§ Mr. Clifton-Brown
To ask the President of the Council if she will make a statement on trends in the use of secondary legislation. 
§ Mrs. Ann Taylor
In the ten years to 1996–97 an average of 185 instruments have been laid each session under the affirmative procedure and 1,127 under the negative procedure. While there has been a slight growth in the number of instruments laid under the negative procedure, the number of affirmatives has not altered significantly and the total (including instruments not requiring parliamentary procedure) has declined slightly. No information is yet complete for the sessions since May 1997 but I have no reason to suppose there have been any significant changes. Although the Delegated Powers and Deregulation Committee in the House of Lords examines the order-making powers in legislation laid before Parliament, no statistics are compiled on the incidence of such order-making powers in primary legislation.