§ THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (THE EARL OF LISTOWEL)
My Lords, I beg to move that the Seventh Report from the Select Committee on Procedure of the House be now considered.
§ Moved accordingly, and on Question, Motion agreed to.
§ The Committee's Report was as follows:
§ REPRODUCTION OF MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS
§ The Committee have considered the proceedings of the House on 31st March, 1971, when a Government Statement made in the House of Commons was not repeated in this House because of its length; but, with the leave of the House, its text was circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT (cols. 1315–28). The procedure adopted that day was without precedent.323
§ The Committee attach importance to the maintenance of the principle that the OFFICIAL REPORT is the verbatim record of what takes place in the House. The House however at present gives leave for the reproduction in the OFFICIAL REPORT of additional matter too lengthy or too complicated to be given orally in Ministerial Statements or answers to Starred Questions. The Committee are of opinion that to adopt the precedent of the proceedings of 31st March 1971 would not represent an undesirable extension of the present practice of the House.
§ The Committee therefore recommend that, in future, when it is considered to be for the convenience of the House, the text of a Government Statement may be reproduced, by leave, in the OFFICIAL REPORT, notwithstanding the fact that it has not been given orally in the House. On such occasions, the Government Chief Whip or his Deputy should seek the leave of the House to reproduce in the OFFICIAL REPORT a Statement which it is not intended to give orally. Under Standing Order No. 29A such leave would not need to be unanimous.
§ The Committee further recommend that this new procedure should be adopted on an experimental basis until further notice.
§ Moved, That the Report be agreed to.—(The Earl of Listowel.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.