HL Deb 23 July 1987 vol 488 cc1557-8

4.32 p.m.

Lord Denham

My Lords, in moving, That the House do now adjourn, I should like to express on behalf of my noble friends behind me the usual good wishes at this time of the year that we have in the past. We may not be in quite the same position as before, because I recall in previous years standing in somewhat of a white sheet at this moment, apologising to your Lordships for the length and lateness of the hours that had been demanded of you. I do not have to do that now. While your Lordships have been coasting gently and pleasantly towards this moment, we should recognise that many of the staff who serve us so well and who look after us with such great kindness have to a certain extent been working just as hard, just as efficiently and just as cheerfully as they have in the past. I hope therefore that your Lordships will be just as grateful to them as before.

While as far as your Lordships are concerned this Recess is not so much needed for the rest by way of recuperation, I am afraid that when we come back in the autumn we shall be back to normal again. We shall not of course have the benefit of the gap caused by Prorogation and the rather slow bringing in of Bills to which we are accustomed at that time. While rest by way of recuperation will not be needed in the Recess, rest by way of preparation for things to come will be. It is that which my noble friends and I wish noble Lords in other parts of the House the full benefit of.

Moved, That the House do now adjourn.—(Lord Denham.)

Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede

My Lords, I should like to associate those of us on this side of the House with the best wishes for the vacation which the noble Lord the Chief Whip has expressed to your Lordships. As he says, he does not stand in a white sheet today, but he probably will do so this time next year when no doubt we shall have had a considerable number of late nights. However, I should like to associate myself particularly with the remarks he made about the staff of the House.

Although noble Lords may be going away for a period of three months until the House resumes in October, some of us may not be going away for as long a time. While we are away the security staff will be on duty all the time; the restaurant staff will be on duty for most of the time; the cleaners will be on duty continually throughout that period; and those involved in the maintenance of the fabric of the House no doubt will be seizing the opportunity to restore the wear and tear of past years. To all those members of the staff of the House, to those who are more visible to us—the attendants, those who clerk the House—we also wish a happy Recess. I can assure the noble Lord that we shall return invigorated for the battles ahead in October.

Lord Tordoff

My Lords, from these Benches I join in thanking the noble Lord the Chief Whip for his good wishes, and we return them. The noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby, in his comprehensive comments covered virtually all the people to whom we should offer our thanks. I agree with every word.

The thought of the Chief Whip in a white sheet has never occurred to me. Some Members of your Lordships' House will still be doing a little work. One or two of the Select Committees will be paying visits, and the clerks with them. We shall not all be totally idle. Nor do I altogether recognise what the noble Lord the Chief Whip said in terms of our having been coasting during the last few weeks. That may be so for those who were not deeply involved in the election campaign but for those of us who were, I assure your Lordships that this break comes not a minute too soon. I also hope that the word can go out from this House that the Meteorological Office can now turn on the sunshine so that we can enjoy the summer.

Having said that, I wish noble Lords on all sides and all the staff of the House a very good, happy and enjoyable break. As the sounds of the Criminal Justice Bill Committee stage approach later in the summer we shall, as the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby, said, come back greatly revivified and we shall sit in awe listening to the lawyers producing niceties at the Committee stage of the Bill. Until then let us all have a happy break.

Baroness Hylton-Foster

My Lords, I am sure that all those sitting on the Cross-Benches, which are normally full to overflowing, would like to reinforce the thanks that have already been given to the staff for their splendid advice and help, which is always given with such kindness and courtesy. We should also like to join with others in wishing both Peers and staff a very enjoyable Recess.

House adjourned for the Summer Recess at twenty-two minutes before five o'clock until Tuesday, 20th October next.