HL Deb 08 December 1971 vol 326 cc796-7

3.3 p.m.

EARL JELLICOE rose to move. That it is desirable that a Joint Committee of both Houses be appointed to inquire into the procedures and practice by which the control of each House over delegated legislation is exercised and to report how they might be improved. The noble Earl said: My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper. As your Lordships will know, the Commons Select Committee on Procedure, in their Report on the process of legislation recommended, in Recommendation 24, that a Joint Committee should be appointed to inquire into delegated legislation. Last month both my right honourable friend the Lord President in another place and I myself here in your Lordships' House announced that the Government accepted this recommendation. As your Lordships will also know, the noble Earl the Lord Chairman of Committees, the noble Lord, Lord Shackleton, the noble Lord, Lord Byers, and I gave evidence to the Commons Committee, during which we said, speaking in our purely personal capacities, that we should welcome such a Joint Committee. Yesterday the Procedure Committee of your Lordships' House also came to the conclusion that such a Joint Committee would be useful. The Motion I am moving to-day is the first step in the process of setting up a Joint Committee, and the terms of reference are those set out at Recommendation 24 in the Report of the Commons Procedure Committee.


My Lords, I welcome, as I am sure all noble Lords do, this step. It was one of the proposals for consideration in the ill-fated Bill which was concerned with House of Lords Reform, and I congratulate the noble Earl on the way he is tackling these procedural matters. It is quite clear, I think, to all noble Lords who have been concerned with Statutory Orders and delegated legislation generally that there is serious need for a complete examination of the whole problem. It is extremely important and we shall certainly support the further steps in regard to the Committee.


My Lords, as one who was intimately associated with the Report on House of Lords Reform, I want to say how much I welcome, as I know my colleagues do, this step towards further cooperation with another place. I congratulate the noble Earl the Leader of the House on the speed with which he has been able to move.

On Question, Motion agreed to: Ordered, That a Message be sent to the Commons to communicate the said Resolution, and to desire their concurrence.