something of that sort might be appropriate here?

Sir Geoffrey Howe

That is a novel suggestion in the British context. As it has the authority of my right hon. Friend, I shall examine it with care.

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