HC Deb 12 December 1974 vol 883 cc252-3W
Mr. Hoyle

asked the Lord President of the Council what is the cost of maintaining the Select Committee on European Secondary Legislation; how many extra staff it has acquired from the Civil Service; and from which Departments they have been drawn.

Mr. Edward Short

Expenses of any Select Committee depend largely on the methods of proceedings which it adopts. It is impossible to apportion the cost of maintaining one Committee among the many Committees appointed by the House in view of the number of services common to all. The Select Committee on European Secondary Legislation is served in the normal way by staff of the Clerk of the House. A Second Counsel to the Speaker was appointed last May and is available full-time to give legal advice.

In addition four civil servants have now been seconded to the Department of the Clerk of the House for an initial period of two years, their first task being to provide the Committee with advisory briefs on all instruments which come before them. Three of these officers have been drawn from the Ministry of Defence and one from the Department of Education and Science. The estimated total expenditure for these seconded officers to be borne on the House of Commons Vote in a full year is £37,000. Some additional subordinate staff will be needed in the future for their support.