HL Deb 22 April 1834 vol 22 cc1082-3
The Marquess of Lansdown

rose to move, that their Lordships should take into consideration the Report of the Committee to whom it had been referred to inquire into the state of the Parliament-office, and to propose that they should agree to the resolutions to which that Committee had come, the substance of which he should briefly state to their Lordships. The great object which the Committee had in view was, to devise some means by which the printing of the two Houses of Parliament might be executed with more economy, and, at the same time, with more convenience. That it was a subject worthy of consideration, would at once be seen, when he informed their Lordships, that the expense of printing in one year, (certainly under very peculiar circumstances) exceeded 100,000l., and that in the last year it amounted to 56,000l. The Committee, in pointing out how a large saving could be effected, did not wish to induce their Lordships to abstain from printing such documents as were material, but to avoid the second printing of any which had already been printed for the use of the other House of Parliament. The Committee felt, that it was necessary to make a positive and direct reduction on printing charges, if that could be done without detriment to the public business. The Committee thought, that by an understanding with the other House, much of the expense of double composition, and of late working at night, might be avoided. It was, also, proposed to effect a considerable saving by a new arrangement with respect to the printing of the public ac- counts, which, while it retained the most perfect clearness and perspicuity, would be attended with less expense than at present. By coming to an understanding with the other House of Parliament, documents which had been printed for that House, and copies of which their Lordships might require, need not be again printed; and vice versâ, documents printed for the House of Lords might, in like manner, be furnished to the Commons. It would be very easy, also, if their Lordships were pleased to agree to those Resolutions, and the House of Commons also concurred in them, to have such documents as were printed for the use of the other House laid on their Lordships' Table, when it was necessary. A list of the papers that were moved to be printed, in either House, might be exchanged from day to day, and thus individuals in each House might, at a glance, be enabled to call for any document that appeared of importance. Mr. Church, of the Stationery-office, had also, by a very simple alteration in the mode of preparing the papers, assisted in reducing the expense. From the information he had received, it appeared probable, that a reduction of twenty-five per cent would be made on the whole expense, with respect to one species of documents, and of seventy per cent on another, by the adoption of the system now recommended. Taking an average of the whole, it appeared to him, looking to the printing of Bills, Journals, papers, and accounts, a reduction of one-half, or from 20,000l. to 30,000l. a-year, would be effected. It was also proposed, that the printers of both Houses of Parliament should be permitted to sell to the book-sellers, in another shape, such reports, &c., as might be called for. The noble Marquess concluded by laying the Resolutions of the Committee upon the Table, and moving that they be adopted, which was agreed to.

It was ordered that the Resolutions should be communicated to the House of Commons in a Conference.