Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from Mr Humfrey Malins CBE MP to the Clerk of the Committee

  I am responding to the paper on modernisation and wish to make these points:

  1.  It is not wise to take steps which would discourage Members from having outside interests. The fewer the number that have outside interests, the poorer Parliament will be.

  2.  The more morning sittings we have, the fewer the opportunities for members of the public, especially youngsters, to go on organised tours around the Chamber, etc.

  3.  I chuckled when I read paragraph 43. You say "Every year the press is critical of the prolonged period without a parliamentary sitting". Many of the press are themselves bone idle, and those who take them too seriously are not only feeble minded but making a long term error. I think we sit for too many months in the year.

  4.  There is periodic reference to our hours not being family friendly. Has a calculation been made of the number of MPs who have not only constituencies but families within say an hour from Westminster? Whether it is family friendly to deposit on the streets of London early every evening a vast number of men and women with nothing else to do for the evening except enjoy the entertainments provided by the City is a matter for you to judge, I have my own view on this.

  5.  Will anyone, ever, understand that we legislate too much? I doubt it.

17 December 2001

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