§ THE EARL OF LISTOWEL rose to move, That the Eighth Report from the Select Committee, made on the 18th of October in the last Session of Parliament, be agreed to.604
§ The Committee's Report was as follows:
§ COMMITTEE OF SELECTION
§ 1. The Committee have considered the present machinery for selecting and proposing to the House the membership of Select Committees. This consists at present mainly of consultation through the usual channels. The Committee consider that there would be advantage in reconstituting the Committee of Selection (whose functions are at present limited to the selection of the members of Select Committees in the field of Private Legislation) and in widening its terms of reference so as to bring within its purview the membership of all Select Committees, except those otherwise provided for and except the Committee of Selection itself. Such a step would formalise and extend the present consultations without in any way excluding the usual channels and would offer a wider basis for consultation than exists at present.
§ 2. The Procedure Committee accordingly recommend:—
§ (1) That a new Standing Order be proposed to the House in place of S.O. 61 ("Notice to be given of Lords proposed to serve on Select Committees"), entrusting the Committee of Selection with the responsibility of proposing to the House the size and membership (including, if they think fit, the Chairmanship) of all Select Committees of the House except those otherwise provided for and the Committee of Selection itself.
§ (2) That the Committee of Selection be reconstituted with the following membership:—
§ The Lord Chairman;
§ The Leaders and Whips of the political Parties (who might in practice serve as alternates to one another);
§ The "Coordinator" of the Cross Benches;
§ Four other Back Benchers, one from each Party and one from the Cross Benches.
§ (3) That the members of the reconstituted Committee be proposed at the beginning of each Session (except for next Session—see paragraph 3 below) to the House by the Leader of the House after consultation through the "usual channels" and with the "Coordinator" of the Cross Benches.
§ (4) That the members be subject to the general rule governing retirement by rotation (Companion, page 179) under which certain categories of member are exempt and all others retire by rotation.
§ (5) That within the new responsibility defined at (1) above, discretion be given to the Lord Chairman to act on behalf of the Committee (without calling the Committee together) in appropriate cases—e.g. in the case of casual vacancies occuring in the membership of Select Committees.
§ (6) That a Motion to give effect to the recommendations of the Committee of Selection should constitute the Report from the Committee to the House. Notice should 605 be given of any such Motion in the Order Paper.
§ (7) That the present functions and practice of the Committee of Selection in relation to Private Legislation be left unchanged.
§ 3. In presenting this Report, the Committee recommend that the House should not be invited to consider the necessary new Standing Order to give effect to their recommendations until the new Session. They do not think it appropriate to ask the House to consider it in the few days remaining of the present Session. Those Select Committees which need to be set up at the beginning of the new Session—for example, Sessional Committees and those ad hoc Committees which may need to be reappointed—will be proposed to the House without delay under the existing arrangements, i.e. after consultation through the usual channels. If the Committee's recommendations are approved by the House, they will come into force only when the House has approved the Standing Order to give effect to them.
§ The noble Earl said: My Lords, I beg to move that this Report be agreed to.
§ Moved, That the Report be agreed to.—(The Earl of Listowel.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.