§ 2.53 p.m.
§ THE LORD PRIVY SEAL (LORD SHEPHERD)
My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper. I believe that it is self-explanatory. One purpose of the Motion is that the Committee on European Communities may wish from time to time to confer with a similar Committee in the House of Commons and part of the Motion makes this possible.
In regard to the second part, as the House will know, if the other place wishes to interview a noble Lord it requires a Message to be sent to this House. The object of that part of the Motion is to avoid the necessity of receiving Messages on numerous occasions. I should make it quite clear that a noble Lord need attend a Commons Committee only if he so wishes. Turning to the third part, here we must recognise that the Committee may well sit during a Recess. At the present moment, before a Report is published an Order of the House is required. But clearly these Reports should be available to the House, 801 and this part of the Motion will make that possible.
My Lords, in regard to our relations with another place in Committee, I understand that the House of Commons will be moving a similar Motion so that all matters will be reciprocal. My Lords, I beg to move.
Moved, That (1) the Select Committee on the European Communities, or any sub-Committee appointed by the Committee, have leave to confer with any Committee, or any sub-Committee of it, appointed by the Commons on European Secondary Legislation &c.; and (2) any Lord requested by the Committee on European Secondary Legislation & c. of the House of Commons to attend as a Witness before them or before any sub-Committee appointed by them shall have the leave of this House so to attend if his Lordship thinks fit; and (3) the Reports of the Select Committee from time to time shall be printed, notwithstanding any adjournment of the House.—(Lord Shepherd.)
§ LORD WINDLESHAM
My Lords, the European Communities Committee was set up after a great deal of discussion in your Lordships' House. I am sure that if there are procedures which need to be adopted to enable it to operate as effectively and as smoothly as possible, we should take those measures. It seems to me that what the noble Lord has said indicates that the three proposals which he has put before the House will have that effect. The House of Commons also has its own Committee. There might have been advantages in the two Committees working more closely together than they do, but that is perhaps for a later stage and we should certainly take into account what the Leader of the House has said. Accordingly, I should like to support the proposals that have been made.
§ LORD MAYBRAY-KING
My Lords, as the Chairman of the Select Committee of last year, may I welcome these important resolutions. Unfortunately, a physical accident prevented me from being in your Lordships' House on the day when the new Committee was set up; so may I take this opportunity to congratulate the Leader of the House and both sides of the House on the character and quality of the new Committee, and especially on 802 the choice of the Chairman, the noble Lord, Lord Diamond.
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, I am grateful for what the noble Lord, Lord Windlesham, and the noble Lord, Lord Maybray-King, have said. I am sure that the proposals I have put before the House will not only make the work of the Committee much easier but it may well help it to move to the degree of co-operation which I know most Members of your Lordships' House would wish for.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to, and a Message ordered to be sent to the Commons to acquaint them of paragraphs (1) and (2).