HL Deb 25 January 1972 vol 327 cc270-1

My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, That the membership of the Select Committee on the Procedure of the House be reconstituted as follows:

with the Lord Chancellor and the Chairman of Committees.—(The Earl of Listowel.)


My Lords, may I ask the noble Earl two questions? I assume that the new procedure for membership of Committees, which followed the Report of the Aberdare/Shepherd/Byers/Perth Committee which the House approved—namely, that there should he a rotation of members of certain Committees—has been applied in this case. I ask that question because I notice that the names of a number of noble Lords who have given most valuable service on the Committee have disappeared. This follows the decision of the House. There is no doubt that some rotation is very desirable in order to bring other noble Lords on to the Committee, and I see a number of new names of noble Lords whose presence will be most valuable. But it would be helpful to have confirmed the fact that none of those noble Lords has been dropped because he is too old, or not competent or anything else. This is merely the application of the iron law on which the House rightly decided, and I think we should take note that some of those noble Lords have given very great service to the Committee.


My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord opposite for his questions. Yes, my Lords, the reconstitution of this Committee has been based on a decision of the House, that the Members of Sessional Committees should retire by rotation in order of seniority, in order that more Members of the House may sit on the Committees. In this case, six senior Members of the Committee have retired. I am very grateful to the noble Lord—and I am sure that the Committee would wish to associate themselves with him—for paying a tribute to all of the senior Members of this Committee who have retired after, in most cases, many years of long and devoted service to the House. Two new Members are proposed for this Committee, to which the noble Lord has drawn attention. In this way we are renewing the membership of the Committee and, at the same time, reducing its size, which was another of the recommendations which were accepted by the House in December for the reconstitution of Sessional Committees.

On Question, Motion agreed to.