HL Deb 20 March 1951 vol 170 cc1172-5

2.50 p.m.

Order of the Day read for the consideration of the Second Report from the Select Committee.

The Committee reported as follows:


The Committee approved the Report of the Sub-Committee dealing with the progress of work in the Chamber, the improved seating in the Strangers' Gallery, the admission of the general public to the House and the alterations in the lavatory accommodation.

They decided that the glass in the windows of the Lords Chamber should be replaced by stained glass of the same type as that being used in the Royal Gallery, and the details were referred to the Sub-Committee, with the recommendation that the necessary provision should be made in next year's estimates.


The Committee approved the Report of the Sub-Committee on the Library and appointed the Lord Burden to the Sub-Committee in the, place of the Lord Lindsay of Birker.

The Committee acknowledged with gratitude the generous gifts made to the library during the past year.


The Committee considered a memorandum prepared by the Secretary to the Lord Great Chamberlain and decided that Committee Room A should be used as a Guest Room where Peers can entertain their guests before and after meals, and recommended that the Ministry of Works should be asked to make the necessary arrangements as soon as possible.


The Clerk of the Parliaments informed the Committee of the arrangements for the preservation, safeguarding and microfilming of historical documents.


The Committee sanctioned revised scales of salary for the Clerk of the Journals and the Assistant Clerk of the Records.

The Committee also approved revised scales of salary for Counsel to the Lord Chairman of Committees and the Assistant Accountant subject to Treasury concurrence.

The Committee sanctioned the application of Treasury Establishment Circulars—

48/50 and Supplement (Recommendations of Chorley Committee on Remuneration of the Higher Civil Service)

51/50 (Principals and Statisticians')

1/51 (Pay of Clerical Officers of the General Clerical Class)

2/51 (Women Cleaners)

4/51 (Pay of Messengers and Paper-keepers)

15/51 (Senior Executive Officers, Higher Executive Officers, etc.)

18/51 (Office Keepers.)

to analogous grades of the officers and officials of the House of Lords.

The Committee authorised the consequential increase in the Estimates for the House of Lords for 1951–52.


The Clerk of the Parliaments informed the Committee of the death on 10th December, 1950, of John Robert Smith, an Office Assistant in the Record Office of the Parliament Office.

The Committee sanctioned the payment of a Gratuity under section 41 of the Superannuation Act, 1949, to his widow.


The Committee sanctioned payment of Gratuities under section 39 (2) of the Superannuation Act, 1949, to Francis Thomas Haughton, an unestablished porter, and to John Fagan, an unestablished custodian, on their retirements as from 10th January and 12th February, 1951, respectively


The Committee appproved the appointment of an Office Assistant for the Office of the Lord Great Chamberlain.


The Secretary to the Lord Great Chamberlain informed the Committee that the Lord Great Chamberlain has accepted a picture from Mr. Frank Salisbury to be hung in the Palace of Westminster.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Report be now considered.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.


My Lords, there are one or two points in this Report to which I should perhaps draw your attention. The first concerns the report on the progress of work in our old Chamber. Many of your Lordships will have had an opportunity of seeing the work that has been carried out, and you will, I hope, agree with the Sub-Committee that the work is being very well done, and that the Chamber will be a pleasant place when we return to it. It has been decided to improve the accommodation in the Strangers' Gallery. In the Chamber as it was the benches in this Gallery were hard and very close together, and afforded only a poor view of the Chamber. It is proposed, at the expense of some twenty seats, to give more accommodation, by spacing out the benches and raising them, It is also proposed to instal listening equipment, so that people who go into that Gallery in future will, for the first time, be able to hear and see really well. It is also pro-posed—and I think this is an innovation —that in the future the public shall be admitted to the Strangers' Gallery. That is an innovation which I hope will commend itself to your Lordships. The other point to which I should refer is the provision of a guest room, where members of the House will be able to entertain their guests before and after meals. The present luncheon room has to serve the purposes of a lounge and bar, and diningroom. There is nowhere where one can take one's friends, before or after lunch. We hope to be able to use Committee Room A. I trust that the proposals to which I have referred will be approved by the House. I beg to move that the Report be now approved.

Moved, That the Report be now approved.—(The Earl of Drogheda.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.