HL Deb 10 November 1988 vol 501 cc733-4

3.21 p.m.

Lord Denham

My Lords, it may be for the convenience of the House to know that, subject to the progress of business, it is expected that Parliament will be prorogued by Royal Commission next Tuesday, November 15th. The House will sit at 9.30 in the morning and, save for Royal Assent, no other business will be transacted.

With the leave of the House, it has been agreed through the usual channels that I shall arrange for a statement that will be made in another place this afternoon on the report of the inquiry into the King's Cross underground fire to be printed in the Official Report. As soon as the statement has been concluded in another place I shall arrange for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Underhill

My Lords, I am sure that the House will agree that that statement on the King's Cross incident is of such great importance that it merits far more consideration than would have been possible in a 20-minute exchange of questions and answers in your Lordships' House. We are given to understand that the report will cover 91 days of public inquiry and we are informed in the press that it will contain something like 151 recommendations. Although the Government Chief Whip can make no guarantees, perhaps I may ask for an early debate on the report to be arranged through the usual channels.

Noble Lords

Hear, hear.

Lord Tordoff

My Lords, perhaps I may endorse those remarks while thanking the Chief Whip. This is clearly a most important report which should not be trivialised by spending just a few minutes on it this afternoon. This is a serious matter. I believe that noble Lords on all sides wish to study the report and I support the view that we should have a debate at the earliest moment. I hope that that can be arranged through the usual channels.

Lord Denham

My Lords, I am most grateful to the noble Lords, Lord Underhill and Lord Tordoff. Of course this is an important report. It would be very difficult indeed, in reading the statement, to achieve very much in the period which is allowed for questions and answers in the normal way. Although, as the noble Lord, Lord Underhill, said, I cannot promise anything, I can certainly undertake to consult through the usual channels as to whether and when a debate should be arranged.

Lord Hailsham of Saint Marylebone

My Lords, can we assume that the report will be available this afternoon in the Printed Paper Office?

Lord Denham

My Lords, yes, I think we can assume that.

Lord Boyd-Carpenter

My Lords, will my noble friend bear in mind that there is a very considerable wish in all quarters of the House that this very important matter, vital to all those who move about in London, should be debated very early in the new Session?

Lord Denham

My Lords, I shall certainly bear in mind the added weight that my noble friend has put to that request.