HL Deb 27 July 1972 vol 333 cc1500-1

3.30 p.m.


My Lords, I think it would perhaps be useful if I informed noble Lords as soon as possible of the plans for the Recess. I intimated to your Lordships last Tuesday that I hoped very much that it would be possible for the House to rise on August 11 and, subject to the progress of Business, I can confirm that this is the case. It is also proposed that the House should resume on Monday, September 11, in order to continue with the Committee stage of the Local Government Bill and take the remaining stages of the European Communities Bill. I think it would be unwise for me to commit myself as to how long we shall be sitting in September, but certainly it is my devout hope that we shall complete our business in September within two weeks.

I should also inform your Lordships that at a convenient moment after 3.30 p.m., with the leave of the House, my noble friend Lord Sandford will be making a Statement on railway finance.


My Lords, we are grateful to the noble Earl for that Statement. No doubt he has taken note of the Motion in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Alport, on the management of Business, and it might strengthen his hand, in the efforts that I know he is making to an unsympathetic Government to have mercy on the House of Lords, if we were to have an opportunity to debate that Motion. But since there is no possible time now, we will not press it.


My Lords, I note what the noble Lord, Lord Shackleton, has said, and a sympathetic Government are aware of the position.


My Lords, following the urgent representations I made to my noble friend in the interests of providing refreshment for noble Lords, not to continue after August 11, I should like to express my grateful thanks and, I am sure, the grateful thanks of the hard-pressed Refreshment Department.


My Lords, I am grateful to my noble friend for what he has said. His representations did have considerable weight, though I must admit that a degree of self-interest was involved.


My Lords, is it a fact that the Sittings of the House are determined by our catering facilities?


My Lords, I think they are determined by our love of amenity and also by the forceful nature of the representations made to me by my noble friend. But a number of factors were taken into account.


My Lords, is there any significance between the two dates, August 11 and August 12?


My Lords, I think we had that rather old joke yesterday.