HC Deb 26 July 1993 vol 229 c748
44. Mr. Tony Banks

To ask the Lord President of the Council what proposals he has to vary the timing and length of parliamentary recesses.

Mr. Newton

I have no such proposals, although I use my best endeavours to give as much notice as possible of recess dates. Those endeavours have not been so successful this year as I should have liked.

Mr. Banks

Does the Lord President accept that, apart from the occasional Member of Parliament who has a Caribbean island, for most of us the summer recess will not be a holiday so much as a time to catch up on work that we had to put to one side during Maastricht? While I accept that the Government want to creep away and lick their post-Maastricht wounds, clearly we want to carry on the job of bringing them down, which we almost achieved last week. Does the Lord President accept that it would be better to even out our sittings over the year? While he is answering, will he tell us when we shall deal with the Jopling report?

Mr. Newton

The last part of the hon. Gentleman's question anticipates a question which the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) has tabled. The second part of his question was political rhetoric rather than a question. I disagree with what he said. In the spirit of comradeship and friendship in which we started these exchanges, I agree with the hon. Gentleman about the first part of his question, which was about whether Members of Parliament would generally spend a large part of the recess doing work of other kinds.