HL Deb 02 June 1949 vol 162 cc1380-2

3.47 p.m.


My Lords, perhaps I may be allowed to intervene to read a short Statement on a matter of importance that the Prime Minister is now making in the other place. It is as follows:

"The House will recollect that on May 5, in answer to a Question, my right honourable friend the Lord President of the Council said that the British representation to the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe would consist of members of one or other House of Parliament, and would include members of His Majesty's Opposition. I am now able to announce the names of the members of this delegation. The representatives from the Government Benches are: my right honourable friend the Lord President of the Council; my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; my right honourable friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury; and the honourable Members for Broxstowe; Buckingham; Coventry West; Lanark North; Hulme; Hull North-West; Bilston, and Llandaff and Barry. The representatives of His Majesty's Opposition are: the right honourable gentleman the Member for Woodford; the right honourable gentleman the Member for Bromley; the right honourable and learned gentleman the Member for Liverpool (West Derby); the honourable Members for Aberdeen East and Chippenham; and the honourable and gallant gentleman the Member for Londonderry. The remaining member of the delegation, who is not a Member of either the Government or Conservative Opposition Parties, will be from another place. The noble Lord, Lord Layton, has accepted my invitation to join the delegation in this capacity.

"These appointments are for the first session of the Assembly which, it is expected, will be held in Strasbourg at a date yet to be fixed in August. According to the Statute of the Council of Europe it will be in order to appoint substitutes for representatives, who may sit, speak and vote in their places. Invitations have been extended to certain honourable Members to act in this capacity should their services be required, although it is not expected that it will be necessary for all of them to attend the session of the Assembly."


My Lords, arising out of that statement, may I ask the noble Viscount one question? It is this. In what capacity, and upon whose nomination is my noble friend Lord Layton included in the delegation?


My Lords, I am afraid I should require notice of that question, but I have no doubt that the noble Lord, Lord Layton, was invited because of his eminent services in this connection and the great industry he has displayed.


My Lords, although I ant most reluctant to raise controversial matters on any statement connected with a subject of this kind, the position is such that it will be necessary for me to call your Lordships' attention to one or two matters. In view of the imminence of the Royal Commission, perhaps it would be more convenient to do so after that has taken place.


; Perhaps it would be better done on the Motion for the Adjournment.


I can do it quite shortly if it is convenient that it should be done now.


My Lords, I think we ought first to finish debating the Coal Industry Bill. We are in the middle of the discussion on that Bill.


My Lords, I must apologise for intervening in the debate, but it is usual to try to make statements of this kind simultaneously in the two Houses. Otherwise, I am exceedingly sorry to have done so.