§ The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara)
My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.
Moved, That the 4th Report from the Select Committee be agreed to.(HL Paper 162)—(The Chairman of Committees.)
§ Following is the report referred to:
§ 1. Thursday sittings
§ As we indicated in our third report, we are reviewing the arrangement whereby the House sits at 11 a.m. on Thursdays but adjourns between 1.30 and 3.00 p.m. We should like to obtain the views of Members of the House and are therefore circulating a 911 short questionnaire to all Members, to be returned by Friday 10 October. We shall meet again later in October to consider the responses.
§ 2. Proposed Standing Committee on the European Union Intergovernmental Conference
§ The committee has considered a letter from the Leader of the House inviting it to consider a proposal for a Commons Standing Committee on the forthcoming European Union Intergovernmental Conference. The letter is printed as an annex to this report.
§ The proposal is similar to that for a Standing Committee on the Convention on the Future of Europe, on which we reported in our second report of last session and to which the House agreed on 24 June 2002. In both cases the procedure permits Lords to attend and speak, but not to vote, nor to move Motions or count towards the quorum. The new proposal is, however, for a Standing Committee that would engage with Ministers rather than parliamentary representatives.
§ Some members of the committee have reservations about the basis on which Members of this House are to be permitted to participate. A procedure in which Members of both Houses played an equal part might be preferable. We recognise, however. that what is proposed represents a development from the Standing Committee on the convention and that no new precedent will be set.
§ Accordingly we invite the House to agree to the participation of Lords in the new Standing Committee.