HC Deb 19 February 1991 vol 186 c120W
Sir Geoffrey Finsberg

To ask the Lord President of the Council what decisions have been reached concerning the improvement of communications facilities between the House, the Western European Union and the Council of Europe.

Mr. MacGregor

[holding answer 18 February 1991]: The Select Committee on House of Commons (Services) last week approved in principle the provision to Members of free postage and telephone calls to certain European institutions.

These will largely comprise the main institutions of the European Community, but, as I have already indicated in correspondence with my hon. Friend, it is intended that direct dialling facilities should also be made available from the start to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and the assembly of the Western European Union in Paris, and it is my hope that the new postage arrangements will similarly extend to these institutions.

Subject to the approval of the House of Commons Commission, which has financial responsibility for the provision of postal and telephone services, it is hoped that the new arrangements can be brought into effect early in the next financial year. A further announcement will be made in due course.

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