§ 3.30 p.m.
§ Lord ABERDARE
My Lords, I beg to move the second Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.
Moved, on behalf of the Committee of Selection, That the Lord Denham be appointed to the Select Committee in the place of the Earl St. Aldwyn.—(Lord Aberdare.)
§ Lord SHINWELL
My Lords, I wish to join in the congratulations showered upon the noble Lord, Lord Denham, upon his appointment as Chief Whip of the Conservative Party. However, this affords me an opportunity to ask a question, and indeed to offer a few comments, on the subject. I observe that not only is he now to be appointed a Member of the Select Committee but he will also have something to say about Lords' expenses. In view of the increased transport charges in the London area (the provincials are exempted in this regard), the increased charges for postage and the expense entailed, with which all Members of your Lordships' House are familiar, the occasional secretarial expenses due to the correspondence that 211 one receives and is forced to answer because otherwise one's reputation is tarnished, and a great many other factors which I could mention except for the fact that I do not wish to take up too much of your Lordships' time, may I ask the noble Lord, Lord Denham, now he is in this position, a question? Would he take the opportunity of expressing his liberality—and I mean no offence to the previous occupant of the office—to ensure that, if the subject of Members' expenses is raised (and if it is not raised, will he see that it is raised?), particularly Members in the London area, and indeed throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, receive adequate consideration?
§ Lord ABERDARE
My Lords, I am afraid that this Committee does not have anything to do with fixing the level of Peers' expenses; it only interprets the rules laid down by the Government. I am sure that the noble Lord's remarks will have been well received by all of us, and I am sure that the noble Lord the Leader of the House and the noble Lord, Lord Denham, have taken due note of what he said.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.