§ 3.28 p.m.
§ LORD SHACKLETON
My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper. In moving this Motion—I hope I am not out of order—may I say that there is nothing sinister in our taking all the stages of the Consolidated Fund Bill in one day, in the sense that it has no connection with the appointment of my noble friend Lord Shepherd as Deputy Leader of your Lordships' House. I should like to extend my congratulations to him, saying that it gives me and everybody on this side of the House enormous pleasure, and I venture to suggest that it will give pleasure to noble Lords opposite. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That Standing Order No. 41 (No two stages of a Bill to be taken on one day) be dispensed with for the purpose of allowing the remaining stages of the Consolidated Fund Bill to be taken this day.—(Lord Shackleton.)
My Lords, I should like to echo what the noble Lord the Leader of the House has said. I am sure that, like him, I am completely out of order in what I am about to say. Nevertheless, I should like to say it, and I should like to add from these Benches our sincere congratulations to the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, on his appointment. Like all Governments, the present Government have been known to make a mistake or two. But I think that everyone who knows the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, well—and we all know him very well indeed—will know that the Government have not made a mistake on this occasion. Not only has the noble Lord to be congratulated but also the Party opposite and, I would add, the House as a whole.
§ LORD BYERS
My Lords, we on these Benches should not like to feel that on this occasion we, too, were not out of order. I should like on behalf of my colleagues to express our sincere congratulations to the noble Lord on a very well-deserved promotion.
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS (LORD SHEPHERD)
My Lords, with the permission of my noble friend, may I join the other two noble Lords in being out of order? I have ben the Chief Whip for a number of years, both in Government and in Opposition, and although some of the "old hands" of your Lordships' House have not exactly accused me of breaking the Rules of the House, as I suggest they have been broken this afternoon at Question Time, perhaps I may have "bent" them from time to time. I am now again turning "gamekeeper", and it may be that, having been a "poacher", I shall now be a better "gamekeeper".
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.