HL Deb 23 November 1995 vol 567 cc417-8

3.28 p.m.

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham)

My Lords, I beg to move the first Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, That a Select Committee on broadcasting be appointed to supervise the arrangements for, and deal with any problems or complaints arising out of, the televising and sound broadcasting of the proceedings of the House and its committees; and that as proposed by the Committee of Selection the following Lords be named as members of the Committee:

  • L. Chesham,
  • L. Gladwin of Clee,
  • L. Graham of Edmonton,
  • L. Merlyn-Rees,
  • B. Rawlings,
  • B. Seccombe,
  • 418
  • L. Thomson of Monifieth (Chairman),
  • B. Wharton,
  • E. Winchilsea and Nottingham.
That the Committee have power to adjourn from place to place and to report from time to time;

That two be the quorum of the Committee;

That the Committee have power to appoint specialist advisers.—(The Chairman of Committees.)

Lord Boyd-Carpenter

My Lords, does my noble friend agree that this Select Committee, which is very important indeed to the position of this House, would be even stronger if it included in its membership my noble friend Lord Orr-Ewing who has, as your Lordships know, more experience of broadcasting than any other Member of this House? His experience goes back to before the war. Was my noble friend invited to take part?

The Chairman of Committees

My Lords, I cannot say whether or not the noble Lord, Lord Orr-Ewing, was invited to take part. However, I would say in reply to the substantive point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Boyd-Carpenter, that this is not the first time this particular matter has been raised in your Lordships' House. I would certainly acknowledge immediately that the noble Lord, Lord Orr-Ewing, has a considerable knowledge of broadcasting. It is very extensive and has been gained over a considerable period of time. I believe that many years ago both he and I shared service in what used to be called The External Services Broadcasting Department of the BBC.

I would make the following point, which has been made previously in your Lordships' House but, clearly, it needs to be re-emphasised, if I may say so with respect. This Select Committee is not dealing with general broadcasting in the country. It is dealing with the specific matter referred to in the Motion. I can think of no one who is more well-qualified to chair it, as proposed in the Motion, than the noble Lord, Lord Thomson of Monifieth, and I make similar observations in relation to the other proposed members of the Select Committee.

On Question, Motion agreed to.