HL Deb 19 December 1963 vol 254 cc411-2

3.55 p.m.


My Lords, with your Lordships' permission, I should like to repeat a statement which has just been made by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister in another place. The statement is as follows:

"The remuneration of Members of the House of Commons and salaries of Junior Ministers were raised in 1957, and at the same time an expenses allowance was introduced for Members of the House of Lords. The basic salary of a senior Minister has remained unchanged since 1831.

"After consultation with the leaders of the main political Parties in both Houses, we have decided that the time has now come for a fundamental review of the remuneration of Ministers of the Crown and of Members of the House of Commons and also for the reconsideration of the allowance for Members of the House of Lords.

"Her Majesty's Government have therefore appointed Sir Geoffrey Lawrence, Mr. H. S. Kirkaldy and Professor W. J. M. Mackenzie to be a Committee with the following terms of reference:— To review, and to recommend what changes are desirable in, the remuneration of Mr. Speaker, Ministers of the Crown and Members of the House of Commons and also the allowance for Members of the House of Lords, having regard to their responsibilities, to the place of Parliament in the national life and to the changes which have taken place, since the existing emoluments were fixed, in general standards of remuneration, and to the increases in expenses borne by Members of both Houses in the discharge of their duties. "The Committee will, of course, take evidence from whatever sources they wish, but in order to assist them in carrying out their task, Her Majesty's Government, in consultation with the other Parties, have appointed an Advisory Panel with which the Committee will be able to consult and from which they will be able to obtain advice on Parliamentary matters.

"The following have agreed to serve on the Advisory Panel: Lord Tweedsmuir, Chairman, Lord Champion, the honourable Members, Sir Hendrie Oakshott, Mr. Arthur Tiley, Mr. G. H. Oliver, Mr. Hervey Rhodes and Mr. Donald W. Wade.

"The Government consider that the Committee should be asked to report as soon as possible after the General Election and that whatever action seems appropriate in the light of their Report should then be taken without delay."


My Lords, I thank the noble Lord the Leader of the House for making that statement. I think, at this stage, it is best not to comment on it.


My Lords, I would also thank the noble Lord the Leader of the House for his statement. It is interesting that many matters which brook no delay" rest for a long time, and one of these matters seems to have rested since 1831. I must congratulate the Government on bringing so many urgent matters forward at this particular moment, for some unknown reason. There is one other comment which I hope I may be allowed to make. We are a friendly Parliament in both Houses. It is interesting to me that both the larger Parties have one Peer and two Members of another House on the Advisory Panel, whereas the smaller Party at present has only one Member of the other House on the panel.


My Lords, no doubt the noble Lord is hoping for better things at the next Election.


My Lords, I hope that we shall implement the Life Peerages Act.