§ 2.56 p.m.
§ The CHAIRMAN of COMMITTEES (Lord Aberdare) rose to move, That the Fourth Report from the Select Committee be agreed to.
§ The Report was as follows:
§ 1. REFRESHMENT DEPARTMENT
§ The Committee have considered a recommendation of the Refreshment Sub-Committee that. following the incorporation of the Refreshment Department of the House of Commons as a full Department of the House under the Commission and the establishment of the catering staff, similar steps should be taken by the House of Lords. The Committee see no viable alternative to this recommendation, which should ensure that catering arrangements in both Houses are treated on an equal basis. They have, therefore, invited the acting Leader of the House to discuss the recommendation, as a matter of urgency, with the Treasury with a view to implementation from 1st April 1980.
§ 2. FACILITIES FOR MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
§ The Committee have again considered what facilities of the House might be made available to Members of the European Parliament. They received a report from the Chairman of Committees on the consultations he had had with the appropriate authorities of the House of Commons to determine a joint approach to this question. The Committee re-affirm their belief that, if possible, both Houses should continue to act in parallel in granting facilities at Westminster to Members of the European Parliament.
§ The Committee agreed in principle to grant Members of the European Parliament limited access to parts of the House on a trial basis, but reserved their final decision until the views of the Services Committee of the House of Commons were known.
§ 3. STAFF OF THE HOUSE
§ A report from the Sub-Committee on the staff of the House was received.
§ 4. PARLIAMENT OFFICE
§ The Committee were informed of the appointment of J. E. Turnbull as temporary Clerk.
§ 5. DEPARTMENT OF THE GENTLEMAN USHER OF THE BLACK ROD
§ The Committee were informed of the resignation of Lt. Commander D. E. Brock and the appointment of Captain F. P. Horsfall, MBE, to the post of Staff Superintendent.1153
§ 6. SUPERANNUATION
§ The Committee were notified of the following awards:—
- (a) Pension and lump sum to Mrs. B. Warner, Cleaner, who formally retired on 4th January 1980;
- (b) Pension and lump sum to Mrs. D. Chandler, Cleaner, who formally retired on 30th January 1980;
- (c) Pension and lump sum to Mrs. J. V. Gulley, Cleaner, who formally retires on 9th March 1980;
- (d) Short service payment to Miss R. J. Stebbing, Personal Secretary, who resigned on 31st January 1980;
- (e) Short service payment to Mrs. S. J. Ellison, Personal Secretary, who resigns on 22nd February 1980;
- (f) Short service payment to Mrs. M. J. Clark, Cataloguer, who resigned on 31st December 1979;
- (g) Transfer Value payment to European Parliament in respect of Mr. NI. F. Joyce, Doorkeeper, who resigned on 13th November 1977.
§ The noble Lord said: My Lords, I should draw your Lordships' attention to the second item, facilities for Members of the European Parliament. When we last discussed this matter, I was asked to keep in very close touch with what was going on in another place. This I have done and I reported in detail to the House of Lords' Offices Committee. It was as a result of that that the Committee reaffirmed their belief that it is important to act in parallel with what is being done in the House of Commons. They therefore came to the conclusion that any final decision should be taken after it was known what decision had been arrived at by the parallel committee, the Services Committee, in another place. In the meantime, as your Lordships will see, the Committee agreed in principle to grant Members of the European Parliament limited access to parts of this House. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the fourth report from the Select Committee be agreed to.—(Lord Aberdare.)
§ Baroness PHILLIPS
My Lords, may I ask the noble Lord what are these limited facilities, bearing in mind that there are those of us in this House who have sought unsuccessfully for some time actually to spend our own money in the dining room of the House of Commons? There are certain noble Lords who feel 1154 that it would be very hard if the European Parliamentarians were granted access to both Houses of Parliament and all facilities without this being very fully discussed. The noble Lord referred to limited facilities, perhaps he will tell us how limited these are.
§ Viscount SIMON
My Lords, may I, for clarification, ask the noble Lord this? When we speak about Members of the European Parliament, do we mean only United Kingdom Members?
§ Lord ABERDARE
Yes, my Lords, only British Members of the European Parliament. So far as the point made by the noble Baroness, Lady Phillips, is concerned, I cannot go any further at the moment because the Offices Committee thought it inappropriate to go into detail until they knew what decisions had been arrived at by the Services Committee. Although the Services Committee have met, their report has not yet been published. As soon as it is published, we shall know what facilities they are granting at the other end of the corridor. We can then make up our minds what facilities we grant here. It will of course have to come back to the House before any final decision is made.
§ Lord SHINWELL
My Lords, may I ask the Chairman of Committees a question'? If we are to provide facilities —limited or expansive—for Members of the European Parliament in your Lordships' House and the precincts, is there a quid pro quo? Are we to be allowed to use the facilities available in the European Parliament?
§ Lord ABERDARE
My Lords, if I may speak again with the leave of the House, I can assure the noble Lord that he will be very welcome at any time to visit the European Parliament. They will be delighted to see him. I do not think I should speak any more.
§ Lord SHINWELL
My Lords, may I be informed what are those facilities of which I could avail myself?
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.