Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs First Special Report

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee is appointed to examine on behalf of the House of Commons the expenditure, administration and policy of the Northern Ireland Office; administration and expenditure of the Crown Solicitor's Office (but excluding individual cases and advice given by the Crown Solicitor); and other matters within the responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (but excluding the expenditure, administration and policy of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Northern Ireland and the drafting of legislation by the Office of the Legislative Counsel.) Its constitution and powers are set out in House of Commons Standing Order No. 152.

The Committee has a maximum of thirteen members, of whom the quorum for any formal proceedings is four. The members of the Committee are appointed by the House and unless discharged remain on the Committee until the dissolution of this Parliament. The present membership of the Committee, appointed on 28 July 1997 except where stated, is as follows:[1]

    Mr Harry Barnes, Labour, North East Derbyshire
    Mr Roy Beggs, Ulster Unionist Party, East Antrim
    Mr Peter Brooke, Conservative, Cities of London and Westminster
    Mr Colin Burgon, Labour, Elmet (added 3 April 2000)
    Mr Tony Clarke, Labour, Northampton South (added 24 January 2000)
    Mr John Grogan, Labour, Selby
    Mr Andrew Hunter, Conservative, Basingstoke
    Mr Stephen McCabe, Labour, Birmingham, Hall Green (added 9 November 1998)
    Mr Eddie McGrady, Social Democratic and Labour Party, South Down
    Dr Nick Palmer, Labour, Broxtowe (added 13 December 1999)
    Mr Stephen Pound, Labour, Ealing North (added 14 June 1999)
    Mr Peter Robinson, Democratic Unionist Party, Belfast East
    Mr William Thompson, Ulster Unionist Party, Tyrone West (added 12 June 2000)

    On 30 July 1997, the Committee elected Mr Peter Brooke as its Chairman.

The Committee has the power to require the submission of written evidence and documents, to examine witnesses, and to make Reports to the House. In the footnotes to this Report, references to oral evidence are indicated by 'Q' followed by the question number, and references to written evidence printed with it are indicated by 'Ev' followed by the page number.

The Committee may meet at any time (except when Parliament is prorogued or dissolved) and at any place within the United Kingdom. The Committee may meet concurrently with other committees or sub-committees established under Standing Order No. 152 for the purpose of deliberating, taking evidence or considering draft reports, and with the House's Environmental Audit Committee or with the European Scrutiny Committee (or any of its sub-committees) for the purpose of deliberating or taking evidence. The Committee may exchange documents and evidence with any of these committees, as well as with the House's Public Accounts and Deregulation Committees.

The Reports and evidence of the Committee are published by The Stationery Office by Order of the House. All publications of the Committee (including press notices) may be accessed on the Internet through A full list of the Committee's Reports in the present Parliament is included in this volume.

All correspondence should be addressed to The Clerk of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Committee Office, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. The telephone number for general inquiries is 020 7219 2172; the Committee's fax number is 020 7219 0580; and the Committee's e-mail address is:

1  In the course of the Parliament the following Members, appointed on 28 July 1997, have also served: Mr Desmond Browne (until 9 November 1998), Mr Jeffrey Donaldson (until 12 June 2000), Mr Ken Livingstone (until 14 June 1999), Ms Margaret Moran (until 19 February 1998), Mr Martin Salter (until 13 December 1999) and Mr Tony McWalter (until 3 April 2000). Mr Stephen Hesford served from 19 February 1998 to 24 January 2000. Back

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Prepared 6 February 2001