HL Deb 27 November 1928 vol 72 cc336-8

Order of the Day read for the consideration of the Report from the Committee of Selection.


My Lords, I beg to move that the Report of the Committee of Selection be now considered and received. Your Lordships will, of course, have noticed that this is a Motion that is not usually made. It is our custom to receive this Report as part of our formal proceedings without discussion, but the position was so exceptional last year that I desire to draw attention to it in three or four sentences. These Reports were first printed in 1905, and since then there have only been three occasions on which a greater number of days were occupied on Private Bill Committee sittings than last year. The noble Earl, Lord Russell, easily gets first prize; he sat last year on forty-four days. Personally I feel very grateful to him for all that he did to assist me in the matter, and I am sure that the House will be grateful to him, and to his colleagues, who sat fewer days but to whom our thanks are also due.


Long enough.


It was quite exceptional, and I am very much indebted to him. Sixty-four Peers sat on Private Bill Committees and thirteen Sub-Committees. It is always my object to make the sittings of a particular Committee as short as possible, and to divide up Bills so that the convenience of your Lordships may be considered, but in Lord Russell's case I was not very successful. It was not, however, due to my own initiative, but the Joint Committee on Railway Bills was principally to blame. Committees usually sit from March to July, but I am anxious next year that they should sit before March, and I have already communicated with those who are responsible for the introduction of Bills. We usually take the Bills through their early stages in February, but, if rumour is true and we meet rather earlier, I have given a hint to the Parliamentary Agents that I am anxious to get on with the Private Bill Legislation as early as possible, and no doubt your Lordships will assist me by sitting on Committees a month earlier.

Moved, That the Report from the Committee of Selection be now considered and received.—(The Earl of Donoughmore.)


May I ask the noble Earl this question: Does the Committee of Selection of this House ever meet?


I once threatened it should meet, my Lords, and I would very much rather not explain the circumstances in which many years ago I had to make that threat. Somebody wanted somebody to sit as Chairman of a Committee whom I did not want. The Committee can meet, and I should be very glad to call it together if I get into difficulties.


I think there is a certain amount of private business upstairs which does not appear in that Report, and it seems to be scarcely fair to those members who meet and spend a certain amount of time at it that their names should not appear in the Report.


I am very grateful to the noble Marquess, who I believe refers to Provisional Order Bills in Committee. I will look into the matter, for my object is that where credit is due to anybody it shall be recorded.

On Question, Motion agreed to.