HL Deb 27 March 2002 vol 633 cc238-9

3.24 p.m.

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Tordoff)

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

Normally, this kind of Motion would be very much a formality, but I think that noble Lords would wish me to take the opportunity to offer the thanks of the House to the noble Lord, Lord Alexander, for his excellent chairmanship of this important committee. He took it over from the late lamented Lord Rippon of Hexham. There is no doubt that he has helped the committee to grow in stature. It is now one of the most important committees of this House.

It is significant that, in producing some 200 reports, the committee has, most importantly, managed to do that in such a way that the Government have accepted almost all its recommendations over the period of its existence. I certainly feel that the House would wish to give thanks to the noble Lord, Lord Alexander of Weedon, and, indeed, to the rest of the committee. We look forward to the chairmanship of the noble Lord, Lord Dahrendorf.

Moved, That the Lord Dahrendorf be appointed a member of the Select Committee in the place of the Lord Alexander of Weedon, and that he be appointed chairman thereof.—(The chairman of Committees.)

Lord Strathclyde

My Lords, I echo what the Chairman of Committees has said; first, in congratulating my noble friend Lord Alexander of Weedon on the work that he has done over many years in chairing the committee. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I remind the House of something which the noble Lord, Lord Tordoff, said. Under my noble friend's chairmanship, the committee has also followed through the convention—and it has now become very much a convention—that the Government accept the advice given by that committee. That is also to commend this Government on having the wisdom to do so. I have every confidence that under the chairmanship of the noble Lord, Lord Dahrendorf, that convention will continue over the foreseeable future.

Baroness Williams of Crosby

My Lords, I add the voice of these Benches. When I first came into this House I was unaware of how crucial the Select Committee was through its work on delegated legislation. I have come to believe it to be one of the foundation stones of our unwritten constitution. From these Benches I should also like to put on record our extraordinary appreciation of the work done by the noble Lord, Lord Alexander of Weedon.

Those of us who know the clarity and subtlety of the mind of my noble friend Lord Dahrendorf believe him to be an extremely worthy successor. We are delighted that he should follow in the footsteps of such a remarkable achievement as that of the noble Lord, Lord Alexander of Weedon.

On Question, Motion agreed to.